Jan 032012

Right now, sitting at my breakfast: A real French baguette, real Dutch Edam cheese, real Peruvian avocado. On the side, real English Earl Grey tea.

I was walking through the Liman district of Barranco, baguette under my arm (I might not be French, but I was feeling very European. Whether I was feeling European and thus put the baguette under my arm, or that I had a baguette under my arm which made me feel Europeans is something I couldn’t say), enjoying the scenery. Barranco is located on the ocean and is populated by artists an musicians. These were then followed by the hip-and-rich, who decided to plonk down some impressive mansions. All in all it makes for some very beautifull walking. Truly, as though pieces of Paris and Berlin picked up in the middle of the night and airlifted to a different continent (I’m sure the people were very surprised when they woke up the next morning: “Sacreblue, Marie! Ve ‘ave Germans across zie street!”)

I’m here in Barranco, as this is where I am home.

Lima is definitely a cosmopolitan city, catering to just about every need you might have. Good food on every street corner, gift-shops standing amiably next to hardware stores, barber shops jostling with huge casinos for space. You can’t get everything here though; I have still to find any trace of good old Dutch “hagelslag” (chocolate sprinkles). Oh, for a taste of home…
On my first pass through Lima (two and a half months ago already!) I stayed for a few days with Mila, her house-mate Pamela and their friend Mariusz (whom I later ran into again in Cuzco, where we proceeded to have some great times and many drinks together (tip: Don’t try to out-drink someone from Poland…) I met Mila through couch-surfing. She even let me hyjack her birthday party to celebrate my own (thanks again for helping me blow out that many candles!)

Some people have been asking me: Have you made any friends for life? Back at PSF I met a lot of people whom I am going to visit again, but stepping through Mila’s door yesterday made me realize the answer: Yes I have made some friends for life!

We had done shopping together and I volunteered to do the cooking (I actually missed cooking. For a limited number of people. 60 is not limited (though in the mathematical sense it is of course.) Dutch mustard cannot be had, but I found something that was close enough.

Spending time with good friends, over the gorgeous smell of Dutch mustard soup slowly coming to perfection. A glass of aged Nicaragua rum within easy reach, Leaf (Dutch band) playing softly in the background. In this strange city on this far-away continent. I realize: I am home!