Thursday, July 8, 2010
Now that some time has passed since my trip to Peru, my impressions have been allowed to crystallize into long-term opinions. That brings a positive development, admittedly one contrary to my initial expectations, and most people’s (of whom instantly write it off) in general: Lima’s cool. Although, to be sure, at times the place can have you feeling down and even wanting to leave. Fast forward to the present: now, and with no reservations, I can say assure that Lima, in all its loveable kitschy nature is, surprisingly enough, a gem in and of itself, and more importantly, is a place I now regard with particular fondness.
Before actually going there, many a friend told me that staying was a waste of time, citing cliché stereotypes – and other, oversimplified generalizations about complex, multifaceted problems such as crime and poverty – as reasons to avoid the place. Rightfully so, the city’s incredible culinary scene or architectural patrimony were always left out of such conversations. Boy, were they wrong, though.
With my photos and accompanying photos serving to remind me, I have arrived with the take-home view that Lima’s unique cocktail of inescapable mystery and, for better or worse, obscurity, along with a sometimes less-than-friendly history and the misfortunes it wrought upon the city, lend it an air of gritty romanticism. And an undying civic pride held by friendly locals ensures you don’t get too bent out of shape potentially feeling sad about the place, helps exponentially. En fin, a barren 3rd world “hellhole,” wholly devoid of interest or reason to visit, it is not.