Apr 10, 2008

Escape from the City

Part 5

While Celeste was dealing with the kids, I slept a lot. During the first couple of days, I heard the screams and squeals of the kids, the cries of "Celeste! Where are you?", a quick clattering of dog toenails on tile floors, and the subsequent whuffling and scrunching sounds under the bed as Celeste hid herself deeper in the darkness below.

On the third day, I arose like a flame from the bed, refreshed and decidedly without cough, snort, or snot. Thank heaven. I was ready to go play in Trujillo. After a leisurely breakfast, O and I put Celeste out of the main part of the house and up on the rooftop, to escape the kids and enjoy the view. We had to drrraaag her from her hideaway under the bed. Then we left the house and went out to visit O's old college friends and have lunch. Celeste serenaded us from the rooftop in typical Siberian siren style - throaty yodeling with a few wolfish high notes.

In Peru, "visiting friends" usually means having drinks, mostly beer. This is a little hard for me, because I only drink beer on occasion and I have to be in the mood for it. This day, I wan't in the mood for it, so we brought bottles of water. The people that we visited were gracious about it...some are offended if guests don't drink with them, but I chalk this up to insecurities about themselves ("Oh, we're not good enough to drink with?", etc) so I usually just continue with water.

These friends, however, were just fine. Along with my water and the offered beer, we had a snack of canchitas (fried corn kernels), and shredded yellow chilies and onions mixed with salt and lime juice on the side. The idea is to take a mouthful of corn and a teaspoon full of the onion/chili/lime/salt mixture together. It's a great remedy for plugged noses - spicy, but not enough to really torch the mouth and cause discomfort. And quick to make. Shredded hot peppers and shredded onions marinated in lime juice and salt are typical and almost overly common flavors here in Peru. Hot peppers in various forms and lime slices are included on the side of almost every dish.

After we spent a few hours with them, we started back to the house. I say "started" because we got another invitation to visit from someone else on the way. So on to another house for water and beer. But this house was filled with people rapidly becoming drunk, so we didn't stay long. For me, the only people who enjoy being with drunks are other drunks. Happily, O understood that even though some of them were his friends, I was uncomfortable around so many who were unsteady on their feet. We left and headed to a restaurant for lunch.

Lunch was the absolute best ceviche I've had in a very long time. It was a mixture of sea foods, ranging from regular sea bass to tiny squid and scallops. Spicy and marinated in strong lime and salt, it was wonderful. Garnished with a couple of slices of sweet potato, corn, shredded onions, and sea vegetable of some sort. We had a lemonade to drink and they restaurant played typical Peruvian music, but not too loudly. It was great!


Rani said...

Did you bring your knitting? Did Celeste sleep for 2 days when you finally returned home?

Maggie's Farm said...

The food makes my mouth water! Sounds like you are having a long, drawn out vacation, living in Peru. Your pictures are gorgeous - your entire blog is a work of art.

Kathleen said...

Rani - Oh gosh no. I was in no shape to knit when we left and was so plugged and whupped by my cold that I didn't remember to take anything except a toothbrush. O packed the rest for me.

Maggie - It's not always a vacation, but when we go out of town, we do our best to relax and enjoy ourselves. Monday and work comes too quickly. This is just the long, drawn-out story of Easter weekend, which is a 4 day holiday here.

Kathleen said...

Thanks for the compliment, Maggie! I'm not much of a photographer; I don't often remember to take pictures, but when I do, hopefully they look good.

Pondside said...

Was the ceviche as good as the dish we had in the market place in Lima?? I'll never forget that!
I'm with you on the being with drunks thing. I can't bear it - just want to disappear myself!