I arrived at Jorge Chavez International Airport in the evening hours. I felt a familiar unnerving feeling I had felt several times before.
>Foreign country>SWF>nervous>not fluent in spanish>people trying to make money off you
I had researched prior and plenty of ground transportation was available. After deplaning I approached a taxi stand. I wasn’t pleased with their price so I decided to look at the Uber quotes. The attendant saw me researching fares and suggested another less expensive company down the line. A deal was struck and the taxi was paid for at the airport. It would be a few minutes wait so I wi-fi’d up and internet browsed while waiting. The attendant informed the taxi was ready and escorted me to my driver through the airport exit.
The next minute was chaos. Dozens of Taxi drivers loudly solicting business and there was much more than a normal airport crowd gathering with signs. There was a film crew filming a reporter and what appeared to be a Hollywood TMZ style gathering of people. Perhaps waiting for a Peruvian starlet soon to arrive. Many adoring fans turned up for something.
I followed my taxi driver with blind hope through the crowd and we loaded the bags in the trunk of his unmarked sedan. I read many times to keep your purse out of sight as burgulars on motorbikes will smash the window of a car to steal a purse. I kept mine on the floor between my feet.
Leaving the airport I was shocked at the town Callao. The buildings were unfinished and it felt more like what I thought the Middle East would look like. Taxi small talk was a negative. He seemed so pissed off he had to drive me all the way out to Miraflores (or that I’m English speaking?) and started driving erratically. He was cutting people off, he was honking at everyone, everyone honking at everyone, almost in several collusions with other cars and road medians. I gripped my handle for dear life and at times even closed my eyes.
No words were exchanged until I handed him a tip and he was geniunely grateful. That should have been my first clue that tips weren’t as customary or necessary. I arrived at the Crowne Plaza Miraflores and after the terrifying drive in I decided to explore the neighbourhood in first light. My check in experience was wonderful and I was happy to settle into my home for the next three days. I found the bar and a new favourite beer was made.