Couchsurfing, salsa dancing, and a jazz club

Trip Start May 06, 2007
Trip End Jul 24, 2008

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Monday, July 2, 2007

It was great being in Lima for a long weekend.  The 5 days that we've spent in Lima have been filled with music, dancing, and meeting other people from couchsurfing.  We found a host on who lives in Miraflores (the nicer, gringo neighborhood in Lima) and had enough space for both of us.  His name is Jacque and he's actually Malaysian, but has been living in Lima for the last 6 months for work.  His apartment is quite nice - with an extra bedroom for me and a couch in the living room for Bryan.  Although, the bed in the extra bedroom is of the extra hard variety, sleeping on the floor would probably be equally as comfortable (or uncomfortable).  But it's free, so I can't complain plus the shower has hot water and really good water pressure which usually don't come together.

Thursday night we joined Jacque for his salsa dancing class which ended up being more of an hour and a half aerobics class with a focus on how to move your hips.  At the end of the class we got the teacher to play a few songs for partner dancing (which she had never done before) and we taught Jacque and the French girl who's in class with him more about how to lead and follow than they'd learn in the month they've been taking the class.  Afterward they told us that they had never actually danced in partners the entire time and every class had only been of the aerobics variety.  We felt a little bad for enlightening them to the fact that their teacher is terrible, but it's good for them to know.

Later that night, Bryan and I went to a Jazz club to hear and Afro-Peruvian band, Fiesta Negra.  They were a lot of fun.  One of the guys in the band was hysterical to watch because he was really getting down and grooving with the music while he played.  I have some video that I'll post on-line eventually when I have a faster connection.  The only bad part about the night was that the band only played one short set for about an hour and fifteen minutes.  We would have liked to have heard more from them.

Friday night we went to a performance of traditional dances called Las Brisas de Titicaca.  They wore traditional costumes and danced traditional dances from all over Peru.  The costumes were beautifully colorful and very different from the different regions.  In between sections of the performances, they had a band playing for the audience to come up and dance.  Toward the end, they invited the audience to join with the performers in a dance that reminded me of the Hora (a Jewish dance that's done at weddings and bar mitzvahs).

Saturday another girl from couchsurfing joined us to go out salsa dancing.  At first it was a lot of fun, but then the place got really crowded, so much so that you couldn't actually dance on the dance floor.  After getting elbowed in the side a couple of times (hard enough to cause bruising) and hit in the face, I decided that I was ready to call it a night.

Sunday I had lunch with another couchsurfer, a girl from the Bay Area who had just arrived in Lima the night before.  Then after spending some time in the art museum, I met up with another girl from couchsurfing who lives in Lima.  She took me to her neighborhood where we walked around for awhile and spent some time talking.  She's going to be moving to Manchester, England in the fall for grad school, so if I end up visiting there I may see her again.

I've really enjoyed the time in Lima and have stayed really busy meeting up with so many different people.  It's been nice to be back in a big city after all the small towns.  But, all good things must come to an end, so tomorrow morning we're leaving Lima to continue south to Pisco.  It's always good to leave a place before you've worn out your welcome.
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