Partying and Belen

The last couple of days were interesting. I found out I could get an apartment free through a friend, the apartment is currently empty, I mean unfurnished. Getting some furniture is cheap compared to the hotel rate for the time I would stay. I went to see it and it was OK but knowing that I’d be back soon didn’t really do much with it. Why didn’t I think of this a couple of months ago when I was just doing nothing in Lima?

I went to one of the Agricobank parties. Not much people but Monica’s friends were there. Last time one of them was like wanting to talk with me. I just avoided it politely. This time I arrived a bit late and they had been drinking with some other guys, so when I got there she was a bit friendly and after asking me a bit of who I was and saying that Monica and her were friends but she was not into the same “business”, but that she just wanted me, all while getting closer and starting to grope me. As much of an ego stroke as that somehow was I felt unwilling after a few moments, I told her so and she reacted asking me if I didn’t like her or if I was gay. I just said she was not my type and offered her a drink. After that we talked a bit, booze helped her to open and talk about her life. Until I got sleepy again and told her I was leaving. And I left.

On the one hand it was interesting to talk to the hookers and see more than just one side of them. On the other it was a pity that most of my experience in Iquitos was only with them and not with a normal girl, I mean, not a girl in the business, just a somebody that lives there.

I went to Belen. If you go around the Belen Market more than a guy will approach to you offering a ride in a bot to visit Belen. They usually ask 20 soles. But as in other places they are just intermediaries who inflate the price.

To get to the Belen port you have to walk 3 blocks down the Belen Market and then descend. You will find again many people offering the same, ask if he has a boat and if he is going to drive. The ride costs 2 to 5 soles. If you want to pay more, give it straight to the boat driver not to a guy who just brings them a customer and takes the larger part of the money with them.

OK, you then descend to the “port” and walk over wood above the water -they are like a bridge- until you board the boat. Then they take you around.

Belen

All this neighborhood is under water on the rainy season, you can see the first floor of many housed almost covered in water until the roof. But most of the houses are done in such a way that they just move everything one floor above and that’s it. I don’t know how they do with electricity, there must be a switch for each floor I guess.

They have small shops, bars, hairdressers, everything above the water. Even a church. On the way you see many houses with their doors opened and the way people leave, in hammocks, and with some furniture like tables and chairs but mostly they stay at the porch laying like sloths or kids playing in the river.

It’s an interesting trip, not to be missed.

When you return, a walk around in the market is also interesting. You will see many kinds of exotic meats sold there as motelo (turtle), majás, and some sausages that I dared not ask what they were made of. The many fruits are also interesting, some do not usually arrive to Lima and you can see and taste them there copahiba, tumbo, aguaje, ungurahui and cocona drinks are readily available for 0.50 soles a glass.

A market gives you a glimpse of a part how people lives. Consumption habits are part of a lifestyle picture.

The town has something that captures you and makes you want to stay in spite of the temperature -30 to 32º C at midday- and not having the greatest nightlife, I’d wanted to have more time to stay longer or to have come before. The allure of a simpler life perhaps. There’s also my liking for finding out how is life in other places by staying a while there.

So, while I order a cocona drink in my fav jungle food restaurant back here I think of Iquitos with a bit of nostalgia.

I should go back to stay for a longer time. Just hope that the flat is still there.

listening to Atahualpa Amuletos [Niños Malos version]

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