May 31, 2007

clear as mud

Today I had to go pay a bill and send money to Omar's parents. I got lost in the process. Lima is so big, and the streets all twist around and most of them don't have street signs anymore. I have a hard time telling my directions here, even when the sun is out, and today is so GRAY that no shadows are cast, so I can't even tell where NORTH is. Anyway, I asked directions to the National Bank from about 10 people - I'm finally getting where I can ask for and take directions, but because there are no street signs, no one gives the name of the street nor the block number. If they could just say "go straight on San Filipe for 5 blocks, turn right there on Carnaval, then go left 3 more blocks and that will put you on Mariategui", I would be just fine. But no. Everyone says "go walking for 15 minutes to the front, then when you see a church on the right, turn left. Five more blocks walking will put you close. The bank is on the spine of the block. Just remember that." Walking fifteen minutes? On my legs or yours? Is my 15 minutes going to put me close to where you think I should be turning? Hmmm. So I go walking the the front for about 10 minutes. I see a church and turn left. I walk five more blocks. No bank. Ask in a store. The storekeeper says, "cross the street and go walking to the front. The bank is on the spine." I cross the street and walk to the front. That puts my in the middle of a huge complex of apartment buildings, with the security guards giving me the eyeball. I ask one of them where the bank is. He says "Keep walking to the front. The bank is on the spine of the block." I keep walking and I get out of the apartment complex. Ooops, dead end. Ask at a news stand. They twirl their fingers in the air, indicating turning a turn or a twirl. I look all around, spin around, look back at the newspaper vendor, who twirls her fingers in the air again. So I go walking to the front in a different direction. I turn a corner and there is an entire community of banks in a strip mall, among them is the bank that I need.

The trip home was much easier. After asking for directions to Salaverry from two people, I caught a taxi.

Simple. Just go walking to the front. Remember that the bank is on the spine.

I think it must be similar for Celeste. I'm always throwing her toy across the room and saying "Go get the TOY." I point. She turns her head and looks in the direction that I'm pointing. She sees the white tip of her tail curled over her back and goes for THAT. I point again. She spins around, looking for the TOY. I say, "go walking to the front for ten steps and look on the spine..." Then I twirl my fingers. I can tell by the look on her face that it's totally mud. Both of us are obviously NORTHERN girls.


LisaCatherine said...

ROFLMAO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG... LOL, I can't stop laughing, I'm so sorry you were lost, but OMG LOL...

Okay, so now you know where the bank is at, and you can take a taxi THERE next time yes ?? LOL.

In Greece I was living in a state of "Where the hell am I"... Nothing was in English, even the bus was a guess if you got on the one UP the mountain, or into some other side of a HUGE city. LOL What a journey my life is.

And now YOU are on an amazing journey too. Pocket that pepper spray and enjoy yourself, take the Dog, even as a puppy, I'm guessing she would shred anyone who tried to hurt you when she felt your energy change she would follow your lead. SO ENJOY !!

Love you dear one, HUGS Lisa Catherine

kathleen said...

Yesterday, I got on a bus by myself and actually got where I wanted to go. YEAY! But, couldn't find a bus that would take me anywhere close to home. Hmm. More research is necessary.

I'm almost positive that Celeste would at least give anyone the DEMON EYE and intimidate them, lol. Actually, she's a pretty good indicator of where we are. In rough parts, or around someone that is questionable, her hair stands straight up, although she never growls. Yesterday, too, we were on the bike path, "walking to the front", lol, when she spotted a man across the street, just watching us. He did nothing, but stood there and watched. She did a double take and all the hair on her back immediately stood on end. We took another route home.

JC said...

Oh my gosh what wonderful ears Celeste has. She is really a cutie!

LisaCatherine said...

Those back hairs are enough to scare someone away !! I think it's a kick back from Wolves, very useful.

Dogs are very loyal, I remember a dog story, years ago, about an old man who always hit that poor dog with a stick, the neighbors turned him in and that dog was so sad and sick in the shelter, they took him back again, and he was fine... Dogs love no matter what I guess.

So you'll be okay with her with you !! I'm proud of you for going on the bus, I know how scary that can be. Take maps with you, maybe you can download them off the computer and print them out ??

Yeah You !! HUGS Lisa Catherine

Rani said...

1. What the hell is a "spine of the block"?

2. I love that dog!

By the way. I am perfectly fluent in Spanish with just this one phrase, "Donde esta la embajada Americana? Cerca de aqui? No. No es cerca. Hay que tomar un taxi?" I can say this quickly with a perfect accent, so I've been told.

I have not yet had the opportunity to use this phrase.

LisaCatherine said...

WHAT did you just say ?? LOL

kathleen said...

She said, "Where is the American embassy? Near here? No. It's not close. One has to take a taxi?"

Aargh! I envy you, Rani! I can't say anything with a perfect accent, according to my students...I have this terrible EVIDENT United States accent in which I pronounce my "nice rooouuund vowels".