Every Day in Lima is the Best Day Ever

 

I’m walking down yet another wrought-iron gate-lined block. It looks exactly the same as the one before it. No wait, the spikes at the top of the gate are a little pointier on this block, and the rust is a slightly different hue.

This is my 7th day in Lima. I was only supposed to be here for 3 days, but a transportation strike has stranded me here in the Miraflores district, the most tourist-ridden part of town.

Across the street is a McDonald’s and a Starbucks.

Next door is a Pizza Hut and a Burger King.

There’s a Dunkin Donuts ’round the corner.

Ah, the magic of travel.

I’m wandering the streets of Lima with a friend from Detroit that I made at the hostel I’m staying at. We’re looking for a massage studio that may or may not exist. We turn a corner, following the directions we acquired from a street vendor several blocks back. We look around.

Nope. No studio. Damn.

“Best. Day. EVER!” my friend declares dramatically.

She’s caught on and gotten into the groove of things.

The first time I said that phrase was several days previous, when a Thai restaurant we had read about online ended up being closed when we arrived.

The second time was the next night when the same restaurant was supposed to be open but wasn’t.

The third was when we realized that it was closed for good. Damn economy. Damn Lima. “Best. Day. EVER!”

After that, every bad thing that would happen warranted the declaration. Nothing was too big or too small. It all fit under the undeclared umbrella of Lima-suckage.

I got punched in the face at a gay dance club.

We had to change rooms in the hostel.

We both had stomach issues because of the food/water.

It was impossible to sleep because of a noisy game that took place every night outside our room.

“Every day in Lima is the Best Day Ever!”

This phrase was magical in many ways. It’s primary function was to give us both a way to vent that was psychologically productive. When something bad would happen, we’d have a header to file it under…of COURSE something would go wrong, because our Lima experience is x, y and z.

Saying something positive when something bad happens, even jokingly, can have a wonderful effect on your mood. Suddenly each and every little bad moment became an inside joke and we would start laughing; just one more funny little occurrence to tell people about later, not something intrinsically BAD.

Making fun of negative moments also allows you to take the power away from said moment. It can be intimidating when it seems like the world is against you, but if you can laugh at the situation, then you’re back in control, leaving you open for all the good experiences that you otherwise would have missed out on because you were moping about the bad stuff.

There were a lot of really positive aspects of Lima, but the ironic thing is this: the parts that I really remember fondly are the ones that made every day in Lima the Best Day Ever.

14 comments

  1. we do the same thing in cuba. when your bus stops for the third time and you have to push it, it just warrants a giggle and an, “oh well, it’s cuba. just gotta roll with it.”

    we’ve even started documenting bizarre setbacks, like schedules that constantly change without notice, restaurants that have no food and dogs that get stuck together while having sex in public.

    outsiders seem a little pleasantly confused by our mantra, but i’ve actually become far more flexible and laid back because of it

  2. we do the same thing in cuba. when your bus stops for the third time and you have to push it, it just warrants a giggle and an, “oh well, it’s cuba. just gotta roll with it.”

    we’ve even started documenting bizarre setbacks, like schedules that constantly change without notice, restaurants that have no food and dogs that get stuck together while having sex in public.

    outsiders seem a little pleasantly confused by our mantra, but i’ve actually become far more flexible and laid back because of it

  3. Psychologically speaking, I think this idea is going to make tomorrow the Best. Day. Ever for me.

    Or I’ll forget about it and get distracted by something else. But now because I said that, I probably won’t. Curse you overanalyzation.

    Thanks for the lovely post.

  4. Psychologically speaking, I think this idea is going to make tomorrow the Best. Day. Ever for me.

    Or I’ll forget about it and get distracted by something else. But now because I said that, I probably won’t. Curse you overanalyzation.

    Thanks for the lovely post.

  5. You have a great point, and I think this is a small mind hack that can actually do wonders. I will give it a try since lately trying to get anything done with the system department guys is a pain.

    I’m glad you always try to look for the best side of things, after all we love to hear the stories, good or bad we really like them and we support you.

  6. You have a great point, and I think this is a small mind hack that can actually do wonders. I will give it a try since lately trying to get anything done with the system department guys is a pain.

    I’m glad you always try to look for the best side of things, after all we love to hear the stories, good or bad we really like them and we support you.

  7. @delia: Haha, okay, I just laughed out loud at the mental image of two dogs stuck together due to their public indecency. Classic!

    @Tim: Lock it in and make it happen!

    @Alejandro: Thanks for the support, buddy! Sometimes it’s the smallest mind-hacks that do the trick, so let me know how it works for you.

  8. @delia: Haha, okay, I just laughed out loud at the mental image of two dogs stuck together due to their public indecency. Classic!

    @Tim: Lock it in and make it happen!

    @Alejandro: Thanks for the support, buddy! Sometimes it’s the smallest mind-hacks that do the trick, so let me know how it works for you.

  9. I had such an awesome time for the 3 months I was in Lima, I loved it.

    There are so many people in this world who cling to negativity. After going through some rough experiences, I’ve found life is so much better if you just learn to let the negative stuff brush on by.

  10. I had such an awesome time for the 3 months I was in Lima, I loved it.

    There are so many people in this world who cling to negativity. After going through some rough experiences, I’ve found life is so much better if you just learn to let the negative stuff brush on by.

  11. Pingback: 20 Things to Always Do When You Can While Traveling | Exile Lifestyle

  12. Hopefully, you have realized that the experience in Lima was finally better. :D
    Well I’m coming from Lima and I must say, that it’s WONDERFUL. OK, ok just because I came from it :). Lima has its ups, downs and ugly but always I remember the people who used to lived with, that is making my Lima such a place to miss. And it happen the same when I remember China.
    I'm so agree with Bradley. I believe that measure our experience for a short time, It’s not giving the opportunity to learn from it. And letting our judgment talk to from our bad experience, it's giving us a plus that doesn’t let us to appreciate others cultures.

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