Sunday, August 26, 2012

Otro dirección!

Here's a few highlights of Peru so far:

I narrowly escaped an international crisis this morning when I failed to understand what Ursula's daughter wanted for breakfast.

Her brother (dressed as un policia, of course) got some cereal and yogurt and apparently she wanted some too. Simple enough, right? Well, not in my case. It was this liquid-y, drinkable yogurt, so I thought she wanted a glass of it to drink.

No, no she did not.

I poured a cup of yogurt for her which set off screams heard all throughout the house, after which my co-worker came down and had to repair my failed attempts at international diplomacy by giving her a bowl and cereal. I ran away upstairs to google more Spanish phrases besides, "No comprendo! Lo siento!"

The other night I went to Mass alone and took a cab home, which is a little difficult with my inability to verbally communicate. Ursula had written out directions I should give the cab driver, which I did. Halfway through the ride, I thought I saw the park that was right next to her house, but instead of turning right, we continued straight and went in (what I thought was) the exact opposite direction of Ursula's casa.

"Senor, mi casa es otro direction."

"No, no senorita. Lince, si?"

"Uhh, si ... pero, mi casa es otro dirección."

Then he went on to explain that I was an idiot for thinking I knew the way better than he did. Well, not really, but that's what I imagined.

A few more minutes of driving in what I thought was the wrong direction and I began to enter mini panic mode. What if he drops me off at the wrong place and I have to wander the streets of Lima alone and beg for food? Now I'm going to get taken and sent to a commune in the Andes! OK, quick, think of all the self-defense moves you know ... How will I survive on cuy alone?

At which point, we pulled up to Ursula's house.

"Oh, gracias, senor ... lo siento ..."

"De nada, you're just a stupid tourist with no understanding of any of the local culture, language or customs. I forgive you."

Actually, I think it was something about there being lots of traffic and it was night, but that's what I would have said. Thankfully, Peruvians are much more gracious and understanding than I am.

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