Friday, July 29, 2011

Micros y ceviche

I started out my day at 9 a.m. with a short introduction of the program and introductions of the rest of the students in the program.  The 13 other students and I started our morning with a Spanish placement exam.  It's not exactly the thing you want to be doing the morning after a long day of traveling, but it had to be done.  We will be placed in different levels of Spanish and we will start our 2-week intensive language course on Monday!  We took our first micro (aka a microbus) ride, which is equivalent to a city bus but it is smaller and they have no specific route.  You pay as you get on and tell them where you're going, but they might not always remember so it's your job to say (and by say I mean yell) "Baja" and they will stop for you.  I'm definitely not ready to take those alone yet in fears that I will become lost and won't know when to yell.  The crazy micro took us to a restaurant for lunch.  We ate a buffet styled lunch so I was able to try some new things without commiting to only ordering one thing on a menu.  Of course I got to try ceviche which is one of Peru's main dishes here.  It's a mixture of seafoods with like a sort of marinade of lime and limon on top.  To be honest I didn't like it.  I'm not a big fan of seafood anyway, but surprisingly it wasn't the seafood that turned me off as much as the interesting flavor of the marinade.  But don't worry, I didn't starve.  I had the usually rice and potatoes and of course the desserts didn't steer me wrong!  We were also able to watch a dance performance in the middle of the restaurant performed by two men and women.  It was entertaining!  After lunch, we took a bus tour of different parts of Lima.  Lima has different districts and today we toured four southern districts.  Lima is right on a bay so the coast is in a horseshoe shape.  Also another interesting thing is that Lima actually sits on a cliff.  There's a lower road that travels along the beaches, but on the other side of the road there is literally a cliff!  See....
So that's pretty cool, right?  After the tour we had a bit more of orienting then we were let free.  One thing (out of many) that is different from the United States is that Peruvians eat later and longer!  We ate lunch at 2 p.m. and I didn't eat dinner until 9 p.m.  Also, at lunch we sat at the restaurant for almost 2 hours and at first I didn't know why, I just thought maybe we were waiting for our tour bus or something.  Well I was wrong.  Lo and behold at dinner we sat at the restaurant again for 2 hours.  It's weird coming from the states where at restaurants you usually have your bill before you get your food, where they turn the air conditioner on so you leave sooner, and where they practically kick you out to a place where you just sit there for so long after you're done eating.  That is definitely going to take some getting used to!!  It really shows how much more relaxed Peruvians are about time and how busy Americns really are.  It was so hard to just sit there for so long after eating because obviously that's not what I'm used to.  In the U.S., everyone is always on the go and people never stop.  So I guess what I challenge you guys to do is to just have a nice meal with your family and/or friends and relax.  I don't recommend doing it at a restaurant because it might irritate them, but still, take the time to stop moving once in awhile and don't miss out on the people right in front of you.


  1. Oh yeah, everywhere else in the world seems to have long meals. So get used to spending half your waking hours sitting down for meals!

    Hopefully some of those meals will have good orange juice :-)

  2. Porfa, don't give up on the ceviche just yet! Give it another try at some point (at a different restaurant, of course), especially if you didn't like the combination of flavors from the citrus...

  3. Tim, the orange juice is magnificent!! They freshly squeeze it everyday (I'm being spoiled). Erik, I promise I will give ceviche another try at some point in time.