As another Sunday draws to a close, and the impending work-week reminds me of how much stuff I just never seem to get done, I am once again drawn to updating my blog rather than read yet another article from a seemingly endless list I have for my classes.
This weekend ended up being pretty fun, when all’s said and done, and probably could be considered the epitome of my ‘social life’ to date in Lima. (I realize that is horrendously pathetic. Deal with it…I do.)
Thursday night saw nothing but me going to bed at 10:30 as a result of Wednesday night’s revelry, getting a full 9-ish hours of sleep for what felt like the first time in ages. Thus, the excitement didn’t start until Friday, when I got a text from a German student I had met at Wednesday night’s mixer asking if I’d like to join him & some friends to hangout and eventually go to a bar or two. Unfortunately, I live in an absolute bunker and get zero cellular service in my room and most of the rest of the apartment, so every time he sent me a text it took me about two hours to get it until I finally moved right up against the huge glass window in the living room. (Then it only took 20 minutes. Sigh.) That being the case I missed the early part of their evening when they had dinner at a local Arabic restaurant (not my usual hangout, but one I hope to re-visit…the owners, when I asked, are from Palestine and though I didn’t get to eat there, I saw a case full of maamoul (one of my FAVORITE Arabic sweets) by the cash register when I was on my way out…) but joined them there at the end where we sat and talked for an hour or so. With my German friend was a lovely Indonesian student who currently studies in Singapore, and I may have to refer to her as Model #2 because she, like my Norwegian friend, is pretty much stop-and-stare gorgeous. Oy. Anyway, we were later joined by another of their friends, a Hungarian student, whose name I will probably never be able to pronounce correctly. Alas.
After leaving the Arabic restaurant, we made a quick stop at Manolo’s (corner of Calle José Larco & Calle Schell) on our way to the bars. I took a picture of this bakery/cafe LONG ago, because I knew I was going to want to visit. How did I know? Because never ONCE have I passed this place in the evenings without it being absolutely jam-packed with customers. Now I know why…
The churros, baby. I mean, I think they’re reputed to have all kinds of marvelous foods, but apparently their churros are some of the best in the area, and after my first bite into the fried, sugar-coated, manjarblanco-filled warmth, I know why. My churro was so crisp on the outside, but gooey and creamy inside and perfectly delicious…and only 4 soles (about $1.53) so I will CERTAINLY be stopping by again in the future. Hopefully with my camera, which I did not have with me when actually eating there. Other flavors include chocolate and I think either vanilla or lemon…how I cannot remember between those two, I do not know. They aren’t particularly similar.
Anyway, after that we made our way to a club/bar not far from my usual pathways but on a street whose name I do not know. I promise to check in on this for you all later, but in the middle of the night I wasn’t able to see overwhelmingly well. Also, I feel relatively certain that the name of the club was something like Kulca, but I can’t find it anywhere on the web…so I’ll have to basically just walk back there at some point this week and replace this rambling paragraph with a simple sentence of facts. Sigh. Moving on, I’m not actually sure how we were allowed into this club, as there was a bouncer who asked something about being on the “list” and my Hungarian friend gave a sort of half-coherent answer about having come the week before. (True.) We assumed the list was for a private party, because when we got inside that seemed to be what was going on. Nobody paid us too much mind, however. I definitely like this place–it had an upper story, although that night it was ‘VIP only’ for the party, and the downstairs had a bar, more or less ample dance space, but also a lot of couches set up in conversational areas for those who wanted to take a break from dancing (or, also optional, just NOT dance). We left our coats in one of those spaces while dancing, by the way, and I felt pretty comfortable doing that. (I didn’t have a purse this night, so my coat had my phone in it…always want to be careful when leaving things around in Lima.) My Indonesian friend left early as she was tired, so the other two and I stayed and danced for a good hour and a half or so. The music was a mix of American & Latin American, and I was overall pretty enthused with the choices. (Also, fun lights flashing. :D)
My new-found Hungarian friend seems to be a bit of a party animal, however, so in the end he decided we should leave to go check out even more clubs. Unfortunately, his choice happened to be the same stinkin’ club in La Calle de las Pizzas that I had visited once before and immediately left. This time we stuck around for all of 20 minutes before I asked them if we could just go, because that place is just awkward…full of old men, prostitutes (well, so I’m told) and people dancing in ways that I do not care to try for myself. At this point it was rather late at night, so I decided to call it a day and head home, very much satisfied with my new friends and the evening’s events. (By the way, these three all go to a different university–so I never would have met them otherwise and I’m quite thrilled about this chance!)
Saturday brought an inability to concentrate that cost me most of the morning’s hours in which I could have been working. I can’t quite remember why now, but sometimes I just get fixated on random unimportant subjects and can’t think of anything else. So, during the afternoon I just gave up, and went out to do some shopping for the evening’s grand event: The birthday of one of my Japanese friends! The party was being held at another student’s apartment, so invitees were asked to bring food (pre-prepared). Normally, I would JUMP on this chance to cook or bake something spectacular, as I love to do. Unfortunately, though Laura probably would’ve let me cook something if I’d asked, she just really doesn’t have the kitchen equipment to make a lot of the foods I would have chosen–she mostly does stovetop cooking in small metal pots. So, I went with the old snack solution, and loaded up on pretzels and vanilla wafer-esque cookies with nutella and a small case of manjarblanco for dipping. (Originally thought about buying a cake, but I’m so glad I didn’t–two other students did!) Luckily, both were well-received, even amongst the PLETHORA of home-made goods that other students had brought!
Most of the other people at the birthday party were Peruvian, Japanese, or Korean, so all had prepared their very best dishes from their home countries…I can only leave you to imagine how much I died and went to heaven. I am HUGE fan of Korean food, and love Japanese as well, and when someone brought rotisserie chickens with ají sauce to dip in? Yeah, let’s just say I had a major food-baby going on afterwards…I met a loooot of new people, and unfortunately that led to me pretty much not remembering anyone’s name, but they were all really fun to talk to and are slowly adding me one by one on facebook, so I’ll figure things out.
The birthday boy himself didn’t know about this party, so we waited in ambush with silly string and laser lights to surprise him…for an hour. Yes, that’s right…we’re still not sure how, since the party planner was the one bringing him, but they took an extra hour PAST the designated surprise time to get there. This was a little frustrating for me, because the party was held in Pueblo Libre, more or less where the university is. This is an hour from where I live, and thus I knew I was going to have to leave earlier than I would have preferred to get home safely without having to call a private taxi. (Still avoiding that. Heh.) So, the later he was, the less time I had to celebrate with him. But in the end he arrived, was completely surprised and grateful, and we all had fun. The Japanese students made sure there was Sake to be had, so I sampled some of that for the first time…strong stuff (and therefore, not my favorite) but with all of the food I had eaten I can happily say…it didn’t even touch me.
…The other partygoers, amusingly enough, somehow didn’t seem to have the same luck, and I had the great pleasure of watching several of my adorable Asian friends turn BRIGHT red after the smallest amounts of sake and giggling excessively for the rest of the night. It was cute. 🙂 After the food was devoured we turned on some music and danced for a while, and they were preparing for a few wild rounds of batting a piñata when I decided it was time for me to leave. I almost stayed, as a new Peruvian friend offered to let me sleep there, but I knew I’d rather sleep in my own bed and wake up with fresh clothes to wear, so I just headed home.
Today was fairly quiet, a bit of gym time, reading, and I popped in to Ali Baba’s to see my Arabic friend and have tea for a little while. Tomorrow brings another day and another week, which hopefully I will survive seeing as the piles of readings just keep getting larger…and despite all of this social-action, I really DID do some homework this weekend. It just never ends!
I feel as though this post probably wasn’t too thrilling, so apologies for that, but that’s what I’ve been up to for the past few days…until next time!