¡Feliz Día del Maestro!

AustinMaestroVandenPlas

Good morning folks

I trust this finds you in splendid form and that your weekend was full of awesomeness.
Lima is not always an easy madhouse to live in, but as a mate once told me, “don’t just dwell on the positives, live them!”

Let’s just say I’ve had better weeks, but I won’t depress you with all that, so here is a positive round-up of weekly Limeño madness!

Platanos!

Bananas are cheap to buy here, which is good for me, because I love them!

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¡Feliz Día del Maestro!

The 6th of July is “El Día del Maestro/profesor”, (Teacher’s day).

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Now I don’t remember this at school, but that was a l-o-n-g time ago, so I just thought it was a day recently invented by the likes of Clinton’s Cards, but the 6th of July is quite a big thing here.

Most of my FB feed on Thursday was of colleagues getting chocolates and pressies from students, I drew a complete blank, despite some heavy hints!

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It is nice to be appreciated though, and I did get an apple from work :-)

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Thanks to Patty for the pic :-)

There was the annual “Teacher’s Day” party laid on by work, a swanky do at a posh hotel.
The Free Bar was my main worry, after my Christmas Party performance I know that my willpower is strong as steel until it comes to saying “no” to free booze, so I gave it a miss.
(Off the Ale until my birthday too, supposed to be trying to get fit).

Parklife…

Lina was out and about (centre of Lima, a place I avoid like the plague) on Saturday, so I was on Nipper Patrol and the park was a decision already decided.

It’s a bit of a hike with pram, scooter and bairn, but we made it and to the ghastly racket of a Mariachi band, the Wee One tried to break the World Record for time being pushed on a swing!

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During this time the sprinklers were turned on and we were hemmed in to a tiny piece of grass, risking a drowning/drenching for fear of trying to escape.

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Eventually the water was turned off and we went home, where the Nipper made a succulent lunch of Blu Tack for the pair of us :-)

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We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo…

I never told this sad tale, but I once had a one-off date here in Lima, back in the very early days (2004), it wasn’t something that I wanted to do but at the time I just didn’t have the cojones to cancel. (This was all before I met Lina).

My Spanish at the time was even worse than now, so my pre-details of the day were sketchy from the start, but it began with a trip to the zoo, followed by a visit to the cemetery (don’t ask) and then me trying to keep a bloody awful meal down (I was plagued by bad guts back then, and still am now!) It was a day that I couldn’t wait to finish from the very beginning!

The zoo was a surprise/shock. I don’t like zoos, mainly for animal welfare reasons. Some zoos have better conditions than others and I always remember going to Knowsley Safari Park as a bairn and watching wayward monkeys stealing parts off every car that went through.
They seemed pretty happy to be honest (as they were probably on a nice little earner selling parts on to Halfords!)

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The zoo I went to here on that terrible day was pretty grim, but amazingly popular.  The relationship didn’t last much longer than teatime…

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Fast forward to 2017, on Saturday Lina suggested going to a place just out of the city, a place between the ocean and the dusty desert hills; Pachacamac.

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A place first settled around 200 years ago which is now home to a score of overenthusiastic restaurant hawkers (I’d like to know how many get run over in their overenthusiastic “come-in-here” moves) and a small animal park called “La granja de Arriero” (the farm of the Mule Driver!)

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(I was brought up on a farm for a good part of my childhood and lived in the sticks, so I am a bit sceptical about places like this, but it had good reports).

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Apart from pigeons, cockroaches, neighbour’s cockerels and dawgs, there is not a lot of wildlife to be seen where we live, so it was really to show the Nipper that other animals do exist.

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It all made for an interesting day out.

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Goats, sheep, cows, horses, pheasants, peacocks, llamas, alpacas, rabbits, chickens, turtles and ducks were all to be seen, finishing off with a donkey ride.

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The Nipper got to give some milk to a calf and pick a lettuce, so she was happy :-)

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Famous last words…

(“Hip to be crocked” – the sequel!)

Last week I mentioned that I’d been having a bit of bother with my hip, but it was ok to train on, I was wrong! Zero miles in the bank this week and just seven weeks to ANDES RACE!

If I said I was worried, it’d be my understatement of the week/month/year.

I normally put my training into 6 week blocks.
6 weeks – To get fit.
6 more weeks – To get properly fit.
6 more weeks – To get race fit.

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If I’d managed to get one 6 week block in the bag, I’d be happy, but it’s just not happening.
Might need to have a rethink…

Lima Lurgy!

Now it is winter here in the grey city and it seems that everybody is sick.
People blame it on the “cambio de clima” (change of weather), which I contend, (but my contensions are what is causing me most of my bother out here, why can’t I just bite my lip!)

If something was purely opinion, I’d respect it, but the cultural belief here is that “being cold gives you a cold”. Now having studied GCSE Physiology I feel sufficiently medically qualified to confirm that it is not true! You have to come into contact with a virus to get sick, but people won’t have it and I even spotted this myth in one of the Nipper’s story books.

Karma came to bit me fair and squarely on my backside and I have been struck down with the teacher’s nightmare; losing my voice and a head full of mucus!

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It feels like I have been gargling with sulphuric acid and I have been reduced to a squeak. One week into a new cycle at work, I am a bit troubled. The bairn brought it back from school as a present and passed it on to me, Lina has just started now too, so we’re all crook and it’s all my fault for being a disbeliever!

Café Vs. Cops!

Every day I see some rare (although if I see them every day, I guess they are not actually that rare) sights on the roads. Fork-lift-trucks on the Panamericana Highway, overloaded fruit trikes, buses with no lights, minor scrape/collisions stopped in the fast lane waiting for insurance couriers, taxis driving on steel rims (a mere puncture doesn’t stop play) and death-defying mototaxis, but you never actually see any of these wrecks getting pulled by the Policia.

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There are more Police in Peru than any other Latin American country and most of them seem to be traffic cops, who seem to spend most of their time holding up traffic, waving dayglow batons and blowing their whistles non-stop.

The Lima version of CHiPS ride mainly oversize Yamaha XJ900s and diddy Honda Twister 250s. These are the ones who cause the pain to punters…

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Cars, taxis, combis, buses and trucks are to be seen every day pulled up by the two-wheeled boys and girls in jodhpurs, for invisible misdemeanours. An ending which is never going to be a happy one.

I’m not usually a massive fan of café racer style bikes, but I saw one on Tuesday which looked and sounded awesome. It didn’t look like the usual ratty mixed grill of parts, it was very nice.

He looked quite proud of his creation razzing round and round and round the block, until a brace of Policia de Transito had him over the kerb. For some reason he had a full-size car plate, rather than a smaller bike number plate and as there was no room, he’d hung it at 90 degrees. This is a big no-no here, anything to do with documentation has to be just-so and his was 90 degrees out of being just-so. Unlucky!

And finally…

If you have 24 minutes spare this week, watch THIS!
A rare snippet of comedy gold, “The Weekenders”.

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For a briefer version, try THIS.

Have an awesome week :-)

Cheers
Johnny, Lina & the Nipper

p.s. Beware! Mongolian Death Worm spotted in town…

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md mwd

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