David Coveney

Del Carajo

At the end of the night a few of us were still ready to party. The reception went from 2pm to 11pm and to be honest… that’s not enough when you have the wind in your sails. Myself and Romana had wondered off from the group to investigate another party in the military base that sounded fun, but like our own, without tickets you weren’t getting anywhere close. Society do’s are like that in Peru.

Carlos, Geraldine’s brother said he’d meet us at Del Carajo. Of course he was steaming by this point, but seemed keen. We didn’t realise he was also meeting another bunch at a restaurant elsewhere, and no doubt another group at a third venue. He didn’t show up at any – I don’t think his wife was having any of it!

And one of those optimistic taxis later we found ourselves in the middle of an obviously poor district – a nearby bar pounding out the music, armed guards, and dire warnings from the taxi driver not to go wandering around looking for taxis – which given we were still in wedding gear was sound advice in most locations. At 25soles each to get in it was damn pricey by Peruvian standards.

What we didn’t reckon on was the ritualised humiliation that was going to happen. We expected a bar – we got a big show. Part of which involved all tourists being asked to step forward. And made to dance. Realising this, Romana – who holds no truck with peer pressure – walked away from the stage and sat back down. I was alone. But I was going through with this…. My turn came up… And I danced like a white man. To rap music, for some reason, which as far as i could tell was taking the mick but in a relatively nice way. I hoped. But I was going to go along with it.

But Romana wasn’t getting off lightly – as I sat down I spotted her being dragged up to the front. Frankly I think the Peruvians were surprised that a Polish girl could do a better job of salsa and hip thrusting than the Brazilian that had been before. We didn’t need to buy any more beer after that and suddenly had a lot of new friends.

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