After one splendid evening when Amanda’s friend Carlos taught us to make papas rellenas, and among the 5 people present we finished off 7 bottles of wine, I wandered back “home” to Ekko, and poked my head in the bar. I saw Sam, who had rightly pissed me off when I had volunteered to work in the bar in La Paz on St. Patrick’s Day. But alas, when one is traveling, even spurned acquaintances easily turn into friends and I walked over to say hello.
Sam says “Oh good, you're going to show us around Lima tonight." And granted, I did live there for two months about six years ago. But I didn’t really go out on the town. I generally went to my volunteer site in Zapallal, then returned home, ate dinner, and watched Sex in the City dvds with Maricarmen in the evenings. The one time I went out was the night before I left which resulted in being propositioned by a 17 year old and losing my jacket.
But Sam is a convincing man, and I ended up taking he and his friend (who was actually a new acquaintance for us both) to a bar I had never heard of. I don’t know anything about Lima, but I can talk to taxi drivers, which is more than the 2 of them could manage. We ended up at a fancy loungy place, with people dressed far better than we were. We got a seat on an outdoor patio and Ryan (the new acquaintance) started talking about how he wanted to buy a fake passport.
Ryan was just weird in general. Then he started asking me lots of really personal sex questions, I was rather put off until I realized that he just wanted to talk about himself. He usually didn’t even give me a chance to answer, but just start giving a long story about something he had done. Then he and Sam started psycho-analyzing me. Apparently I don’t dress in clothing that shows off my body because I’m self-conscious. Nothing terribly insightful...
So after all this, Ryan requests that we psycho-analyze him. At that point my only thoughts on him were that he was annoying, and clearly directed conversation just to talk about himself. Like there was something he really wanted to say and couldn't say. And that last sentence is essentially what I said (thinking it was nicer than just saying I thought he was annoying). To this, he replied that yes, there's something he wants to tell us but he can't. Then after talking in some circles he tells us he's a fugitive. Sam and I didn't really react that much, s he continued “No, I’m just kidding. I just want to buy a fake passport because its always been a fantasy of mine." And I went back to listening to Sam try to convince him that a Peruvian black-market passport was a bad idea. Sam (who has spent time in the Iranian army among other things) was saying "Look if you really want one, don't go to them. They'll give you shit. I know people who make good ones for 3000 Euro." So they discussed details of when and how and whether this could all happen before Sam leaves town the next day. This is all in English and I keep thinking to myself—I hope no one around us speaks good English—but it was a posh-y kinda lounge place, so i'm sure someone did. Eventually "Ryan" says he really is a fugitive because he was about to be convicted and go to jail for 5 years in Texas for having sexually explicit conversations with an underage girl online. He mentioned that he said he wanted to fuck her eyesockets. And "Ryan" is not his real name (though he didn't reveal what it was). And then I started having Chris Hansen flashbacks.
“Ryan’s” grand plan was to hide in Perú for at least five years, and there was much argument with Sam on the soundness of this plan. “Ryan” kept responding "Ok, fine maybe its not perfect, but its my plan. Its what I want to do. Its what I'm going to do. Its my plan!" Much in the vein of a 5 year old.
I’m not so sure I believe his story, but I also know that anyone who would make that up is creepy and weird. I was rather frightened that Sam at some point might leave us alone together. I made it clear he better not, and he didn’t.
The three of us eventually went to a dance club where some other Lima friends were. In the end Sam and I kind of avoided "Ryan" who was hitting on lots of Peruvian ladies with boyfriends. We kept expecting him to get beat up by one of the boyfriends, but never saw any physical violence. At one point a Peruvian woman asked if he was my friend, and I stumbled for words “Oh, I just met him today.” “He's crazy" she responded. I just nodded.