Saturday, January 25, 2014

January 25, 2014, Piura, Peru

We are still in Piura, Peru and trying to shake this cold that is now about 2 weeks old. I only leave the room a few times a day to go eat and the balance of my day is spent in bed either sleeping or just relaxing. This afternoon we went to the Farmacia and with the help of a translation program on my phone we were able to get some medication for my kennel cough. No need to see a doctor here as the pharmacies are able to dispense medications without a prescription.

Diana went looking for a suitable restaurant, one that is popular with the locals this afternoon while I rested. We return to the place she chose and it's packed with people, some look like they are on their way to a  wedding as they are dressed for a celebration, others are packing bags from an afternoon of shopping. We wait around for 15 minutes for a table and I finally say to Diana we need to get a cheek on a seat as soon as a diner looks like they're finished eating or we'll never get a table, the waiter eventually chases a woman away who bulldogged her way into a table before others who had been waiting longer than her and motions us to have a seat. We had a triple deck sandwich with tomato, avocado and sliced hard boiled egg which was a nice change from rice and chicken or rice and mystery meat in slurry. Diana finished with a bowl of fresh fruit and yogurt while I had to try the apple cheesecake which was very good.

After supper we sat on a park bench next to a traffic circle which has a monument in the middle and watched the traffic chaos. We did a survey of vehicles and found for every 100 cabs that passed us there was 21 private vehicles (in less than 5 minutes). The cabs, most of which shouldn't be on the road are in desperate need of repair. We saw vehicles with no taillights or brake lights, fenders flapping in the breeze, totally bald tires, etc. The cabbies drive around with their left hand hanging out the window and they rotate their wrist back and forth, we're not exactly sure what it means, possibly a left turn signal, maybe right signal, perhaps a signal to brake, or just a warning to be careful because they're going to make an erratic maneuver of some type. Their right hand is constantly alternating from the horn or waving at someone, either to get their attention or looking for a fare. There is no effort on the cabbies part to get their client to the curb and they will just stop in the middle of the traffic and the client needs to find their own way to the sidewalk and safety. As we are discussing the free entertainment we review our travels over the past 3 months and come to the conclusion that even with all this madness on the roads we have witnessed fewer accidents in South and Central America than we did while traveling in the USA.
It's not uncommon to see taxis without any tail, brake or signal lights.

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