Let’s do the time warp

Photo in the Seoul Museum of History

Original and best!

I spent last weekend catching up with a friend in Lima who delivered the shocking news that the ramshackle fleet of venerable combis that furnished the soundtrack to my life in Miraflores is no more. More


You know you’re in Peru when…

The exit sign on the door of the impossibly rickety old bus is in Korean.

Someone has dug a pit of flames and rocks two meters from a childrens’ climbing frame.

The second question every new person asks (after ‘where are you from?’) is, “do you love our food?” Not the country, not the people, not what do you like in general. Straight to the chase.

The temperature hits 15°C and there’s a national panic about protecting the vulnerable from the cold, and articles on how to drive in wet conditions.

A pen full of scruffy guinea-pigs makes you think, “they don’t look very appetising,” rather than, “poor, cute little things.”

Being at the bottom of the table for the world cup qualifiers does not call for pessimistic reviews of where national football has gone wrong, but for good cheer in the face of a possible win against Venezuela.

‘Wanka farma’ is not an unreasonable or laughable name for a pharmacy.

And most of all – you’re surrounded by this kind of national pride and wonderful silliness…Peru, Nebraska

Home is…

… getting on the bus home and seeing a friendly face.

… the Publimetro distributor knowing what time you’ll pass by in the morning.

… the local tienda owners letting you run in for a last-minute beer when the shutters are down.

… shooting the breeze with the concierge when you get home in the evening.


… running into someone you know, even when you’re in a tiny town miles away from where you live.

… colleagues who share their Tetleys teabags and McVities digestives with you, even when no one’s going to get stocked up again for another six weeks at least.

…books, a coffee table and a comfy sofa.

… knowing which cinemas are worth checking on cheap cinema day.

… having ‘favourite places’ to go when you’re in a certain mood.

… being able to give people bus information.

… knowing bus information in the first place.

Feathered friends

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