Good morning folks
I trust you had a mighty fine weekend and that you’re in top form.
Sweatier-than-a-sauna-in-a-jungle climes here contrasting with polar pics from back home.
Last week was a bit of a lame blog, I was up against the cosh timewise, had lousy internet, the site kept crashing and I was typing in semi-darkness. It was a short ramble.
This week has been a week!
It has been a bloody week, a bloody hard week and bloody miraculous that I didn’t kill anybody.
All week I have been in the foulest of foul moods and darkest of dark clouds.
This will not be a feelgood blog and may put a few noses out.
It is not intended to do so and my ramblings are pure observations.
I just tell it how it is, as very few folk listen to me, nor understand me (bar a few diamond mates who listen to and put up with my woes, you know who you are and I thank you from the bottom of my heart). Sometimes I don’t understand myself, so maybe that is part of the problem!
I can be a world-class mumbler at times and if you put that into my crappy Spanish, it’s never going to be crystal clear, but I digress.
Here is the weekly wrap-up from Limalandia in the Monday morning Superclunk.com blog…
In an average month I have four classes per day (of varied levels), so that’s between 10-25-ish students (x 4).
Normally I have different classes each month (i.e. Students get different teachers).
So, in an average year I could see 1000 students!
Some are good, some are not so good, some don’t have an aptitude for languages, some are brilliant, some are pushed there by there parents, some spend half their time on their phones/in the khazi/asleep, some are brilliant and some are outstandingly brilliant.
They are a mixed bag and a mixed bag of different skills. Some are brilliant at speaking but hopeless at grammar, others don’t speak a word all month and get 100% in their exams.
16 classes (one cycle) is sometimes not quite long enough for a slower student to shine.
Occasionally students are simply amazing writers; creative, imaginative and full of ideas.
Part of my job is to raise levels of confidence & bring people on. Sometimes (often) ability levels are higher than confidence levels and if you can show students that they can do it, the results can be amazing!
I had a student 2 years ago, an Engineer (probably the most chosen degree here) who was painfully shy but wrote the most amazing stories, but with so many old, old-fashioned words.
So archaic that I was often perplexed deciphering his stories, trying to work out if they actually meant what I thought he meant them to mean. After 2 cycles I quizzed him about this and he showed me a turn-o-the-century dictionary. Puzzle solved!
This week I learnt a new word; egregious. Which means shockingly bad, but archaically meant really good!
It is a good job I do scribble this nonsense on a Sunday night, I have generally calmed down a bit, for if it were midweek, it would be a ranty, radgey rage!
Am I the bad guy?
I do personally sometimes wonder whether I am going through mid-life-crisis #472 or I am just losing the plot in this madhouse?!
Lately (over the last 3 years) I have been clashing and arguing more and more and more with people on a daily basis. I seem to have lost all my patience and seem to be constantly “bubbling” (not crying, but a boiling pot of festering anger and rage!)
I won’t go into detail here, I have spewed my bile too many times here before.
Traffic = heinous.
Time = meaningless.
Manners = non-existent.
Consideration for others = minus 10.
Logic = minus 20.
Mindless bureaucracy = off the scale!
I keep making the same mistake (thereby not learning) when I try to make a suggestion.
Not in a smartar$e cocky “I know better” way.
In a genuine “this could possibly save you a shedload of time and effort” way.
It’s not a case of making everything easier, but if you can do something more efficiently and therefore save time, surely that’s worth trying???
I’ll use the example of my two old neighbours…
One used to rake the road and the other one used to sweep her garden!
I made a flip comment about them swapping one day and it was like I had offered them a handful of fresh doggy-do!
Working 7 long years at the Brewery (on-&-off-&-on-&-off-&-on-&-off) taught me that I hate working shifts but did teach me a lot about “process management” and how to do things better.
So I am always looking for a better way to do something that is clearly not working, or not working as well as it potentially could.
I am not saying “I am the Great Sage, I am here to save Peru and change Lima”, but the reactions I get whenever I make a genuine suggestion make me wonder whether (some) people actually want this place to work, or flow, or whatever???
Suspicion breeds distrust and the levels here are scary.
Take the simple act of negotiating a roundabout.
In Blighty: Give way to those on the roundabout.
On the continent: Give way to those entering the roundabout.
In Lima: “Who dares wins!” A pointless, mindless battle of nerves, it is almost like roundabouts have been installed across the city overnight and nobody has been told about them.
I could go on (and on and on).
This isn’t like a “Oh, why is everything so crap?” post, it’s just my observations about the place.
I would understand if someone told me “If you don’t like, why don’t you #### ### then!”
Circumstances prevent this sadly, I would if I could, in a heartbeat.
Let’s just say, I have to learn to keep my trap shut/breathe/ommmmm….
I apologise to those who I have upset this week, apart from the majority of idiots that did deserve it. I thank those who put up with me and my moodswings too, thank you!
Take a chill pill Johnnyboy, get yersen off to yonder mountains ASAP.
I like to move it-move it…
We are finally, finally in!
Lina was away on a course all week, so I was sleeping at the new gaff, bussing back to Salamanca on a morning to take the Nipper out, then to work, then running home and repeat…
We have finally got all our junk and tat in Miraflowers and cannot find anything, but we are getting there.
As I shouted “See you Salamanca” on Saturday, the Wee One has now taken to shouting “See you (name of place, shop, park)” every time we go anywhere!
I would have been naïve to have think that we were moving to a quiet paradise.
There are still fiestas blaring on (as I type, Sunday night) most nights. Next door have had birthday parties both weekends so far). People shout, move furniture, slam doors and honk horns at all hours. P&Q simply does not exist in Lima and if it does, it is probably in a $10,000,000 mansion compound somewhere.
We found the coffee!
But the gas ran out on the cooker mid-brew, Alpkit saved the day, again
But, we are in and the Nipper likes her new room and the fact that she can ride her pushbike around the place, despite the grips and seat having been chewed to bits by the previous owner’s pooch!
A new commute.
The new grand plan to run home started this week!
Dodging the nocturnal (it is pitch black here by 7pm) late rush-hour traffic locura, blind pedestrians and perilous potholes, it is a spicy 7-ish mile shuffle.
There is no ideal way home, I have to pass through La Molina, Surco, San Borja, San Isidro, Surquillo and Miraflores, some of which are not so salubrious. (Cross a street from up-market San Isidro to Surquillo and the pavements go from pavements to off-road-concrete!)
It is 30 miles in the bank though and saves me 2 buses.
To the mountains in 2 weeks time
“Do you like Peruvian food?” is a proper tightrope question for foreigners…
Never has there been a more loaded question in the history of loaded questions!
Peruvian people are very, very, very proud of their food and it is good. I do like a bit of “Arroz con pollo” now and then.
“The best in the World, no?” is not really a question. If you said “no” it would be like arguing with somebody in Blighty about the weather. It is good. Is it the best in the World? I’ve not tried all the food of all the World. I was unwittingly given horsemeat sausages in Mongolia, which wasn’t the best in the World. I mistakenly ate some catfood (thinking it was tuna, it had a fish on the tin) in Russia and that was definitely not the best food in the World. I also ate some kind of testicular soup in Bali and I wouldn’t rush back to eat that.
The thing is that I really miss Blighty food!
Fish and Chips, my Mum’s Stew and Dumplings, Cumberland Sausages, Corn Beef Hash, Lancashire Hotpot, Shepherd’s Pie, Cottage Pie and generally any pie. I miss pies…
Well, I have finally found a place in Lima that may become a regular haunt!
Molly’s is a relatively new-ish Irish Bar in Miraflores. It used to be the old Bierhaus, which was just a big boozer, but the owners of Molly’s really have created something a bit special and unique. A genuine Irish bar.
I hadn’t showed my face there after being asked to leave last Halloween.
Sunday we all had lunch there and it was spot-on
The Nipper enjoyed her first blast on the Old Joanna too!
A Sunday arvo in the boozer with some really good mates was just what the Doctor ordered (and although the beer is absolute nectar I didn’t even have a drink!)
Barrow Raiders corner…
Up against last years champions, Toronto Wolfpack (basically a Canadian all-star/national side), it was a case of “expect the worst and hope for the best”, and if you hope for the best, it can happen!
(Pic courtesy of Barrow RLFC)
An gritty 8-8 draw. I’ll happily take that one point please
(Pic courtesy of Barrow RLFC)
Mid-table obscurity after 2 games, but it is going to be a battle this season and that is better than plum-last!
Onwards and upwards…
To balance the Blighty brass monkey and the Lima languishing weather, check THIS out!
Looks entertaining, can’t see it becoming mainstream too soon though
Have an awesome week.
Johnny, Lina and the Nipper