Monday, November 9, 2009

From Tchaikovsky to Taxes

Saturday we attended a ballet staged at the municipal auditorium of district Jose Leonardo Ortiz by Ballet Municipal of Lima, a professional troupe from Lima. The performance was scheduled to begin at 4:30pm; actually began at 5:30, and finished at 7:00. The delay between scheduled and actual time is an example of that quaint little custom known as “La Hora Peruana”, or hour Peruvian. Nothing starts on time. To Peruvians it’s something to chuckle about. To non-Peruvians it’s a royal pain in the ass.

There was no admission charge as the performance was a gift from the mayor of Lima to the people of Chiclayo. I’m told the performers are professionals. What I know about ballet wouldn’t cover a postage stamp but I do recognize precision physical movement when I see it. This wasn’t it. The lifts and leaps were mechanical and measured….the chorography basic and safe. Still, it was an entertaining and enjoyable afternoon. The audience rewarded the performers with a standing ovation.

Sunday afternoon found us in Picsi on the first day of a week-long celebration of the town’s 186th anniversary. The town’s people were still in the process of setting up so there wasn’t much to see or do other than take a few photos. The architecture of the church adjacent to the principal park is different from anything I’ve seen before.

One event that was in progress was a 10k run. We were at the finish line to get this photo of the winner. I don’t know what his time was, but he came in a full 4 minutes ahead of the second place runner.

We managed to entice Miss Picsi to pose for us next to the raffle prizes. The raffle is an interesting concept. Those who pay their taxes punctually qualify for a chance at winning a prize. Those who don’t pay on time are out of the drawing.

As part of the celebration there will be boxing matches tomorrow night beginning at 9:30pm, with the big bash – music and dancing taking place Thursday night. I don’t think we’ll be going back for either.

Picsi is not a town we would recommend as a must-see. In fact I wouldn’t even include it on a worth a stop list unless there were some special event taking place. Not because it’s unattractive – it’s not, but because it doesn’t have anything to differentiate it from a thousand other small towns.


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