Last week, as you probably know, a nine-meter-high wave (with five or six secondary waves) devastated part of the Chilean coast and wiped out a village or two. Oh, before I forget: I am sure you've all read the sad news about the looters and pillagers. Can you believe that a great number of them have brought all the stuff back and apologised? "...and the times they are a-chaaaaanging..."
On 27 February at least 30 people were hurt and hundreds of buildings came down in the south-east of China, in Yunnan Province, and aftershock waves of up to 5º on the Richter Scale were reported in the Chuxiong area. Those aftershocks didn’t stop until Friday 5 March, and one quake of 5.4 shook the south of Tibet, east of the capital Lhasa. And in Japan they had a quake of 7.3 near Okinawa, around 1,600 km south of Tokyo, it was also feared that a tsunami would follow and affect many islands and states in the South Pacific.
As I said, there were many, many more all over the place, and then came the ‘biggun’, the Chile quake with 8.8 on the Richter Scale which could even be felt in many ways all the way north here at the Peruvian Pacific coastline. The sea hasn’t quite been the same since. At one point it pulled back by about 200m and we were sure a tsunami was in the make, but then it slowly returned albeit somewhat tamer than usual. In the meantime (I am writing 12 March) the sea is virtually back to its old splendour, even though another tsunami seems to be cooking. Peru so far has escaped. How long for, nobody knows, even though – as always – there are some rumour mongers claiming they have it straight from the Almighty himself.
Apropos travelling to Europe: I’ll see some of you, of course, and there’ll not be a blog for a while. My daughter is making me a grandmother, so I’ll be grand-mothering during April and not much more.
I leave you with some bullet points from my new home:
- The average Lima resident eats 48 kilograms of chicken a year, and the roast chicken restaurant chains are doing well. Pardo's Chicken is operating in foreign markets and Las Canastas will open its chain in Mexico and Texas in 2010.
- According to Manpower, Peru ranks fourth among countries with the highest expectation on new employment. Gestión quotes a survey conducted by Manpower which has India at the top, followed by Brazil, Taiwan and Peru.
- Peru hasn't qualified for a FIFA World Cup since 1982, but according to journalist Roger Bennet, Peru has the most stylish football jersey seen in a world cup since 1954, when the German brand Adidas appeared for the first time.
- It’s worth your while to venture into the tiny ‘town’ of Atiquipa (near Ariquipa). On top of the hills the ecosystem creates a sort of cloud forest at around 900 meters above sea level, and the locals use plastic mesh structures which function as ‘fog lamps’. The fog redistributes water and preserves the vegetation, fauna and agriculture.
- We had a friend over from old MAD which was rather nice, almost as though she’d just stepped off the bus or the metro to pop in for a few days. She took some brilliant photos during our trips together and during her lonely forays into Peruvian culture (old and new). When I get back from ‘abroad’ I’ll create an album with her pictures for you to share. She took of course the pics of the doctor and me at our happy best!
- And a brilliant Peruvian cocktail for you to mix when the sun is out again and beginning to warm your souls: Maricucha. You need: 3 oz. Pisco Quebranta, 2 oz. Maracuyá Juice and 1 oz. Jarabe de goma Ice. Blend all the ingredients with ice in blender, and decorate with a cherry (if you feel it needs a bit of colour). If you don’t find the ingredients in good ole’ Spain, buy a ticket to Lima!
- We ‘found’ a wonderful little restaurant in the heart of Miraflores, where the atmosphere is relaxing, the fountain is cooling your thoughts, and wonders of fusion (Japanese and Peruvian) are created by owner/chef Thomás. See some photos of the restaurant and the foodie delights.
- Went to the Indian Market, of course, and couldn't resist to check out the Magic Water thingie - a huge partk with all sorts of fountains.
- And last but by no means least: I am proud to announce that my first novel is now available on Amazon. It's called COMING UP FOR AIR and I use my 'real' name, just anglicised for easy pronounciation purposes. But it seems that Amazon can't find it in their hearts to put me on the same page as Orwell who (something I didn't know and my publisher apparently didn't either!) has written a book of the same title. Instead of crying, 'Plagiarism!' I've decided to feel flattered that someone of Orwell's standing would use my title :)... If you want to find it go to 'Rose Mary Boehm' and there it is in all its glory. It's rather exciting and also quite scary. What to say to those who actually do read it and decide it's a pile of dung? Probably nothing.