Greek Orthodox Chapel
I didn't want to drag myself out of bed but I was up anyway before the alarm rang and I knew I wouldn't be able to skip church. I felt better as I got ready and Grisel was waiting for me. She knows the area where I'm staying because her aunt lives just around the corner. She had a taxi waiting and we left for the Greek Orthodox church on La Marina, not far from where Sandra lives. We found it ok and there was a nice sense of calm there to counteract the noise of the street, even on a Sunday morning. I prayed and walked around looking at all the icons but time went by and the mass hadn't started. I asked the lady sitting near me if I had the wrong time that mass was supposed to start. She went to check and said that the priest was sick and wouldn't say mass.
Greek Orthodox Chapel
I was disappointed, but there was nothing to do. So Grisel called her mom and told her we were on our way back for lunch early.
When we arrived, Grisel's mom sent us out for some pisco brandy and coke and I needed batteries for my camera, so we went to the corner shop. When we came back, her mom was preparing a cocktail with Algorobina and pisco, cream and something else I can't remember. Algorobina is made from the sap of a tree from northern Peru. It's a syrupy dark sweetish tonic that is good for many ailments but it tastes good by itself. The cocktail was creamy and dark and frothy and simply delicious. It's hard to describe the taste. Something in between toffee and caramel but with a darker background.
I'd say almost like molasses but sweeter and not as thick. Anyway, it was delicious but if I drank more it would have filled me up and there was the lunch to have. 1st course was a soup called Chupe de Papa. Pureed potato (papa) with an aromatic leaf or herb in it, and pieces of egg that had been dropped in and cooked in the soup, something like Greek avgalemono in the way the egg was cooked, or Italian straciatella. There was a bowl of chanqua, or toasted corn kernels, to garnish the soup. Then there was a thin filet of beef, quickly pan cooked and some spaghetti with huancaina sauce. This sauce is most often put over cooked cold potatoes and garnished with an egg. The sauce is made from blending milk and white cheese with mild yellow aji chile and a bit of oil.
The chile gives it the lovely yellow color. For dessert we had lucuma ice cream. Lucuma is a fruit from the jungle and the taste is something like a combination between a peach and apricot but sweeter. I had it again on Monday as yogurt flavoring and it was hands down the most amazing yogurt I've ever eaten. Every time I had a spoonful I was amazed at the taste and craved more. Words can't describe the sensation. I can't get over lucuma! Then Grisel's mom brewed some coffee and set it in a cruet on the table. I was a bit puzzled. Her brother poured some hot water in my mug and I just sat there not understanding. The wanted me to mix a bit of coffee with the hot water! I explained that I drink mugs of brewed espresso at home and they laughed and said that most poeple here drink it weaker like that.
Greek Orthodox Chapel
The coffee was from Cajamarca
and that area is kwown for their coffee. In fact it was excellent. We had nice conversation. Grisel's mom is from Cajamarca, where there is more Spanish influence. The people there have lighter skin and lighter eyes (in fact, Grisel's mother doesn't look typical Peruvian) and they are known for their cows and having excellent dairy products. Her father is from the coast and is in excellent health as he celebrates his 80th birthday this year. I would never have guessed him to be over 65 or so!
I wanted to just stay at the residence and nap but the finals for the Copa America were taking place at 4 pm and I didn't want to miss the big game between Brazil and Argentina.
I've voiced my feelings about Argentina's team so even though Brazil isn't my favorite, I was rooting for them more because I so dislike Argentina's team. I slipped into the soccer restaurant/bar near the residence and the manager came over to ask if I had reservations. They were very adamant about it but I said I didn't know I needed one. One of the waiters went around and looked and found me a spare seat at a table in a side room. When I was ushered in, they turned (all in yellow and green jerseys and looking very serious) and asked me, "Argentina?" "Brazil?". Like I was going to respond Argentina at that moment even if I were a fan!! I said, "Argentina? NOOOO, BRAZIL!!!" They smiled and laughed and I took my seat.
Corner comidor with prix fixe menu
It was about 15 minutes into the first half and Brazil had already scored so they were in a good mood. I was glued to the tv and was enjoying every bit of the game. It felt like world cup soccer again, being totally in the moment. I guess I really am a fan of this game? ha ha. Well, when Brazil came down to strike and the Argentinean defender slid to kick it away but put it into his own goal instead, all pandemonium broke loose. The Brazilians were yelling and blowing their whistles and shouting and cheering and making fun of the Argentianeans. They were singing "No lloras por mi Argentina" (Don't cry for me Argentina) in the direction of the few white and blue fans in the place and hooting and hollering. I couldn't help it.
.I was cutting loose too. It was sweet revenge for the arrogant behavior of the Argentineans when they beat Peru so badly and rubbed it in their face. To score a goal against yourself...the justic couldn't have been more poetic. It was only icing on the cake when Brazil scored again later in the 2nd half and that's how it ended 3-0. The Brazilians were in Lima
on job assignment for a telecommunications company and I was talking to one of them about my travel and their work and their country and such. It was a really nice time. I was kicking myself for not bringing my camera but it was a good lesson to be learned. Anyway, I have the memories. That was the end of my night. I got a sandwich and a few things from the grocery on my way back and just had a quiet evening.