Saturday, August 17, 2013

The challenge of not speaking Spanish in Lima

I ventured out for lunch on my own, in search of the supermarket. I couldn't find the supermarket, which would have required minimal Spanish speaking skills. But I did find a pizzeria, which required an unbelievable amount of Spanish. Note to self: "sin carne" is an incredibly useful phrase if you don't want meat. "Tienes una botella de agua" is also proving very useful, as I am constantly thirsty. After speaking to two waitresses in terrible Spanglish, I was able to order a cheese pizza that came with a bottle of water and garlic bread! Feeling very accomplished, even though the pizza tasted terrible (cheese in Peru is horrendous)!

My Spanish with Ali isn't completely terrible. I am usually able to patch together sentences... But when I go to speak to anyone else, even if I know the exact sentence I should say, I totally freeze up out of miedo (fear) and ended up just staring at the waiter with a blank expression on my face.

Before leaving the hostel on my solo adventure, I talked to the people we are sharing a room with. They just came from Ecuador and northern Peru and said it was wonderful - few tourists, cheap hostels, and great scenery.

In the afternoon, Ali went on a shopping spree at a place called Floam. I practiced my Spanish while she shopped. The clothes seemed to be perfectly made for Ali's miniature stature. Then, we went to Las Veci Nas for dinner. It was an organic restaurant tucked behind layers of stores in front of it, which included a cafe, a bakery, and a thrift store. The 4 different kinds of stores within this one space all shared a common bohemian feel with a theme of upcycling and environmental consciousness. I got a quinoa burger and Ali ordered risotto. Both were delicious, but the best part of the restaurant was definitely the atmosphere.

On the walk home, I stopped in for an alfajor cookie from a pastry shop/corner store. It was delicious. Peru is known for their dulce de leche (carmel), so I had to try the cookie, even though I was already pretty full.

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