Posted by: Jessie Kwak | September 6, 2009

Day 2: In which we learn to take taxis.

Days two and three in Lima (Friday and Saturday), and the only touristy thing we’ve managed to do so far is drink pisco sours in one of the restaurants in the atrociously large and americanized mall.  But it was overlooking the Pacific, and truly beautiful.  We’ll forgive ourselves.

We’ve been getting our bearings here in Miraflores, and have decided to start venturing out to see what else awaits us.   I alluded to the crazy traffic in our last post, and Rob has a video of it which I’ll post if I ever figure out how.  Until then, here it is.

Since we got here I’ve only ever once seen a car stop and wave a pedestrian to go in front of them, and the pedestrians were an extremely old couple, and they were already out in the middle of the road.  The question of “right of way” is very simply settled here:  Which will be more injured in a collision?  You, the hapless pedestrian.  So stay out of the street!

The upside to all this is that we get to practice my favorite sport:  jaywalking.  It’s a game of skill, daring, and expediency, and whereas it is punished by a hefty fine in the City of Seattle, in much of the world it’s practically an art.

After a day of darting through the streets, avoiding instant death at the bumpers of careening Peruvian drivers, we decided to see what life was like on the other side of the windshield.  Turns out it’s actually even more hair-raising than being outside the car, because the limeño taxi drivers will cut in front of speeding vehicles that you would never dream of challenging on foot.

It’s an intricate dance performed to the soundtrack of blaring horns and misfiring engines, and you’re in the middle of it, being zipped around in a tiny metal capsule that seems to be held together with rust and prayers.

These guys are artists.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: