Thursday 21 December 2006
Catching up on...
The last thing I did in Huaraz before I left was window shop in all the stores with the latest Christmas bling. I found myself looking at a wall of Barbies and other kids´ toys, kind of nostalgic. It`s amazing how much of Western culture has pervaded the rest of the world. Well, the cities, anyway. In fact, the movies they show even on the local buses are always Hollywood flicks dubbed over in Spanish. Western music is ubiquitous as well, though not as important as the local reggaton and traditional stuff. All the trendy boys wear Billabong t-shirts and Adidas shoes; the girls, like at home, wear hip-hugger jeans 2 sizes too small so that no matter how skinny or fat they are their flub hangs over the sides. And of course Coca-Cola, so present I almost forget to mention it, is the drink of choice even if you´re not consciously choosing it: they own Sprite, Fanta, Inca Kola, and most of the water that`s sold here. Thank heavens there wasn`t a Burger King in Huaraz.
What I noticed about the very modern-but-not-disgustingly-so Trujillo was that everyone was a little better looking, a little healthier and slimmer, a little wealthier than much of Perú. I saw a lot of kids wearing glasses. I don`t know where the money comes from, but it`s a very nice city.
I had a bit of a whirlwind day there yesterday. I got in from Huaraz at about 7am, checked into a hostel, showered, and set out again Indiana Jones style to see some cool archaeological sites. The first place I went was Huaca de la Luna, a religious temple from the Moche people who predate the Incas. It`s a fascinating place, build like a pyramid completely out of mud bricks. Over the years the Moche people built new layers on top, so it has 5 in total, but it`s still a bit of a mystery because in order for archeologists to see what the under layers look like they`d have to destroy the previous ones.
Oh! The greatest things about the Luna site was the coloured depictions of the deity on the walls - he looks exactly like Aku from the cartoon Samurai Jack!!
The Moche deity is the dude on the top right of this page
This is Aku from Samurai Jack
After that I visited Chan Chan, a massive city of mud brick just outside of Trujillo. Getting into the site I had a bit of a scuffle with one of the optional guides. He was trying to rip me off big time, but I`ve been travelling long enough to know when that`s happening. I got pissed off needless to say and he wouldn`t look me in the eye after that. So I happily wakled the site alone with a little map and it was so interesting and full of surprises. I can`t describe it without going into detail, but it`s quite an impressive piece of architecture. These sites are so well preserved because they were covered in sand for years.
Then last night I went out for drinks with this Peruvian guy, Manuel, I met on the plaza. He made the excuse that he wanted to practice his English, that he thought of me like a little sister, presumably so I would know it was just as friends. And it was nice at first and we had a good conversation, but then, as usual, it turned into one of those nightmares where all he says is ¨I feel so special that I´m having this drink with you¨ and ¨You have such beautiful eyes, they project peace¨, ¨I feel so calm with you¨, ¨You are a very beautiful, nice girl¨, even - get this - ¨Can I be your knight, my princess¨. All this or something like it no less than 10 times in the course of an hour, not to mention wanting to hug me every 5 minutes, and despite the fact that I told him that I wasn`t available and wasn`t interested. Sheesh! So by the end I was just annoyed that we couldn`t have a normal conversation and I went home. I think it`s actually impossible to be friends with a local Peruvian guy. Ridiculous! I never had that problem in Bolivia.
So anyway, I stayed one night there in Trujillo and the next day, today, I hopped on a bus the 4 short hours to Chiclayo.
I`ve only been here for a few hours, but it, too, seems like a nice city. Tomorrow morning I`m going to get a local bus to a neighbouring town for another archeological site, and in the evening I`ll get an overnight bus to Máncora with time enough (hopefully) to settle there for Christmas.
It crossed my mind today that maybe I should just pretend there is no such thing as Christmas, just keep on travelling and do things like I always do. It might make it easier for me that way. Hopefully Máncora will be a magical place with many new friends and warm feelings all around.