Locked in Time

Lon looked at his watch once again. “They said it would start at 1:00 PM.” He looked at the crowded, jammed freeway with frustration. “We’ll never make it.” I shook my head in amazement. Lon has lived a good part of his life in Peru. He is an American and that is the problem. I told him that he ought to know by now it is rare that anything starts even close to the designated time in Peru.  That is true. He ought to know it, but the American value of punctuality has been so deeply ingrained that he feels … Continue reading Locked in Time

To Be Foreign

I won’t pretend to be an expert on being a foreigner. That is a very personal experience. I also wouldn’t want to give the impression that I know how anybody else feels. However, I have been a foreigner for much of my life and in a number of countries. So I know a little about myself being a foreigner. Unlike others who find themselves refugees from climate change or political unrest, I am a voluntary foreigner. We are called expatriates.  First and foremost, to me being a foreigner means freedom. Staying in one culture all your life means restricting yourself … Continue reading To Be Foreign

The Touch

My dog and I were walking the streets of Barranco , district of Lima, Peru, as usual. A woman with a young child approached from the opposite direction.  The little girl  hid behind her mother’s skirts. She wanted to pet the big dog, but was a little scared. Her mother encouraged her ( in Spanish, of course). “Go ahead. It is OK. He is very gentle.” Falcor, my dog, seemed to understand. He approached the little girl and nuzzled her softly. At first she backed away. Finally , she reached out   and stroked the soft fur of my dog. … Continue reading The Touch

The Lucuuma Tree

We have a lucuma tree in front of our house. That is a great privilege and a problem.  I will tell you why later. Before coming to Peru, I had never heard of this tree and the fruit it bears.  The fruit is round with a thick skin and is about the size and color of a small green apple. Inside, the meat is a yellowish orange around a good-sized seed. The taste, which is unique and which I didn’t care for at first, is mildly sweet with a grainy texture. More than the taste, it was the texture that … Continue reading The Lucuuma Tree

Getting Around in Lima

THE PURPLE BUS In Lima, the buses have different colors. I often ride the purple buses. They take me to and from the part of Lima where I work. I’m unusual. Many people I know never ride the bus. It is just for poor people they say. I guess they feel uncomfortable with poor people. Or they don’t want to be identified as poor. I don’t care about any of that. Those who feel that way will take a taxi or drive their own car. I gave up driving long ago as too stressful and too expensive. Most of the time, I also ride in a taxi. But, reflecting … Continue reading Getting Around in Lima