It’s looking like Christmas over on Surrey Lane!
Everyone likes this adaptation of The Magic Flute by the Norwegian National Opera. Pretty much a reworking of the entire thing. In Norwegian with English subtitles. Outer space theme. Papageno as Chewbaca. Get a taste below.
Robert enjoyed this podcast.
Economist and author Ran Abramitzky of Stanford University talks about his book, The Mystery of the Kibbutz, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Abramitzky traces the evolution of the kibbutz movement in Israel and how the kibbutz structure changed to cope with the modernization and development of the Israeli economy. The conversation includes a discussion of how the history of the kibbutz might help us to understand the appeal and challenges of the socialism and freedom.
Sixth Post, October 31, 2018
Today was Robert’s last full day in Lima. He got up nice and early and took a taxi to the Circulo Sportivo Italiano to play some tennis with Carlos, Ronnie, and Jorge. It was pretty warm, all the better to sweat out some of those calories he’s been taking in. The club is very nice. Including a great new swimming pool. Well, Jorge and Carlos ganged up on Robert and Ronnie, taking each of the three sets. Then, Robert played a few singles sets with Jorge. Robert is improving a bit on the clay. It is still really difficult to train a 51 year old body to move on slippery dirt. The body generally just wants to say, “stop, now, before you break something.” Robert scored a cap with the club logo, and Carlos scored a new tennis racket that he swindled out of the court keeper. After tennis, lunch of great Peruvian and Italian food. Rice dishes were really good. And . . . Pisco. We finished up at the club at about 3:00, and then Ronnie dropped Robert off at the home of Edwin, a friend/cousin of Percy’s. Basically, a bachelor pad in a very nice neighborhood. Lots of guys drinking lots of pisco. Robert fell asleep on the couch after barbeque. Tomorrow, to the airport and home. . .
Fifth Post, October 30, 2018
The weekend was full of parties. Percy took Robert to three birthday parties this last weekend (for if you include Friday night at Victor’s). Two parties for Percy’s friends. And then Francis’s birthday party at a room at Casino New York. Each was fun. Lots of folks eating lots of food, enjoying music and dancing. Yesterday and today were filled with work, naps, walking the city, and dental visits. The dental work has been a success. A new tooth installed, a new crown on a rear molar, three fillings and a custom mouth guard, US$2,300. Dentist Jorge Torres has been patient and accommodating. A serious guy, a good tennis player, and a great dentist. Robert has been getting more of his work done here than he does at home! Yesterday he walked through the city, trying to get back to the San Borja neighborhood. After being lost for about an hour, he finally broke down and jumped into a taxi. Lots of naps yesterday, to make up for recent excitement. Today we will go to Francis’s tennis club for some doubles.Tonight Robert is scheduled for a business meeting at La Huaca Restaurant in MIraflores.
Fourth Post, October 27, 2018
Robert finally had to set aside a whole day to work, so he did that on Thursday while Leszek and Percy went into Miraflores for museums and more spectator tennis at the challengers being held at the Terrazas tennis club. Robert finally settled money transfer processes and even bought an orange teapot! After his work-banking-shopping session Robert met the guys to watch a Challenger match after dark. But the second match of the evening, including the headliners, was canceled to to the injury of the star Argentine player. After the match, a few beers at the club and a ride home.
Yesterday was the monthly GAATS round-robin tournament at the Rinconada Country Club. We played tennis with lots of guys (mostly the older guys in the division that Leszek and I play in), although Robert made the semi-finals. He paired up with Victor, but they lost to Francis and Pepe, who ended up taking the trofeo de champione. Speaking of trophies, Robert and Leszek were each “awarded” souvenier trophies (actually, they were Everett and Edwin’s trophies that they were kind enough to give us rather than keep as losing finalists). Very cool. After the tennis came a huge dinner of traditional pachemaka, which is a pile of meat, potatoes, and tamales, which we gobbled up and followed up with wine, rum, and bourbon. Then a taxi ride over to Victor’s house where he spent too much time asking us to partake in his liquor cabinet. But it was his birthday the next day so we stayed to sing him a song and help him practice his English, for which he was grateful.
Robert goes back to the dentist on Monday, for the last time, he hopes.
Third Post, OCTOBER 25, 2018
Robert is staying in the San Borja neighborhood with his friend Leszek from Marin. They are staying at the home of a GAATS named Percy, who lives with his son and housekeeper. Yesterday we walked to Miraflores and the Terraza Club de Tenis, where they are having the Lima Challengers tennis tournament. So we watched that. Then Robert mozied over to the dentist’s office and had an immediate load dental implant installed, which, amazingly, took about 35 minutes. An English-fluent dentist named Omar, who was trained in implants in Boston, used the world’s smallest torque wrench to tap into Robert’s upper jaw. Then, back to the tennis tournament and then Chinese food with the gang.
Second Post, OCTOBER 22, 2018
The last three days have been non-stop. Here’s a quick summary because Robert is too tired to write full posts. On our first day in Lima, we wandered around town a bit and took some naps. Robert went to the dentist while the rest went to the Jockey Club for tennis. That evening, we joined a number of the GATTS at the Social Club of Miraflores, where we sat in a sort of old-school private room bar and had drinks and great conversation over pisco and whiskey. Then a fine dinner overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Leszek threw up (in the restroom). Somehow it all got paid for. This will become a trend.
The next morning, we took a long taxi ride to La Punta, and met some GAATS at the Peruvian Yacht Club, where we watched some sailors rig up Lightnings. We got on a giant catamaran and took the boat around some islands, including a former prison island and an island with about 10,000 sea lions. We anchored for a few hours, took kayak to an island and had an incredible barbecue and . . . drinks. Some other boats showed up, including a few with bikini dance parties. Karl found use for his binoculars. Once we got back, we had desserts and coffee and went home. We took showers and then were quickly off to Las Brisas de Titicaca, which is an extravagant cultural show where we ate great food and got completely and utterly plastered with two bottles of pisco. The taxi ride home was a highpoint. Laughing all the way. With Leszek in the trunk.
The next morning, we met some GAATS and took a long long taxi ride to the south where we had a great two course lunch. First ceviche and other seafood, then non-seafood dishes like beef and noodles and potatoes. Then dessert. The restaurant included a Peruvian horse show and Robert actually got close to a horse. Schmidt rode one of them, to the amusment of the audience. Everyone but Schmidt and Robert then partied at Carlos’ with Violeta. Schmidt and Robert went home for Dominos and NFL. The next day, Monday, began the Marin GAATS tennis tournament, which was at the fantastic Rinconada Country Club. We all got commemorative shirts and visors. We all played round robin. Then came a very very comfortable lunch at the club in an outdoor restaurant (ceviche and fried fish) and . . . lots and lots of whiskey. Like, lots. Carlos presented the GAATS with a proclamation from the Marin Board of Supervisors thanking them for hosting us. One of the GAATS, Percy, gave us a ride home to the condo in Miraflores. Then we punished (or were punished by, it is very unclear) a jungle girl. Tomorrow will be the second day of the tournament, but right after that, Carlos, Andreas, and Karl will leave to join Schmidt in Cusco, from which they will leave for the jungle. Robert, it seems, will stay with Leszek in Lima, with our new friend Percy, who will arrange tennis at his neighborhood courts. Robert continues to receive dental work in Lima from a GAATS, Jorge Torres.
First Post. Robert is down in Peru playing tennis with GATTS-Peru, a group of tennis players and drinking buddies introduced to Marin by Carlos Lamas-Babini. So far there has been lots of food, drink, and merriment. Not so much tennis. We’re busy breaking down international barriers through the exchange of fifth-grade-level witticisms about Lake Titicaca. Important stuff.
More to come. At this point, let’s just say that this video sums up the last two days.