My trip in a few words: Bob Dylan, sickness, traffic, burn, discomfort, sniffing, best idea, weakness, HDR photographs, tias all over the place
So I adjusted my goal halfway through my recent visit to Peru, which was initially to return alive. Then it became to return without becoming violently ill. While I did achieve that, I also succeeded in bringing back a nasty stomach bug and a respiratory cold I must’ve caught on the airplane.
Peru is on the verge of a key political election I learned. It was hard to miss all of the billboards erected literally every 10 feet along every road within a 300 km radius of Lima (yes, I have learned to reluctantly embrace the metric system. I now know that when you are going 140 km/hr it is pretty fast, but not as sensationally swift as it sounds).
The interesting part of these political signs was that they were somewhat creative. A few candidates made their billboards as 10 to 50 foot color images of themselves giving the thumbs up sign, pointing to a message on their shirt or otherwise trying to appear stately, but really only managing to look mildly Machiavellian or tepidly nefarious.
Then there was “fake-strong-nerdy guy” as named by my kids, who for some reason thought it would be prudent to pose in a sleeveless muscle shirt, arms crossed for the sole purpose of augmenting the perceived size of his biceps.
Yet for some reason he forgot to remove his glasses. Was that an attempt to look strong and smart at the same time? Maybe the people of Peru will think that they can not only bank on him for strong political leadership but also get some advice on superset reps, while knocking back a couple games of chess debating PPK’s eligibility to be president, being that he is not a Peruvian citizen (in fact he had dual citizenship in the US until he renounced it March 29 while I was there).
A funny side note: PPK is his initials (Pedro Pable Kuczynski) and is pronounced Pay-Pay-Ka in Spanish. But those that don’t like him refer to him affectionately as KKP, pronounced Ka-Ka-Pay. Ka-ka, get it? Kaka. Poop. OK, that was probably lost in the translation.
In a subsequent post I will share some AWESOME HDR shots I took that absolutely blew me away. Oh, and I’ll include Crazy Hook guy. I tried the whole time to get a shot of him and I almost didn’t – I got it on the ride to the airport and it is still on my camera so I can’t post it yet. Hook Guy only has one hand and in his billboard he appears to be making a point (no pun intended) with his hooked hand – but for some reason, he is looking right at the hook. The ad feels like it is saying, “vote for this guy. He may be crazy, he may not be able to run this country, but he HAS A HOOK FOR A HAND! Cool!!” Plus, he’s on Ka-Ka-Pay’s ticket!
Other random thoughts I had while I was there:
• Bob Dylan’s “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” sounds a lot like the Beatles “Long, Long, Long”. Based on when the songs were written, I was assuming George Harrison lifted it from Bob. This is actually confirmed by George himself in his autobiography and here!
• I don’t know why there are lines painted on streets in Peru. From what I can tell, no one seems to be able to see them
• It is rejuvenating and worthwhile for a foreigner to pay attention to local customs in a faraway place to see a different way of solving the same problems that exist at home. It’s a good place to get ideas
• Check out this website for getting or giving funding for great new ideas – http://www.kickstarter.com• I realized as I struggled to communicate in Spanish that the language is not my problem. When I speak, my thoughts do not mature AS I speak. I get a thought, develop it in my mind, then speak it as a non-dynamic, immutable message that is very susceptible to interruption and broken direction. The key is to be able to speak what you’re thinking while having another track of your mind multi-tasking in the background and developing more thoughts and/or reacting to the reactions of those you are communicating with. It is why I’m good with email communications but not real-time conversations
• One night I was sniffing so much it must have sounded as if I was crying. They probably have a nickname for me like the “Olfateador de Noche” or something
• The traffic patterns are different in Peru. You know how when you are in the backseat driving home from a late night and you are half asleep…you can tell even with your eyes closed how close you are to home based on whether you are turning a lot or going fast or stopping frequently. There is no recognizable pattern in Peru because all of the roads are the same size with very few major arteries. So you’re just as likely to go only 20-25 MPH and turn frequently when you’re less than halfway home as you are when you’re right around the corner from home. It is confusing and discouraging at the same time