Saturday, 6 November 2010

LA to Lima

I drive myself to the airport and drop off the hire car -- wheels are a must in LALA. All goes smoothly, including going through the uber-serious security checks at LAX. The 8-hour flight to Lima ~ just a hop and a skip in comparison to the 24 hours I've spent getting to LA ~  is pretty cool. I've been assigned what is referred to as a 'pod', walled in on two sides with a bed that goes entirely flat and provides real privacy. The flat screen is a respectable size and I kill time watching movies, even though I find sitting up in the pod a tad claustro ~ good thing I'm not six foot and 200 pounds. Pity this is a day flight ~ I am not tired ~ but simply have to try all possible pod possies, so I have a nap, if nothing else to curl up with the soft white doona and pillow. Am not likely to see such luxury again for some time to come.


We land on time and the Peruvian authorities are surprisingly kind. Barely any questions asked, I get stamped to stay in the country for up to 183 days, the maximum without a visa, more than double the time I intend to be here. Despite the late hour ~it is well after midnight ~ the arrival hall has layers and layers of people thronging behind barricades, many holding up signs and I am pleased to discover my name on one. My host from the Ministry of Women ~ where I will be based for the next 2.5 months ~ is here, accompanied by a driver to get me to the B&B she has selected for me. We've been corresponding about my accommodation and I've tried to convey what I am after.

The entrance is sweet and, as it turns out, the best part. My room is on the ground floor  ~ a single as it is not customary for a woman alone to get a room with a 'matrimony' bed . It has two horribly soft single beds and I find myself shuffling mattresses at 2:00 AM to figure out which one will do the least damage ~ already missing the pod and (almost fondly) thinking of the     parkbench-like mattress in Bangladesh.  In the sliver that is the bathroom I can barely squeeze past the sink to the toilet and shower, which is a mere drip ~ my introduction to Peru!  

No comments: