10 September 2007

Trapped in Lima

I was told I could go to the clinic anytime this morning for an electro-encephalogram test thing. But when I showed up, they told me to come back at 4 pm. I can´t seem to get out of Lima, the veins in my left hand are swollen, and there´s a strange cyst growing on my right hand. I am trying to remain in good cheer, though, because I don´t think there is anything seriously wrong with me. This is, in a way, a gift of time, time to reflect on the contradictions of South American society. The differences between rich and poor are quite noticeable here. The rich live in luxurious environs, barricaded from the poor (and indigenous) by locks, bars, barbed wire, electric wire, and, of course, style. It´s very easy to find clubs where the drinks are $4 or more each, and I have to wonder who can afford that in Peru (not me). Most of the old mansions are decrepit, though. It looks as though European creole society tried to make a go of it here but failed to keep it together. Everything is run down, shabby, and barely functioning, except for the occasional shopping mall, movie theater, supermarket, or trendy restaurant, all of which are garrisoned by security 24 hours a day. There used to be tram lines here, beach resorts, and other trappings of prosperity. I wonder what happened. And I wonder what the rich classes are living for, their lives a kind of pathetic Euro-faux simulacrum of American affluence. South America is definitely a place where the fiction of society´s organicity is exposed. Do the structures of society only exist to provide wealthy white people with means of diversion? I don´t see a whole lot else going on, and that includes the budget backpacker crowd I´m a part of. Our principal motivation is to sponge off the poverty of ancient, tropical countries. Speaking of which, I need to go find a way to kill time before my next medical test. Hopefully, I´ll be able to get out of this city in the next few days. Lima´s not so bad, really. I just like to be mobile and I´ve been stuck in a drugged-up rut for a week now.

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