Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Travel Report: 2011 LAPT Lima, Departure

With my flight not leaving until around 11 p.m. last night, I had most of the day to explore Miraflores some more, something I wasn’t really able to do much of back in June.

Lucky for me F-Train also had a late flight out, and so the two of us spent the afternoon and early evening doing a lot of walking and talking in and around Lima’s most upscale district.

Miraflores means “to watch flowers,” so we did some of that, particularly at the park in the city’s center after having lunch at a sidewalk cafe. We watched other things, too.

We watched dozens of shoe shines being given, while refusing multiple offers to have shoe shines of our own. We watched full service gas stations with long lines. We watched local produce being sold, including outrageously huge corn. We watched meat and fish being sold in an open-air market, swatting the flies to get a better look.

We watched vest-clad figures with stacks of U.S. dollars in one hand and soles in the other handling currency exchanges right on the sidewalk. We watched a performer with a dummy tied to himself dancing about in front of cars at an intersection, looking for all the world like a manic fight had broken out right in the middle of the street. Then we watched as he successfully collected a few soles from the drivers for the show. Or dollars, I suppose.

Eventually we wound our way over to the Inka Market and Indian Market, a couple of large, outdoor shops full of Peruvian wares of varying value where I picked up a few gifts. Then we spent a stretch at another cafe where we had Turkish coffee and talked about the past, the present, and the future. Was a very nice way to end the trip -- seeing more of Lima, and also getting to think further about things with a friend and colleague who knows his stuff.

Mimes and Death at the CrossingNear the end of the day, we saw another odd street scene. Mimes as crossing guards, aided by a figure dressed as the Grim Reaper. No shinola!

Again, as was happening to me all weekend, I was unable to avoid drawing analogies, looking upon the caped figure as indicating the sudden “death” of much of online poker in the U.S. Then I thought again of the poor fellow who’d fallen from one of the coastal cliffs to his demise, the one we’d seen on the drive in last Wednesday (mentioned here). Almost seemed like kind of an uncanny bookend, this.

But the shutting out of U.S. players from these sites -- and even all of the other collateral damage and fallout -- is not life-and-death. It’s a big deal, but it’s not that.

Mimes and Death at the CrossingMaybe it is more like a big stop sign, representing how a lot of us may well have to stop doing what we’ve been doing for a while. Or do it less or differently or whatever. But we’ll be moving back on down the road again, I think.

Speaking of moving on, thanks for being patient and letting me stubbornly complete my little travelogue of my return trip to the southern hemisphere while the online poker world turned upside down.

Travel Report: 2011 LAPT Lima, Arrival
Travel Report: 2011 LAPT Lima, Pregame
Travel Report: 2011 LAPT Lima, Day 1
Travel Report: 2011 LAPT Lima, Day 2
Travel Report: 2011 LAPT Lima, Day 3
Travel Report: 2011 LAPT Lima, Day 4

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