When you see Lima from a plane, it looks dirty, ugly, and flat. Like some enormous flattened roadkill that'd been baked by the sun into faded possum jerky. Once you're on the ground, though, it's got some color.
I was never supposed to spend a day in Lima. But my flight with LAN Airlines got delayed for 12 hours in Buenos Aires. After several mini-riots involving furious passengers hurling Spanish curse words at LAN employees and airport security guards, I finally got on a plane. But I missed my connecting flight at the Lima airport and was told the only flight I could get back to LAX wasn't until 1 AM. So they checked me in at the Lima Sheraton, which was strangely packed with Japanese people.
I only knew two things about Lima: My cousins grew up here, and this is where ceviche was born. I fucking love a good ceviche - easily one of my favorite dishes. Besides ceviche, Peruvian cuisine kicks anus when it comes to seafood and chicken dishes. It's pretty much the polar opposite of beef & lamb-obsessed Argentina. Lima is where Nobuyuki Matsuhisa became Nobu when he worked here as a young sushi chef. None of this has anything to do with the ceiling lights of an elevator.
Here's the sexy view from my hotel room, where I spent most of my brief time in Lima, reading a Harry Potter book that I'd purchased from a Buenos Aires airport bookstore for fricking $30 USD. If you ever find yourself in Lima, I'd recommend staying at the Sheraton. You're much less likely to get stabbed here. One good thing that came out of all this was that when I demanded a full refund, LAN offered me a free roundtrip to Buenos Aires instead. When I told myself on the shore of Laguna Torre that I'd come back to see that damn mountain, I didn't realize it'd be a year later.