Adventures in Affluency


Last night Karina and her friend Monica took me to Jockey Plaza , yes, el centro comercial más grande del Perú. It is basically exactly the same as a mall in the US, including about 75% of the stores, such as Ecco, Tommy Hilfiger, Starbucks, etc. What’s amusing to me is the transmutation that some of the US restaurants have undergone in their transplantation aquì–por ejemplo, Pizza Hut here is a luxurious dining experience, 50 wooden tables with cloth napkins, and the pizza actually looked kind of good. McDonald´s, as another example, are not the tiny little freeway stop-offs that we’ve all gained a few extra pounds from on roadtrips–they are gigantic 3-story edifices here. Although junk food is junk food by any other appearance.
After eating some Italian food, we decided to go to el cine, the favorite past-time of young Limeños. We watched La Mujer De Mi Hermano which was of course entirely in Spanish, meaning that I understood nothing except what I could gather from the on-screen visuals. It basically was a slow-moving plot about this hot chick who is married to a gay man, and has an affair with his brother to break the boredom of her marriage. This is what I gathered from what I could see. It made me realize how far I am from being anywhere near conversant in Spanish. Karina would ask me if I understood, and I would of course say no, and then she would proceed to tell me what was going on in Spanish, which didn’t really help me all that much. Oftentimes Peruvians, once they have established that I can speak rudimentary Spanish, will proceed to talk to me as if I am a native speaker, which is flattering, but then I am forced to pretend that I understand everything they say and inevitably feel a bit embarassed when I have to remind them that I didn’t really understand much of their extensive monologue directed at me.

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Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

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