Surrounded by Hookers
Lima- Part 3
By-Rick A. Griffith
On a bar chair between an older Slovenian man named Baldomir and Patricio, I sat nervously. Baldomir who looked to be in his 60’s, sat weeping while looking at the plasma screen TV in the bar. The news channel displayed the horrific scenes of the recent earthquake that devastated Haiti on Jan 13th, 2010. I sat with a somber look on my face, not knowing quite what to do. Baldomir motioned over the bartender and ordered all three of us a drink, still swiping away tears from his face. Upon the arrival of our beers, Baldomir didn’t propose a heartfelt toast; he simply raised his glass and said cheers with a smile and a wink.
I peaked across the bar and my eyes were met by 4 different girls while taking panoramic view of the bar. I guess as a big gringo I probably stand out here, thinking nothing of the glances I’d exchanged. As I noticed that more and more girls were looking over my way, I started thinking that maybe these girls were just fascinated by the tall handsome gringo, maybe it’d be a good night.
Unfortunately my intuitiveness kicked in and ruined my newfound popularity. I noticed that there were 6 men in the bar, and there were around 25 scantily clad females, many of them trying to draw my glance.
Now I’d love to lie and think that maybe I was just the man down here, gringo suave, but it clear that we were surrounded by prostitutes. I’d heard there were bars like this here but never planned on entering one, yet somehow we had inadvertently stumbled into this peculiar place.
The massive amounts of attention from the females were a nice change of pace, I have to admit. Still this wasn’t my idea of seeing the real gritty side of Lima. I urged Patricio to head out to the next bar. “Hold on, the blond girl there looks at me!” he replied with a smile.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him the truth. After all, it would be like telling a child there is no Santa Claus. Plus before we got into any stick situation, he’d surely find out for himself. Luckily the blond found an old fat mans lap to sit on and Patricio agreed that we should head out. We said goodbye to Baldomir and thanked him for the beer. I had a feeling his mood would improve in the coming hours.
We landed at a group of discos down the road and I chose one that looked like a winner, mostly basing my decision on the caramel skinned girl in a short skirt who had entered right before us. I decided that this is usually a good method in picking a club as the bar was packed. As we entered, I strategically picked a table right between the dance floor and the ladies room, a trick I learned in finding a good vantage point for the evening.
“One, two, three, four, Uno, dos, tres, quarto” The Pitbull song blared and brought nearly every girl in the club to the dance floor. Our waitress approached and dropped off our beers. Patricio, feeling confident, made small talk with her in Spanish, before she walked away. “She’s gorgeous, what did you say man?” I questioned. “I asked if she was from around here haha, She’s from Cuba, I think I offended her.” He said. “Haha oh well man, look at all the girls here.” I said. We drank beer and I attempted to make eye contact and flirt with the girls passing by. Unfortunately the extent of my Spanish was “Hola, Como estas? Bien, Vamanos?” So much for intellect and conversation I thought. I guess tonight I would have to be content with flirtatious smile.
The club played predominantly Salsa music, which I have no idea how to dance too. Even after a few beers, Patricio and I didn’t quite have the courage to corral some ladies to the dance floor and make fools of ourselves, there’s always next time.
We left around 3 am running into a drunken Irish guy in the street, a beer in his hand. “Dude, your American, what’s up man? I’m so fucking drunk man.” He mumbled. “Nice, haha, what are you doing in the street at 3 AM, drinking? I asked. “Dude, I’m looking for my car, if you help me find it I’ll drive you to the club, DJ Teasto is spinning in Lima all night, I can get us in.’ He promised while falling into the building to our right. “Haha Maybe you shouldn’t drive man, you look a bit drunk.” I said, this was the understatement of the year so far. “Na man I’m fucking great, the cops don’t give a shit here, if they pull me over I’ll give em like 30 Euro.” He slurred and then took another chug from his liter of beer. “Alright man, well we got to get home it’s late, be safe.” I said as we walked away. “Ahh you assholes, later, wait!” he said heading our way. “What’s up man? I questioned. “Hey, you’re the fucking man, my brother” he said giving me a gangster handshake. “Haha for sure man, take it easy” I muttered laughing.
We hailed a taxi two blocks down and headed back to the hostel. “Fun night huh?” I said with a smile. “yea man, I was going to tell you, I think those girls at the first bar were prostitutes.” He said laughing. Apparently we both shared an intuitive nature. “Haha really? You think?” I replied smiling. “Ya sorry, it’s too late for you to go back” he said laughing. And so ended our adventure in Lima…