1 year, 6 months days 21 days.
I never imagined I would be writing that number when I arrived in Lima in January of 2016. In fact I thought I would only be staying here for 6 months, but I guess South America had other ideas for me and, as it would appear, I am still here.
Life is all about the consistent peaks and plummets. We wouldn’t learn or grow without them; and I sure have had a chance to pass through some incredible peaks and some challenging plummets while I have been here.
Evidently, to get to the peak you are always going to have to plummet to some extent.
From my personal experience I find that, as you keep moving forward and learning, your perspective changes, and where you used to associate these plummet’s with falling hard, the effect that they have on you diminishes, and they just become a part of the learning process.
(Ok I have definitely reached the limit of the word ‘plummit’ for this post, nice word though. PLUMMIT, enjoy saying that a few times before you continue reading)
It is interesting to begin writing this blog again after so long.
I have actually been trying to write this post for months, but I felt it quite difficult to finish.
I felt that I didn’t have a lot that was worth saying. Words become redundant after a while. There is so much talk in our modern day society, so much talk that has no depth. Words that are simply put out there to create controversy, negativity, or even just divert attention from what the real issues are.
Although ironically I do seem to have just written a rather pointless paragraph on the redundancy of words, so I think we are all guilty of it at some point or other.
In spite of all these sentiments about not having much worth saying, I am grateful to the fresh faced Sam that arrived in Peru and poured her heart and experiences into this blog as she began a new life in Lima.
Reflection is a powerful thing.
Goodness, I remember when I first arrived with my lackluster university Spanish at the Jorge Chavez airport in Lima, situated in Callao, (which for the record, is not the safest nor prettiest first impression of Peru for anyone visiting for the first time).
I distinctly remember thinking ‘What an earth am I doing…have I made a mistake?’.
I mustered the closest thing I could get to a smile, which I believed probably looked a little like this.
As it turns out, despite the uneasy taxi ride, I kinda liked it here, and throughout all the challenges of starting a new life across the other side of the world, I found my groove and started to really feel like I was putting myself to good use.
Living in Peru has given me many incredible opportunities. I absolutely love being immersed in different cultures and really getting to know a way of life that is, more often than not, worlds away from where I have come from in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia.
This has been the most liberating and confronting year and a half of my life, and I wouldn’t change any moment of it for the world.
It is safe to say there has been a lot of crazy, hilarious situations that I have managed to get myself into over my time here, so I decided to pick one of my favorites to tell you all.
To help you visualize this I have done a few sketches. So buckle yourselves in for a crazy tale about mandarins.
It’s hard to believe, but this is one of those stories that really restores your faith in destiny, fate and humanity.
LA HISTORIA DE LAS MANDARINAS/THE STORY OF THE MANDARINS
So it all started on a searing hot Saturday morning on the way back from a cricket class when something suddenly caught my eye.
A special deal on mandarins!
3kg for S/. 5 ! What a bargain!
I decided it would be a great idea to purchase this substantial amount of mandarins.
I paid the lovely lady at the market her 5 sol and continued on my way home, feeling the weight of the extra baggage in the extremely humid Lima summer as I stood waiting for the bus.
Suddenly my bus shot straight past me without stopping!
In a sweaty flustered mess, I began to sprint after it, ever so slightly regretting my purchase.
I felt the weight of the mandarins jolting up and down as I ran after the bus like a schoolkid with an over sized backpack.
I looked back to see a gang of zombie-like humans running after me.
My stomach dropped,
I had to get away.
I started to sprint faster, hoping the bus driver would hear my cries and stop the bus.
I finally decided to give up, there was no hope. The bus sped off as I keeled over, out of breath, awaiting my fate.
I could feel a clammy breath on the back of my neck.
I knew it was time to surrender.
As I turned around, one of the humans was groaning louder than the others. He finally got close enough for me to make out a word which I was familiar with.
Within seconds, the zombies started morphing into real human beings before my disillusioned eyes as I stood, catching my breath.
My world was spinning as the puzzle pieces started to come together.
I had not realized that in my rush for the bus, the zip of my backpack had burst open under the pressure of the mandarins.
I turned around slowly, and saw something that was quite out of the ordinary.
3 wheezing men, each with an armful of mandarins, standing in front of me.
I noticed that a crowd had built up from the bus stop, as though they were waiting to see which caballero the gringa would pick to be her Peruvian husband.
I stood there, trying to figure out what on earth I should do with these three
So, as you can probably guess, I wasn’t able to choose between them, so I chose to take all three as my Peruvian husbands, and we are now living happily in a cute apartment with 3 adorable french bulldogs.
They are quite the handymen so I even got them to build me a cricket net in the backyard!
Living the dream!
So there you go, there is the explanation as to why I’m still here in Peru.
True love knows no bounds!
Ok so maybe I exaggerated the story a little towards the end…. there may be an alternative ending where I shared an excessive amount of mandarins with the nice men as a reward for their kindness and went on my way back home.
But you can dream can’t you 😉