A disgruntled librarian packs it up and leaves fabulous New York City behind,
going on random global adventures,
while simultaneously promoting literacy
and spreading the love of the written word.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

barranco: all easy listening soft jazz covers of the 80s, all the time

let me tell you something, dear blog readers.  lima is a 3 day city, 4 days max.  we've kinda run out of stuff to do.  but that hasn't stopped us from having a fine time.  yesterday we ventured out to the suburb of barranco, which is a very pretty little town built into the side of a cliff overlooking the ocean.  pretty nice, right?

after walking around for several hours the bolshevik and i went to this little restaurant with patio seating and a fantastic view.  they also had happy hour.  turns out that translates in spanish.  as soon as we sat down i noticed that an odd, sort of bossa nova style version of Madonna's Like a Virgin was playing.  well that suited me just fine.  i heart the 80s.  then when i received my cuba libre, which turns out is just a fancy name for rum & coke, i noticed i had an 80s themed stirrer, complete with portrait of the rock band Queen!  (the bolshevik's stirrer just had the name of the restaurant.  lame!)

as the night went on, we heard covers of The Cure, A-Ha, Tears for Fears, Pet Shop Boys, etc.  at first we thought it was some sort of novelty group doing these cover songs, but then we heard a commercial in between songs and realized it was actually a radio station.  now let me interject right here to tell you that these covers were not actually good.  oh no.  they were not fun interesting takes on already well-known, well-crafted pop-songs.  they were slow, emotionless versions of already inoffensive songs.  it was as though someone thought "oh i like Sade's Smooth Operator but how can i make it a little less provocative and less in-your-face?"  and apparently there is an entire radio station in peru devoted to this.  thank you, peru.

but my favorite part of the evening was when a young girl walked up to our table selling candy. she was in what i thought was a sort of girl scout uniform, but later the bolshevik explained it was a catholic school uniform. anyway, thinking that she was some sort of peruvian girl scout, i bought some candy from her. then she was suddenly quite taken with our drink stirrers. (our drinks were empty at this point so don't worry, we were not contributing to the inebriation of minors) and of course the girl didn't speak any english, so the interaction went something like this (i will translate for you)

girl: what are those?
me: they are for drinks. they are for, how do you say "mixing?" (then i mimed mixing with the stirrers)
girl: [blah blah blah unintelligible spanish]
me: i'm sorry, i don't understand
girl: [blah blah blah more unintelligible spanish]
me: i don't speak much spanish

and then dear blog readers, that cute little peruvian girl scout girl grabbed my freddy mercury drink stirrer and walked off with it! i would have protested, but she really was cute. and she seemed so taken with the drink stirrers. she was beating them together like drumsticks as she walked away ... possibly to the tune of a lounge lizard version of Tainted Love.


  1. That dirty little Peruvian Girl Scout! Was she out to get her Steal From Espanol-Impaired Gringos badge?

    The music in your story makes me wonder about the musical tastes of all of South America. Did Mr. Fleshwound & I tell you about the terrible post-wedding dinner music they played on the boombox after we dismissed the live musicians who were getting eaten alive by mosquitos? It was a breathless woman covering great hair metal hits, such as "(I Wanna) Rock & Roll All Night (& Party Every Day)," "Sweet Child of Mine," & many, many more. Then the CD of "love songs" when we got back to our bungalow was made up of lots of break-up songs & songs that had nothing to do with romance, such as "Sailing" by Christopher Cross, "(Hey Now, Hey Now) Don't Dream It's Over" & "If You Leave Me Now" by Chicago.

    I'm really hoping we can find both CDs in a Love Songs of South America 5-CD collection from Time-Life!

  2. i remember you mentioning that the music was bad, but i did not recall a cover of I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night and Party Every Day. That is really something special that should be revered.