Went out Sunday with Francesco and Cristina to Callao
, the large district near the airport that has a port and naval academy, fortress and pier. To get there we had to pass through the more dangerous part of Callao, typical of every port city I guess, and enter into the wealthier area near the water. Francesco informed me that Callao was the main port of entry for all the immigrants to Peru, especially Italians and blacks and Chinese in the 1800s. He said that even today, the locals possess a wider genetic mix than the typical Lima population, and that the girls are prettiest there (didn’t see evidence of that though). The nicer area is entered through a single gate with guard who apparently assesses the visitor by eye whether to let them in or not.
We took a stroll along the water to the pier and Francesco expounded on history, the academy, the port, the climate, geography and about anything else that came up. By later afternoon I was so impressed by the range of his knowledge that I jokingly told Cristina that I was going to kidnap him as my personal guide to Peru. I finally met my match! He really is a walking encyclopedia and I was in awe of the range of his knowledge. So we passed a very pleasant afternoon eating fish and ceviche, walking out onto the pier, examining the naval and military memorials, and just talking and relaxing. It was a wonderful afternoon and I so enjoyed spending it in the company of Cristina and Francesco or “Fico” as Cristina calls him.
When I got back to the residence I was experiencing a headache that got worse and worse and resisted any attempt at medication.
Street near port
I finally realized that I had a migraine. I felt isolated and worse in my dark room and I got up when I heard fireworks going off. It was the supermarket chain Wong setting off their early display in the center of Miraflores
. The fiestas patrias are coming up on the 28th of July, their Independence Day, but these were in anticipation. I joined Etienne and Rosangela on the roof to watch some of it and then Rosangela asked me if I wanted to go with them to the hardware store to get a part for a hot water heater. I figured that it was better to suffer in company than alone, so I went with them. The hardware store was like a Home Depot, except that last time I was there in the States they weren’t playing salsa, ha ha. Little clues that remind you that you’re in a different country! My head started to feel better and by the time we got to the ice cream place that Rosangela was craving, I felt good enough for cone myself and Rosangela even bought it for me! She has been so great to me during the length of my stay, offering rides, advice, contacts, anything I could want. I feel completely pampered by her care.