Friday, October 16, 2015

Pervian Police Pullovers and Misc.

This is Elise.  Zoe and I were just walking around the working farm where we are staying in Nazca.  We fed the horses some apples, petted the goats, and looked at a pile of freshly slaughtered chickens.  The weather here is like Southern California.  It's extremely dry but with some irrigation to make the grass green, flowers bloom and trees grow, it turns into a very pleasant place with cool nights and warm, sunny days.
Mike and Sierra are on a flyover of the Nazca lines. We all hope the flight goes well because I have heard the flights may not be the safest.  I think at this point we have done so many things that are unsafe I am starting to take a more cavalier attitude.  People die from eating celery with bacteria.  I would rather die doing something exciting like flying over the Nazca lines.  I didn't go because it's a little pricey and from what we saw of the lines at the mirador, I was underwhelmed.  Zoe wasn't interested either.  She is starting to recover from her intestinal problems with the help of an anti-biotic   We took her to a clinic in Lima because she was crying with stomach pain.  The clinic was actually a hospital and the doctor didn't speak ingles so it was a real challenge for me.  There is a huge difference between thinking you understand what someone is saying and knowing what they are saying.  We took her to another doctor in Nazca and he prescribed some antibiotics   I used the bathroom in the doctor's office and they didn't have any running water.  Nice.  Luckily we weren't there to do anything that required a sterile environment.
I do like the Peruvians.  They are a friendly polite people in general.  Here is an illustration of my miscommunication in espanol and the Peruvians good nature.  I go into a pharmacy to get 200mg pills of ibuprofen. (Can't just buy it off the self and it is often sold in 400mg or more.)  I end up with two giant boxes of 400mg ibuprofen that I didn't want.  She thought I ordered 200 pills of ibuprofen at 400mg each.  Instead of being mad at me, they had a good laugh and gave me my money back.
Even the police are friendly and polite when they shake us down.  We have been pulled over three times in Peru.  More than the entire rest of our trip.  There are a ton of traffic cops here.  Once we were pulled over just to check our paperwork.  Once because we didn't have our lights on and didn't know you have to drive with your headlights on during the day here.  The last time was for passing on a double yellow line.  The two cops said the fine was 3,000 soles which is about $1000.  We figured that was BS but we don't know the laws.  They eventually said we could pay a percentage on the spot of 300 soles ($100).  We know we are overpaying and being taken advantage of but we are foreigners who aren't fluent in the language and just want to get on our way.  After we fork over the cash, the cop spends 10 minutes finding and showing us pictures of his daughter on his phone.  We politely look and make the appropriate comments.  I was laughing as we pulled away because it was kind of funny in a sick way.  As Americans we are used to following orders from the men in uniforms with guns.  And really, what are we going to do?  Fight it in court?  Our Spanish gets us by but its not up to anything too complex.
Another incident on the road that would never happen in America.  We passed a terrible traffic accident on the road where a semi-truck  went off the road and a car was badly crushed.  In the accident some livestock had also been hit so some men were skinning and field dressing a cow and a sheep right there on the freeway.  Can you imagine someone in your neighborhood pulling out a machete and skinning and gutting a cow that had been killed in a car accident?  In the U.S. we would be so sad for the cow and so grossed out.  Then we go have some brisket at Rudy's.
P.S.  Mike and Sierra arrived safely and had an amazing time at the flyover of the Nazca lines

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