Revelations from a crazy Gringo, Life in Lima
By- Rick A. Griffith
Spirit Air flight 977 made its approach to land in Lima, Peru. The crazy Gringo in seat 20F let out a nervous sigh. What if there was some truth to what my parents, friends and basically every other person I had told about my trip had told me? Would I be thrown in jail for the two laptops I bought with me, one over the allowed amount?
Worst of all, god forbid that something did happen, my mom wouldn’t be able to handle it. I feared her reaction to bad news more than any robbery or kidnapping anyway.
Well the crazy gringo got off the plane, breezed through immigration and customs and immediately found Dennis, the manager of the hostel I had booked who had agreed to pick me up at the airport. So far so good, maybe I’d survive this journey after all.
After arriving and Pay Pirux hostel, near the airport in Lima around 9pm, I was introduced to the staff and guests. It was an impressive, clean place and clearly was well run. What a perfect starting point for this journey into the unknown.
Of the guests I met only one spoke English, a Chilean named Patricio. I decided to come down and watch the NFL playoff game on ESPN Vivo with him, opening up a conversation on the constant efficiency of Peyton Manning. It was nice to talk some sports, I felt for a second like I was back home, watching the game with some buddies.
Patricio was visiting Lima from his home in Copiapo, Chile, to see the Metallica concert, which was quite a huge event in Lima. At 27 years of age, he was getting in a vacation before completing his final studies to become a lawyer.
After introductions, Patricio invited me to come with him the following day to journey through the beachside neighborhood of La Punta. I accepted his invitation excited to have a Spanish speaking friend and a travel partner for the day. Making a new friend and gaining a free translator was quite the score for having touched down in Lima less than an hour before.
That night I relaxed in the bottom of the wooden bunk bed, recovering from my zigzag between coasts and hemispheres, adjusting to the winter to summer change. I thought of the things at home I missed, I thought of the coming day and how I had no idea what lie ahead. What an invigorating feeling.
This wasn’t the differed life plan I had fallen into back home. This was me, fulfilling my personal destiny, prospering from open mindedness. Lifelong memories would be created, living this new life I chose for myself, discarding the one that had been chosen for me by society. The next day would change everything, and obliterate all my preconceived notions. What I had been told by everyone else, was wrong…