Yesterday Omar and I went to a place called "Canta" and to a camping/picnic area to spend the day. It was a beautiful place in the mountains, and apparently everyone else in Lima thought so, too, because it was overrun with tents, people, and dogs. We took Celeste and Omar's friends, Rosa and Flover (whose name, I'm ashamed to say, I thought was Flobert and I laughed every time I thought about it), and their 3 kids. All the way up and back down the mountain side, Flover taught his kids about the land formations, the farmers we saw who were still using their horse-drawn plows, explaining why the river water was brown and why it was loaded with silt, why the early Incan farmers made the terraces that are still visible and sometimes used today. It was quite gratifying and wonderful to hear him give credit to the farmers: "thanks to these gentlemen, by their sweat and pain, we have food to eat", something one rarely hears any more. Rosa cooked food (fish...uuggghhh) and brought enough to feed the Chinese army. We gave Celeste her first experience on the leash. She has a little harness to wear and a short leash to hook onto it. After she had a tantrum and decided that she was NOT going to walk, she sat down and we continued to walk. Celeste slid along on her butt for a couple of feet, then tried to fight it, then gave in and reluctantly trudged along behind us. All this resulted in her being dragged for 5 long minutes...then she decided that tantrums weren't going to cut it and being pulled along was no fun, so in the 6th minute, she began to trot along with us. And I think she enjoyed the walk. At one point, there was a crush of cars and honking horns, people chattering and buzzing like a swarm of hornets, dogs, and horses all seemingly upon us at once. To make matters worse, Celeste squeezed between my feet to escape the crowd, and I stepped on her toes. My poor baby sat down, tipped her nose to the sky, and howled a long, mournful wail. Then the group passed, the clatter waned, and Celeste was ready to continue.
We found a good spot for a picnic and just got situated when it began to rain. Everyone grabbed up what we brought and ran for the car. We had our picnic in the car (luckily it's a minivan) and then after the rain slowed to a drizzle, we mosied around, checking out the sights. By the time the day was over, Celeste was ready to crash. And crash she did. She slept like a rock all the way home...4 hours worth of mountain driving. But she popped right back up at 5 am, screaming her head off. What a gal.
I am not a fish eater. I never have been. I don't like the taste nor the smell, nor the texture of fish. I think I just never learned to like it, kind of like drinking coffee and smoking. I've never learned to like those things, either. I do like shell fish of all kinds, and I love fried calamari. I love crab meat, clams, shrimp, mussels, and raw oysters on the half shell. On occasion, I can stomach a tuna fish sandwich, and I do like cebiche, but I definitely have to be in the mood for it, and I can't bring myself to eat it day after day. I find it edible because the lime juice marinade takes away all the fishiness from the flavor and the smell, but I still have to mentally prepare myself for it. Here in Peru, during holy week, people traditionally eat fish. Last year, at Fanny's house in Pisco, we had fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner for four days. I went vegetarian. This year, I couldn't eat much of Rosa's fish for our picnic, and when she brought it back out again for supper, after we drove them home, I just couldn't manage it. I'm sure that Rosa is a good cook. It's not that her fish wasn't good or wasn't done right. I just don't like fish. That's the long and the short of it. I broke from tradition today and bought a Big Mac for lunch while we were out. Omar had a Big Mac with me and learned what the drive through is and how to order from it. Then he went to a little hole in the wall restaurant and ordered...fish.
And that's Flover - pronounced like clover with an F - not Flobert. Last name is Landeo: Lan-day-oh. Interesting name, hmm?