« 2017 Honda Africa Twin (Standard/Non-DCT) Specs | Main | Day 56 Photos [Sun 1/7/2018] - Callao, Lima, Peru »

January 7, 2018

Day 56 [Sun 1/7/2018] - Callao, Lima, Peru

Day 56 [Sun 1/7/2018] - Callao, Lima, Peru

Update: I am alive and well and resting peacefully in the Hostal Las Fresas in Callao, Lima, Peru.

The "tourist police" have been called on the criminal Eric Paul Obeso Fajardo 998249455. He agreed to crate my bike for $500, which I paid in cash. Now, he needs $310 more for reasons that are not clear to me, and refuses to release my motorcycle until he gets it. The police will be here shortly, and he will have to answer to the police for stealing my motorcycle from me.

Day 56 [Sun 1/7/2018] - Callao, Lima, Peru

Scorched Earth in Municipalidad del Callao

In the morning, I wake up in the fiery pit of hell that is the Callao District of Lima Peru.

I have no A/C, so I have to open the window during the day or it's too hot int he room. Now, I open the window to reveal the slums of Callao - the sound of roosters crowing. Dogs barking. Jackhammers in the sidewalks. Babies crying. Car alarms. Car horns. Loud music blaring from various directions in a language I can't understand. Large piles of burning garbage. Stray dogs shitting in the streets. Trash blowing down the shattered sidewalks and potholed streets. The 7th level of hell.

And the funny thing is, that I thought I would like this. Some part of me wanted this. Felt like I needed this.

I try to sleep in, but I can't go to sleep. My mind keeps racing, trying to figure out what to do with the cluster-fuck I've gotten myself into. How do I ship this bike home from Lima, Peru? I thought that getting a room near the airport would be nice and relaxing and give me some time to sort things out. And since it's Sunday, I could sleep in and relax. But I can't sleep and I can't relax. I've got to figure out what to do with my motorcycle. Mother. Fucker.

The problem that I have is this. The first guy I was dealing with to ship the bike back fucked me royally. I paid him $2,100 USD, then he admited he had no clue how to ship a motorcycle to the USA, and and got him to refund me $1,800. Then, the second guy that I paid was supposed to build a crate for my bike. First I paid him $500, then he said he needed another $310, and I lost my mind. I don't know who to trust down here, but I hate getting screwed over in deals like this. Probably, the smartest thing to do would be to just pay the guy the $310 USD. But then, I still don't know how this all fits together. I've still go to find a shipper somehow that can ship the motorcycle to the USA on a plane.

So, I'm not really sure how to proceed. I could pay the guy his $310. Instead, I decide to get the police involved.

Paulino agrees to call the police, but after breakfast, of course. Never call the police on an empty stomach.

So we have breakfast in the hostal. Uno cafe, por favor. No mas.

I do see some other people in the hostal lobby, so I'm not the only one here, apparently. I see a few others. They're asking me what to do in Lima. He's talking about catching a cab to Miraflores. I tell him that he'd probably be disappointed. It's not like Disney World or anything. It's a one hour cab ride to the other side of hell, essentially.

Paulino brings me a coffee and breakfast roll with some meat in it. And we sit and have breakfast. Me, Paulino, Victor (the interpreter), and the boy, who calls Paulino "fio". I love this term. There's no single equivalent word, in English. I think.

After breakfast, Paulino calls the "tourist police", but no one answers. So then, Paulino calls the regular police. The regular police show up at the hotel, with an AK-47 and a Colt .45. There is much discussion in Spanish about the current situation. They're laying out the zeitgeist, in a language I can't understand without subtitles.

Now, they want to see all of my contracts. The problem is that, it all happened so fast, I'm not clear if I had a contract for the guy to build the crate. All I remember was they needed $500 USD more, and I gave it to them. I'm not clear if I have a contract for that or not. I show them all of my papers.

Now, they're not sure if they're the right police. They want to get the Tourist Police involved. Paulino returns to the hotel, because they won't agree to give him a ride home. Now, we have 2 regular police, and me and Victor. The 4 of us head out to the airport in the police car. He honks his special police horn now and again to try to thin the massive traffic maelstorm that constantly encompasses the airport.

At the airport, we go to the Tourist Police. A woman there claims to speak some English, but precious little it seems. They all lay out the story for her as well. She agrees to join our possee. Now, we have 2 regular police, and one Tourist Police, and me and Victor. We all load up into the shattered Nissan police car, and head for the offender's dwelling, just outside of Aduana at the Lima airport.

The police car is just destroyed. Imagine driving through potlholes that would swallow an elephant, everyday, for 20 years, and you start to get an idea of the condition of the car. Just ruined. Inside and out.

Now, I'm giving them directions to the offenders home. I could drive there in my sleep. Dereche. Dereche. Isqueirda. I have 4 people in the car with me. 2 Lima police officers. 1 Tourist Police officer. And Victor, my personal translator.

Now, we pull up to his place. The door is closed. (It's never closed.) The Tourist Police officer knocks on the door. No answer. She knocks on the door next door. I point her back to the correct door. Eventually, the criminals emerge from their dwelling, like a turtle poking his head out after pretending he wasn't home.

Now, they're having a conversation in Spanish. I don't get much of it.

I walk inside the downstairs section of the house, to see my motorcycle. I take a photo of it, figuring that I'll never see it again. The thought of this makes me furious. My bike is worth more than this whole fucking block in this shithole slum. And I've got 3 police officers here with me, and they can't get this criminal cock-sucker to return my motorcycle. Mother. Fucker. Finally, I decide, that's it. I just have to take my bike, or I'm never going to see it again. I start rolling the bike back out of the house, but the police stop me. Apparently, I'm not helping things.

Now, I go outside to try to collect my thoughts. There's a gato del calle outside that I recognize. And I start petting the cat.

There's not much that I can do, really. The problem is that, even if I go back inside and murder everyone inside the building, I'm still screwed. The motorcycle has no gas. It has no oil. It has no battery. So, it's not like I can hop on it and ride off into the sunset anyway. Plus, where would you go? Unless I ride back to the USA, I have to ship the bike back somehow, from South America.

The only real solution is to find another shipper that can pick up the bike and fly it home for me. The one that the criminal out at the airport found fell through, for whatever reason. So, I've got to do some leg work and find a shipper that will fly the motorcycle home.

The criminal shows me some paperwork that indicates he has one of several forms necessary to ship the bike home by air. So, we're partway there. He has the crate, apparently. So, he has a way to ship the bike, in theory. He has some form of certificate to ship it also.

They talk for some time. Finally, we hammer out a consensus, which he writes up in a contract of sorts, long-hand, on a receipt. I'll pay him $310 like he asked, and he'll store the bike for me for like...2 weeks, I think, for free, at his house. After 2 weeks, I have to pay him $6.00 USD a day, or 18 Nuevo Soles, a day to store the bike.

This is actually a good compromise, I think. Maybe I didn't need to get the police involved. I dunno. I'm not a smart man. But at least now, we have a contract, and there are less questions in my mind on how to proceed. I've got to find a shipper. For now, the bike is safe. I've got to find a shipper for the bike. That's next.

Footnote: Walking back from dinner to the hostal last night, I stopped by a store that was locked, with no one visibly in the store, and I tapped on the oxidized iron bars of the locked gate storefront with a coin - some obscure denomination of Nuevo Pesos. I did this because I've seen other people do it. I learned this trick back Zapotillo, Ecuador. I saw a woman do it in that town. Like...you would think the place was closed. It's dark. There's no one in the store, that you can see. The steel bars are locked across the front of the building. You couldn't get inside the building without a cutting torch. But if you tap on the steel bars that keep people from entering the store, the store owner comes out of the house (in the back of the store), and will sell you items, ad hoc, through the locked gate. Sure enough...a woman emerged from the darkened doors in the back, and sold me an Inca Kola.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 7, 2018 at 9:10 AM


Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)