Lost in Lima

Today is my first day in Lima, and I must say, I feel lost.  Not only that, I feel so very alone.  I am the only American here, it seems, and I am the only Asian, also.  On top of that, I am the only solo traveler, as usual.   I feel that everyone is staring.  I am reminded of my childhood when I first came to the U.S.  Our family was the first Asians in the neighborhood so everyone looked our way.  In grade school, when I could barely speak English, I vividly recall the following memory…The teacher, all of a sudden, started pounding the erasers on the board with fervor, so much so that the dusty chalk was spreading like smoke, and Mr. Reyno yelled, “STOP STARING AT HER!”  He, of course, was referring to me.  When I turned around, as I had no knowledge of what was going on (I always paid close attention to the teachers), the entire class immediately turned their heads to the front of the class.  It so happened that they were all staring at the first Asian in their classroom, as well as the first (along with my brother) non English-speaking kid, and I was, and felt, so absolutely alone.  Since most of you who are reading this blog don’t know me, I can assure you that I didn’t fit in with the crowd then, nor do I now.    I sometimes wish I did, and today was one of those days.  Because it was my first day in a new country, in a new continent, I wish I could write that it was fantastic, amazing, and divine.  But life is not like that.  Life is not always fantastic, always happy, and always in our favor.  Let me clarify that this has nothing to do with the country of Peru itself.  Instead, it is what happened to me, a single soul, in a single unit of time, in this amazing universe.  

As I woke up tired and hungry, I devoured my breakfast.  Thank goodness it was a buffet.  I then took a cab to the main square of Lima, the Plaza de Armas.  After taking some pictures in the main square, I went to the Iglesia de San Franciso, a beautiful church that housed bones of some 70,000 people in the catacombs.  I was disappointed to find that no photos were allowed.  The inside of the building had beautiful hand-painted tiles, and it reminded me of Istanbul, Turkey when I was visiting the Topkapi Museum.  Again, it was too bad that I couldn’t take pictures.  There was a large painting of THE LAST SUPPER which I read about back in Chicago, and I looked forward to taking pictures as the main entree in the centerpiece of the painting was a platter of a guinea pig, a commonly served food in Peru!  Oh, well…

I was starving so I ended up in a little crowded restaurant.  Don’t ask me the name.  Rice with chicken was ordered as that was the only thing I could recognize, fearing that I would order some kind of meat or worse, guinea pig.  I can’t say that I enjoyed it, although it was amazing to me that the entire meal cost a little less than $3 American dollars!  It turns out, as I instinctively knew, that the area I was in was a pretty poor neighborhood.  The colorful architecture I saw in the skyline away from the church I just visited, I found out later, was a very poor section of the city.  But to me, it was beautiful.  I had those moments when the mundane seemed divine.   It is life, after all, that I was witnessing.  Athough I love luxury, high fashion, and everything that is beautiful, sometimes the true colors of life itself are more stunning.  Besides, it makes me realize how damn lucky I truly am.  As I started to feel more nasea, fearing that I would get sick, I took a cab back to my hotel.  I took a nice nap and felt better, although I woke up with that still-lingering loneliness that comes from time to time in our lives, not knowing the cause.

As I had the courage to walk to a nearby restaurant, ordering food that was not clearly understood by me (the language barrier is a surprise to me here), I felt better now after a glass of red wine. No, I didn’t feel great today.  But as I am writing this at a restaurant with a room full of strangers, all wondering why I am sitting and dining alone, I feel really good.  How many others can go to another country, solo, without speaking the language, and feel so passionate (and have the guts to do so) about discovering the world through wide open eyes?  As I already crossed off another bucket list item yesterday by arriving in a new  continent, I can now go to bed and hope, that tomorrow will be a better day.  As I am writing this while my iPhone is lighting up with the likes I’m given through Instagram, I don’t feel so alone any more.  In fact, I feel connected.  The likes from Instagram and the curiosity from you readers, although I don’t know who you are, make me feel truly grateful and fantastic.  I guess I don’t feel so alone any more.  Tomorrow will be better…I promise. 


About Blogatrixx

I took a solo trip to Turkey that changed me. Wanderlust was ignited as well as a passion for photography. I want to keep traveling and discovering our world.
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