More Lomo purple

I spent some time with Lomography Lomochrome Purple film last fall and, well, we had a thing together. I loved the color shifts with the Midwest foliage and golden light. I tried it again this spring with 120 film in the Holga, and my results were decidedly pink (was it the different lab? the camera? who knows). It’s rated from 100-400 ISO, and in 35mm form I mostly shot it at 400 speed, which I thought resulted in some really gorgeous, deep, rich purples.

I decided to try shooting it at 100 speed this time.

LDC_20170624_21430004
fern in forest, Lomography Lomochrome Purple, Minolta SRT 102

Hmmmm. I don’t know how I feel about it. I mean, I like my results, but I missed the purple.

So much more subtle than my previous runs with this film.

LDC_20170624_21430021

Yellows are a lovely pink, but the greens didn’t get as purple as I expected based on past rolls. The greens just stayed mostly green, really. And things that were not green got a greenish cast, like the wheat field and the wood on this shed and the fence posts.

But still, full of fun surprises. The green frizzy stuff (I don’t have a clue what this is) in Barbara’s garden looked just plain old green when I shot it from one angle in full sun, but from the side–purple explosion. I’ve done no editing to these scans, which were done by the lab, so I don’t know. The light? The lab color corrected? It’ll remain a mystery (I like film mysteries anyway).

LDC_20170624_21430028

And sunset colors are tinged a bit more purple, but plenty of greens and turquoise here as well…

LDC_20170624_21430013
my kid, his girl, Lomography Lomochrome Purple, Minolta SRT 102

LDC_20170624_21430007LDC_20170624_21430006

I have one more roll in my stash, but of course I’ll buy more. I’m a little nuts about it. It’s pricey, but so worth it.

Lima, the final installment

I shot 8 rolls of film in and not too far outside of Lima, Peru, last month when I spent a week with my daughter there. Last week I sent away the roll of film I managed to muck up several ways to be developed by people who know what to do with mucked up rolls. I mucked this up by:

  • Forgetting to set the correct ISO on my camera when loading the film.
  • Completely forgetting what kind of film I had in my camera.
  • Forgetting that the roll had 24 exposures and not 36.
  • Thinking that my camera was stuck when it wouldn’t advance past 24, and so rewinding it a bit a ton (what was I thinking?) before I realized I was probably shooting over stuff.
  • Don’t judge me. I was on vacation. Again, I blame the pisco.

So with all that I wondered what I was going to get. The film is Fuji Superia 400, which I kind of like, but since I shot it at 200 I asked the lab to pull it one stop. The colors on the single-exposed shots are somewhat flat, but I like them. The multiple exposed stuff looks colorful but kind of washed out, too–but, you know, multiple exposures and all. I wish I could say I planned some of these images since I like how they turned out so much, but alas, no such thing. And, these are the lab’s scans. I look forward to scanning them in other ways and putting different frames together. And now I know I want to double-shoot a roll of film. Totally on purpose, though.

This roll was partly from a tour stop at the Hacienda San Jose in Chincha, which was a brief stop on our way to Paracas.

LDC_20170626_53900002
yard at Hacienda San Jose in Chincha, Peru
LDC_20170626_53900007
old garden wall, Hacienda San Jose
LDC_20170626_53900011
flowers and porch arches
LDC_20170626_53900010
flowers in hacienda yard
LDC_20170626_53900014
hacienda garden wall in Chincha, plus boats and beach in Paracas
LDC_20170626_53900013
hacienda chapel stairs and Paracas boat and beach
LDC_20170626_53900015
hacienda chapel and Paracas boats
LDC_20170626_53900023
Paracas beach and boats at sunset, town, and hibiscus flower
LDC_20170626_53900022
Paracas wanderings
LDC_20170626_53900019
Paracas boats and harbor
LDC_20170626_53900018
Paracas, evening sunset and morning harbor

I love how some of the multiple exposed shots end up looking like I ran a roll through a half frame camera and then shot it again through a normal SLR (which gives me an idea…).

June filmy weirdness

Film just continues to amaze and surprise and confound me. Someday I’d like to develop all my film on my own. But until I can commit to the time/effort/hearbreak of that, I’m using two labs to process and scan my color film.

LDC_20170621_66290006
poppy and collapsing farmhouse, Minolta SRT 102
LDC_20170621_66320006
poppy sunset, Holga

I haven’t used black and white film since my class ended in early May, but when I do get back to that (and I’ve got some nice films to use up, but summer feels like color to me) I’m planning to get supplies and process that myself now that I feel comfortable with it.

But color film developing feels a little out of my wheelhouse at the moment.

LDC_20170621_66290028
June rye in detail, Minolta SRT 102
LDC_20170621_66290030
June rye field, Minolta SRT 102
LDC_20170621_66290026
early season orchard, Minolta SRT 102

I sent four rolls to one lab and two to another this week. The four rolls got processed and scanned and I uploaded them yesterday, with some oddities and surprises, like that purple yumminess I wrote about yesterday. I know I had one roll of expired film so I expected some odd colors, but a lack of decent focus on almost half from this (only 12 exposure) roll makes me think a) I was drinking and shooting, or b) I really need to see my eye doc, or c) something is wrong with my Minolta X-700 (it did give me a bit of trouble in Peru, so there’s that).

LDC_20170621_66260012
Lake Michigan, expired film, lousy focus, Minolta X-700
LDC_20170621_66260008
Little Sable Point lighthouse, expired film, Minolta X-700

Aside from that, I noticed an odd dot pattern on some other scans, usually in blue sky or where there was a lack of other pattern in the image. This is in some of the images on both 35mm film and 120 film, from different cameras. The lab can’t account for this oddity. I don’t know what to make of it, but whatever. I mean, I’m horrible with film storage (hot, cold, lugged around in bags left in cars, etc.), so maybe I’ve done something to it. If I wanted perfection, I’ve probably picked up the wrong passion.

LDC_20170621_66290010
Minolta SRT 102, patterned sky

It’s odd that it’s on some images but not others. Who knows? I’m okay with the mystery.

 

 

Otherworldly

LDC_20170621_66260013

I can’t quite remember what I’ve done here. I do know this image is from an expired roll of film shot with my Minolta X-700. I know I took some digital images of the sunset one evening through a blue, plastic malt jug that got warped from the heat when I ran it through the dishwasher. I don’t remember holding that jug over the lens of any other cameras, but maybe I did? That doesn’t account for the double exposure effect, though–the X-700 can’t even be tricked into doing that.

I know from about half of the other images on this 12-exposure roll that something is not right with that camera. The focus is badly off on these images. Two of them are just terrible, and a few of the other unfocused ones just look, well, unfocused and dreamy (but not terrible, to me anyway). Maybe the film didn’t advance quite right here, among other things.

But I really like this outcome. Sometimes no explanation is just fine.

Contemplating the divide

LDC_20170618_IMG_6153

“Did you get any action shots?”–my husband, after I came in from photographing the snail.

I could have watched this snail for hours. Well, maybe not hours… crouching on a wet deck isn’t the most comfortable. But, they’re so fun to watch move! And I couldn’t wait to see what this snail would do when it got to the space between the deck boards. He (she?) made it just fine.

The sky and the lake

It’s just too amazing here. I think in the city we forget to look at the sky. In the country, the sky demands review. Where I am on a bluff above Lake Michigan, it more than demands… it slaps you upside the head.

It must be the time of year, but the cloud formations right now are just amazing. Storms have been rolling though this week. Some stay out over the lake where you can just hear their low, rolling grumbles and catch a flicker of lightning out of the corner of your eye. Others come ashore, steamrolling, blowing deck chairs around like the weather gods have it out for deck chairs or something.

Two days ago the clouds got all puffy and twisty and rolling-hills-looking out over the water. Rain fell out of holes in the clouds out over the lake. One looked as if a funnel cloud was going to form, but fortunately never did.

LDC_20170613_IMG_6077

LDC_20170613_IMG_6067

And yesterday this front came through. I love when the front of the storm looks like a tendril reaching across the sky, a pointed finger. This, too, dropped a little rain but only for a minute. The wind that came with it pressed the dunegrass nearly flat and whipped the lake into a frenzy, but again these effects were only a few minutes and the calm behind the front belied its intensity.

LDC_20170614_IMG_6115

LDC_20170614_IMG_6125

And then this morning, clouds stretched like rays across the western sky over the lake, lit up from the east by the sunrise.

LDC_20170616_IMG_6138

 

 

Sun rays

Or, more accurate but less nice sounding, crepuscular rays, which I got to see after the sun set this evening and damn, they were fantastic. And yes, I had to look up the technical name for this phenomena (I hope I’m right… I think I am). I have seen it a few times but never quite as bold as it showed up tonight.

In fact, there were even anti-crepuscular rays going on, which converged right above my neighbor’s house. I’m not a natural phenomenon blogger here, so go look up crepuscular (and anti-crepuscular) rays yourself. But it’s rays. From the sun. And they’re totally awesome.

LDC_20170610_IMG_5965LDC_20170610_IMG_5972LDC_20170610_IMG_5982

Who could not be happy?

LDC_20170530_IMG_5767
oh, just another sunset on Lake Michigan

Is it normal to experience a bit of a depression after a vacation? Not like I have experience in this. I’ve only had what I would call a true vacation once, 10 years ago when my best friend and I went to Tuscany to celebrate the year we both turned 40. In the years before and since Italy I’ve had little trips, yes–long weekends, short weekends, a few days off at a time but not a “real vacation” until Peru a few weeks ago.

And even that is starting to feel more like a dream.

It is so refreshing to step away from work. I knew everything would be handled expertly so I didn’t worry. It felt amazing to experience a new place. But there’s a shift after something like that; everyday doesn’t feel quite the same. Like, there’s a little piece missing, a change of some sort, something is not quite right. It’s more than a little unsettling.

I’ve moved to the west side of Michigan for the summer and get to wake up on a bluff above Lake Michigan. I make coffee in the morning, feed the dog, settle in to my workday while she snores away on the couch. I break from work to walk her and see what the weather is doing. Like today, a north wind makes the air a little chill while the sun is warming if you’re out of the wind, like on the south side of the house or in the dips on the road behind the cottages. It’s quiet, peaceful, beautiful. Who wouldn’t be happy here? But this malaise, or post-travel funk, follows me on these walks, taps my elbow as I brush the sand off my feet when I come up from the beach.

With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?

I came across that quote yesterday, which is attributed to Oscar Wilde. I have freedom. And books. And oh there are flowers popping up everywhere. The moon is waxing right now and was bright and loud enough to make it hard to go to sleep last night. How could I not be happy? Yeah, it’s a little pitiful to feel sorry for myself here. Cue the violins and all that.

I’m sure I’ll shake off the funk any day now. A new photography project will help.

Lima, part 2

If you were here and we were talking face to face, I’d make you a cup of coffee right now. This is long. Grab coffee or a drink, or just skim all the wordy bits and look at the photos if you want to see what I saw. (There are earlier posts here and here.)

I picked up my negatives on the way out of town Friday. Unlike some other film photographers I online stalk follow, I have only just delved into film developing and that was only in a class with an amazing lab facility and only with black and white film. I took color film to Peru and to even imagine the setup, the materials, the time to develop color film just all boggles my mind. I’m not there yet. So I took my film to a lab that’s not too far from me. I think they do an amazing job on developing and scanning, and their price is terrific. I shot 8 rolls of film and they developed 7–I accidentally shot a 400 ISO roll at 200 and they can’t process pushed or pulled film, so I’ll have to take that one elsewhere. Anyway, here’s the photographic evidence of my trip. Anything rectangular was shot on a Minolta X-700 with either a 50mm or with a 28-70mm zoom; square shots were on a recent acquisition, a new Holga by Sunrise, whatever that is (but I adore it).

We arrived a bit after 10 pm local time at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima. No stress getting our bags, and then we walked out into a massive arena of people waiting and taxi drivers shouting. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people that steps off a plane and looks for a person holding a sign with their name on it–and thanks to our Airbnb host, Saturday night I was! We found our driver almost immediately, who helped us with bags to his car and then expertly drove through Saturday night traffic the 40 minutes to our rented apartment in Miraflores District. It had been a long day and we were tired, so we settled on the bar across the street for a quick drink and a bite–a Liverpool, England and Beatles-themed pub. Two potato dishes and some kind of pisco drink later, we were exhausted and called it a night.

LDC_20170524_31600002
view from walkway over road in Miraflores, Fuji Superior X-tra 400 ISO

Sunday morning dawned a little foggy and a lot steamy. I knew from reading about Lima that it is very muggy pretty much all the time, and in the fall and winter there is often a fog that mists everything up and makes it all the more damp. I wasn’t quite prepared for how hot it felt and wished I’d packed more summery clothes, which was kind of funny because the Lima natives were bundled up most of the time while I was a sweaty mess.

We took our time Sunday morning and my first priority was getting to a place I’d read about online, El Pan de la Chola, which wasn’t far from the apartment–it did not disappoint. Two hearty sandwiches on thick, crusty bread, a shared gooey, oozy, chocolate almond croissant, and two rich cappuccinos later and we were in absolute heaven. We walked the neighborhood a bit more and then headed to the ocean front, where we took the walkway over the highway to dip our toes in the Pacific ocean.

LDC_20170524_31770006
Bella on the cliff above the Pacific, Kodak Portra 400

And now the rest of that day is vague. I know it involved a trip to the grocery store for bottled water (you can’t drink tap water there), lots of yogurt to eat with the granola we bought at El Pan, more walking the neighborhood and exploring, dinner somewhere.

Monday and Tuesday mornings both started with a workout in the apartment, yogurt and granola for breakfast, then showers with varying degrees of warmth (hot water went quick), and then to the bank in the grocery store to exchange U.S. dollars for Peruvian soles, which was super fun because $60 U.S. gets you almost $200 soles.

I think on Monday we walked to Parque Kennedy where all the cats are, and had dinner at a vegetarian pizza restaurant, which was excellent. Mid day we toured Huaca Pucllana, a pyramid about a half mile from the apartment. These ruins are active research grounds and we found their history fascinating. The one hour tour cost maybe 12 soles, and then we had lunch at the onsite kinda-fancy restaurant where we tried pisco sours for the first time (I wasn’t so sure about the frothy egg white topping but I am now a big fan). Lunch here was good but not earth shattering, and it took forever. Seriously, the place was nearly empty when we sat down, filled up once we were seated, and then emptied again before they brought our check. Service is leisurely in Lima and asking for the check doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get it in the time you think you should. My kid kept reminding me to calm down. Maybe I should have had a second pisco sour here?

LDC_20170524_31600014
Huaca Pucllana ruins, city beyond, Fuji Superia 400
LDC_20170524_31600013
Bella, Fuji Superia 400

Again, foggy details, and maybe my kid will read this and clear things up for me. But I think this was the evening that after we ate pizza we settled into our apartment to call my dad for his birthday, facetime some people back home, and start watching a season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race on Netflix. Because, you know, what else do you do after a long day of exploring some 2800 miles from home?

Tuesday I’m nearly certain is the day we took an Uber to Lima’s city center. I knew I wanted to see the Plaza de Armas, which is Lima’s main city square, and the Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco (church and convent of San Francisco). We got a nearly private tour of this absolutely stunning piece of history, a living reminder of Spain’s history in Peru. They don’t let you take pictures inside, which is a little bit of a shame because the light and the shadows and the reflections off tiled floors was right up my alley. But the history of it all was humbling.

LDC_20170524_31550013
Church of San Francisco, Kodak Ektar 100
LDC_20170524_31630003
boy playing, pigeons, Kodak Ektar 100

From the city center we walked to the Magic Water Circuit in the Parque de la Reserva to see the water fountains that light up after dark. We got there in daylight and wandered a bit, sat a bit, hooked up to wifi and zoned out on our phones for a bit. Once the sun went down and the fountains started to light up, though, we were like kids. We didn’t want to get soaked so we didn’t go in the interactive one, but walked through the tunnel fountain probably a dozen times because it was really fun.

LDC_20170524_31550028
Bella silhouette and fountain, Kodak Ektar 100

IMG_0546

We had a bus to catch super early Wednesday morning, so we Uber’d home after this and then ran over to the grocery store for snacks and water to take with us on the bus.

Wednesday morning came too early. We were picked up in front of the apartment by a Peru Hop bus; we’d booked a two-day trip north to Paracas and Huacachina and our pick up was 6:30 a.m. I didn’t know what to expect from this tour, which included an overnight in a hostel in the small, coastal town of Paracas. I’ve never hosteled before. Or, at least not as an adult. And, the trip included a thing on day two that I was at this point starting to get kind of nervous about–a dune buggy tour and sandboarding. Not that I’m scared of these things… but the potential for something unforeseen to happen doing something adventurous was starting to sink into the part of my brain that handles all the responsible adult stuff. I kept trying to push thoughts of buggies overturning or crashing out of my head.

Day one of the bus tour had us stop at a roadside restaurant for a Peruvian specialty whose name escapes me, but it was little patties of bread with either meat, cheese, or olives baked inside. The stop was quick and we realized too late that we should have ordered more of these yummy things, but we had a timetable to keep on. Next stop was at a hacienda in Chincha–once a wealthy family’s home and now a hotel. The family owned the place for centuries and there was a brisk and brutal slave trade running through here. The earthquake in 2007 apparently unearthed a network of many kilometers of tunnels used for this slave trade, plus tunnels beneath the hacienda where the slaves lived and worked. We toured the tunnels and although I’m not claustrophobic I had a moment of panic as 18 of us jammed into a “room” not much bigger than an expanded oval-shaped dining room table. It was hot and the air felt chalky–everyone was coughing and sweating and our lovely guide kept us in there too long. I would have fared better with a pisco sour on board.

I don’t have any photos from most of this day. This was the day I popped a roll of 400 speed Fuji Superia into my camera but forgot to change the ISO setting to 400. I took some photos of the hacienda grounds, the vast porch and the onsite church and some blooming trellises. I also later screwed this roll up… when it stopped advancing at 24 (I thought I had a 36-shot roll of film in), I decided to rewind the roll a bit because I thought the film had gotten stuck. So, this one will be a surprise when I get it back–maybe doubles and some weirdness.

I didn’t want to sleep on the bus because the passing scenery was like nothing I’ve ever experienced–mountainous at times, the ocean at times, shanty towns and half-built or half-ruined neighborhoods, poverty beyond scope amidst fenced and gated homesteads. At one point we went through a section of land that was so foggy I’m not sure how the driver managed.

Once we landed in Paracas the sun was wildly bright. It was mid-afternoon and we checked into our little hostel room and then headed out to see the town. Which is about two city blocks. Hostels, restaurants, cab drivers, street merchants, a beach, boats. Not much to it, but colorful and kind of a sensory attack. We had lunch and then had to nap a bit before walking around to take some sunset photos and then meet some others from our bus for dinner.

The next morning we were supposed to go on a boat tour of the Ballestas Islands, where we would have seen penguins and sea lions and sea birds and other wildlife, but alas, no boats were going out due to winds. Bella read by the pool while I wandered with cameras. I paid $2 soles to walk out onto the pier the fishermen use to get to their boats. The photos I took in Paracas on the Holga remind me why Kodak Ektar 100 is my favorite film right now. I can’t get enough of the colors!

So the morning dragged a bit without much to do, but by afternoon we boarded the bus for the next activity, a spin through Paracas National Reserve. I’d seen images online of amazing cliffs with a pounding ocean below and I couldn’t wait to see this, but I’ll admit the bus tour of it was a little disappointing. We made two brief stops to hop out and get sandblasted and take pictures. If I’d done my research I might have planned for a whole day here and we could have taken a cab from Paracas and spent the day exploring this place. Still, we were awed by the beauty.

LDC_20170524_31610006
la catedral, Paracas National Reserve, Kodak Ektar 100
LDC_20170524_31610011
cliffs in Paracas National Reserve, Kodak Ektar 100

Apparently the 2007 earthquake changed the landscape here–that hunk of rock in the ocean was once larger and linked to the cliffs pre-earthquake. The wind here was wild. We left with fine sand in our teeth, glued to our lip balm, in our scalp and ears.

LDC_20170524_31610015
cliffs and ocean, Paracas National Reserve, Kodak Ektar 100
LDC_20170524_31610013
cliffs and ocean, Paracas National Reserve, Kodak Ektar 100

From here we went back to the town of Paracas where we dropped some passengers and picked others up for the trip to Huacachina for dune buggies and sandboarding. My tension was mounting, as was the pit in my stomach from hunger. I may have nodded off on the trip there, but once there we had an hour before the buggy tour and we needed food, pronto.

Huacachina is even smaller than Paracas. It is literally an oasis in the desert. There is a small pond, a villa that used to belong to someone wealthy but that now is a hostel; a few more hostels, a few restaurants, all surrounded by mountainous dunes and teeming with hot and tired looking backpackers and dune buggy drivers. The thick smell of exhaust from the buggies was utterly intoxicating (not in a good way) and was adding to my growing anxiety. We stored our bags in a sideroom of the main hostel and I worried about them being stolen. We did a quick spin through town the tiny town and then sat down at the restaurant attached to the main hostel, where we ordered pasta because we were starving and it sounded good and we thought it would be quick. With only minutes to spare before our tour was to leave, we wolfed down massive plates of pasta and hoped they wouldn’t show up on the Huacachina dunes (luckily they did not).

LDC_20170524_31680002
buggy and riders atop dune, Kodak Ektar 100

The driver was wild. We made a few stops to sightsee and he wasn’t too worried about us getting strapped into our seats before he zoomed off again (can you feel my nerves getting even more frayed here?). There were 10 of us in the buggy and the two young girls in the seat with me and Bella were more concerned about strapping me in than about their own welfare, which was awfully sweet. Just as I started to settle in and shove my fear down, we stopped for our first foray into sandboarding, which you could either do standing on the board (there were straps to velcro your feet into) or you could lie headfirst, your hands gripping the front straps. We all opted for lying and I will tell you, when our driver started handing out the boards I flat out refused. Bella gently nudged. The other young people in our car offered encouragement. I wanted to do it but worried I’d look silly. I grabbed the board and when it was my turn, I went down, shouting like an idiot and laughing my head off. Hooked!

So for the rest of the time I didn’t bother to get a camera out, but was loving the stops to slide down hills that got bigger, longer, and sometimes faster each stop.

Until my kid got hurt. I won’t tell her story, but she was involved in a crash at the bottom of a hill and I was at the top of the hill and I felt a couple of years of life leave my body. All my fears were suddenly founded, I went through all the possible horrible scenarios in my head in the (probably only seconds of) time it took for her to stand up and answer that she was okay. Once I got to the bottom I saw that she was banged up and cut up and in some real pain. But because she is one hell of a tough woman, she was able to enjoy the rest of the tour, which we weren’t even at the halfway point of when this happened. We still boarded the rest of the hills and laughed and communed with our other passengers.

LDC_20170524_31610029
sunset over Huacachina dunes, Kodak Ektar 100

After cleaning up Bella’s wounds and getting our bag from the hostel, we had to board the bus that would take us back to Lima. I don’t remember much of the trip because we both (thankfully) slept much of it, but we arrived back to the Lima apartment dirty, gritty, tired, and one of us quite sore. I was grateful to not have to spend that night in a hostel but in a very comfy bed in a modern apartment with cold water and creamy yogurt in the fridge and warm water for showers in the tap.

The next day we met the family responsible for the educational program that brought my daughter Bella to Peru. They took us to lunch and then welcomed us warmly into their home. I stayed at the apartment Friday night while Bella hung out with the people she would be working with for the next three weeks. Saturday we packed up our belongings and she left for her next adventure. I walked down to the park and the Pacific ocean one last time before my travels back home.

________________________

The reason for this trip was that my daughter Bella is teaching computer science in an afterschool program at a private school in a very nice suburb of Lima. I could not be more proud of her and she asked me to join her for this week before her program started. As I’m writing this now, one week after I’ve been home, she has one week of the program under her belt. I still have more to say about Lima but wanted to get photos out and some of the logistics written before I totally forgot.

Some randomness:

  • The smells were overwhelming: exhaust and cars, food, the ocean–all pungent and at times too much for me, but also exciting and different.
  • The driving is insane: we learned quickly to cross streets fast, the horns are constant, drivers are not distracted like they are in the U.S.–they are entirely focused. The horns, like the smells, got exhausting and overwhelming.
  • Dogs are everywhere: there are tons of stray dogs almost everywhere we went (not in Miraflores, though) and particularly in Paracas, where if you’re just standing around they sort of insert themselves into your crowd, which is entertaining, but also sad because they all limp, or have missing tails, or are visibly banged up in other ways. Scrappy panhandlers.
  • Sometimes I felt daunted about going out because it got a little exhausting to communicate. I felt bad that I didn’t know more Spanish, and really appreciated that most people we came across seemed patient and tried to work with us. I want to do better next time I travel to a place where English is not the native language.
  • It’s okay to get annoyed with each other when you are traveling with someone. It’s going to happen. Pisco sours smooth things quickly.
  • I wouldn’t have traded this week with my daughter for the world, even with the couple of hiccups.
  • Yep, would have been nice to see Machu Picchu, but we couldn’t fit it in. Maybe another trip, and I’d like to do it hiking.

Lima, part 1-ish (of sorts)

I’m having such a hard time putting into words my experience of travel last week! Maybe it’s the illness that hit me after, but I don’t think that’s being honest. I even had a hard time putting the experience into words while my daughter and I were in Lima. It might also be the fact that I’m really not well traveled. Maybe my language for describing my travels would be more refined if I had more experience. Who knows? Peru makes only my second trip outside the United States. Well, that isn’t counting Canada, which is right next door (literally, I can walk down the street and see it).

The trip made me feel very small. I think I am broad-minded, yet my experiences are so narrow. I don’t know how truly broad-minded a person can be if they don’t actually experience much outside their “normal.” I also felt kind of brave, but I can thank my daughter for that–I wouldn’t have been there if it weren’t for her. She’s really brave.

But I’m getting philosophical and really I want to explore some aspects of the trip. So maybe I need to write about it the same way I experienced it… in bits.

In light of trying to pack light, I didn’t bring a notebook. I was sort of thinking I’d try to experience rather than document (aside from photos), but I should have known that was a mistake. For me, writing things down makes them stick in my brain. Even if I never read what I’ve written, the act of writing when or just after an experience cements it in my brain. I have details and feelings and images and it’s all at my fingertips (well, mostly). But I didn’t do that and already I’m finding myself at a loss. The fog is setting in now, so I better task myself with noting a detail or two every day so that they don’t all flit away.

Here is what I want to write about or at least remember in regard to the trip, in no particular order, and this list is really just so I don’t forget:

  • smells, good god, the smells (good and bad)
  • food, thinking about food, ordering food, eating food, deciding where to eat food
  • traffic and drivers
  • language (or, language barrier) and wishing I knew one other than English
  • heat and humidity and my hair, which looked like a poofball
  • dogs, everywhere (and some cats)
  • traveling with my adult kid, trying not to annoy my adult kid, drinking with my adult kid (or, pisco sours make the tense bits all better)
  • talking to strangers in foreign countries (which is different than talking to strangers at, say, the grocery store)
  • doing things you are secretly excited to do but think you shouldn’t because you’ll look ___________ (old, ridiculous, stupid, etc.) but then you do them anyway and realize you don’t care one bit if you in fact looked ___________ (same list)
  • not working for a week, and not being freaked out about it

I know there’s more but late night blog posts just aren’t going to come out fully formed. Anyway, I’ll toss another picture out here even though I haven’t picked up my negatives yet so I don’t know which film this is. Maybe that doesn’t even matter.

I promise this is not a dead cat. This cat was very much alive, sleeping soundly on a walkway in Parque Kennedy, which was a few blocks away from our apartment and is known for having something like 80 cats that live there and which also has something to do with honoring JFK but the cats are probably a more curious detail. We saw them everywhere–sleeping, playing, eating food that people bring them.

LDC_20170524_31600025
cat, sleeping (not dead) in Parque Kennedy, Miraflores, Lima (Minolta X-700)