Friday, May 29, 2015

Lima: First Impressions

Hi all! We have officially survived a week here in Lima, and I thought I'd share some of my first impressions of this awesome city! Some things are exactly what I expected, and others, not so much. For example, when people said there are no bugs here, they were lying. Also, it *does* rain in Lima (although when a cab driver said to me it was raining a lot I had to laugh because it was barely a drizzle).

In terms of very first impressions, the airport was pretty straightforward, which was a relief after arriving in Yekaterinburg for the first time and feeling completely disoriented. The drive to our house, unfortunately, took two hours (note to future visitors: don't arrive during rush hour). But the house itself is amazing. I ran through it like a kid at Disneyland our first night here. The yard is gorgeous, and we have more than enough room for company.

Our backyard on a sunny day.

That being said, it definitely has a few quirks, as all houses do. The washer and dryer are outside, for one thing, which is already proving to be an inconvenience. There is a ton of dust here and when it combines with the drizzle, it makes a real mess. All of our floors are white. All of our walls are white. And I'm considering updating Will's wardrobe to all brown, because when he crawls around here he is instantly filthy. We also have these beautiful glass doors along the entire back of the house, but there is nary a screen to be found, so we can't leave them open thanks to those bugs I mentioned. But these are all minor inconveniences.

This giant bug, for example, managed to make his way inside.
The main hurdle for me at the moment is our lack of car. We're in a new development - hence the gorgeous house - but we aren't in walking distance to anything, especially because there are no sidewalks. People were definitely NOT exaggerating about the traffic here. It takes 30-45 minutes to go pretty much anywhere, which doesn't sound so bad until you factor in the distance (usually 5-8 miles). The cab drivers like to leave their windows down, and the dust and exhaust combined with stop-and-go traffic leaves me feeling pretty queasy by the time I get anywhere. Fortunately, cabs are cheap, and I've taken advantage because I refuse to sit in my house all day for the 6-8 weeks it will take to get our car. Lugging Will's car seat around is another hassle. Yesterday I hired a driver for five hours and took the boys to the coast, which was lovely. There is a ton to do in the Miraflores area, and I regret not choosing to live there. We do get more sun where we are and John is thrilled with the cycling opportunities, but I would have been much happier in a walkable area with museums and playgrounds rather than the suburbs.

Larcomar, Miraflores

The embassy and school are both fabulous, which is super exciting coming from a post that had neither. The food is as amazing as we were led to believe, and we haven't even scratched the varnish on the surface of the restaurant scene here. Every time I crack open an avocado I want to weep with joy. In addition to the very American-esque grocery stores, there are fruit and vegetable markets with a huge variety. Lima doesn't feel nearly as foreign as Yekaterinburg did, so far. The people are very friendly and helpful, and they absolutely adore Will. I plan to exploit this as much as possible.

I'm pretty sure I didn't see a plantain, pineapple, or coconut in Russia, ever.

Perfect avocados, every time.
Overall I think this is going to be a great tour. Once we have our belongings, this house will really feel like home, and our car is going to open up so many opportunities for weekend trips (and even trips to Starbucks, because they have them here!). I have a couple of friends here already, and so does Jack, and I'm eager to find other moms who want to get out and explore during the day like I do. Two years is going to fly, and there is so much to see here in Peru and further afield!

My Spanish name shall be Maria Ruiz. Because spelling Rutherford is a pain in any language.

John wasted no time getting on his bike and exploring over the hill.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, so feel free to ask questions in the comments. And visitors, start planning your trips! We're already booked for August ;)



2 comments:

  1. Hi Mara, welcome to Lima! I am Bobby Pescatore my dad served with your husband and I met him on a tiger cruise a while back. (Was chatting with my parents and they told me about this blog) I have been living here for two years and you've pretty much got the gist of it in this post. You will never get used to the traffic and the food will always be spectacular. I live in Miraflores just a few minutes from Larcormar and I have loved it. The main benefit is being close to the beach and getting that fresh air but the stuff to do is also nice. Never a boring moment.

    Be careful and I hope your stay is great! Mine was. (By the way, check out Satelital or easy taxi for cabs, they are safer alternatives than one on the street)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bobby! Of course I know who you are :) So glad you enjoyed your time in Lima! I've got the easy taxi app and it's been a life saver, since we don't have our car here yet. If you have any restaurant recommendations send them my way! When do you leave?

      Delete