What is Asia, Lima?

I just don’t understand this place at all. I spent a whole 24 hours there and there’s still more questions than answers.

Where did the people come from? Why do they have such good skin? Why are they smoking so much? Why does this place exist? Why do the locals even want to work there? Why did the sun burn me so much? Why do so many university students head out there? Why do their parents even let them? Why does such a secluded bubble exist? If these people are studious why acknowledge this superficial reality…

Seriously Asia to me was like an alternate universe, a pimple on perfect skin, an oak tree in the middle of the desert, a fish out of water… it just didn’t seem right.

We leave late Saturday night for a night and a day in Asia. The two and a half hour car ride from Lima to Asia gets us there at 10:30pm. We book ourselves into a simple hostel room, change and head out to the boulevard to find the music.

We enter through the gates of the Boulevard, escaping the sand and desert that surrounds this complex and walk down the paved road towards the sound of the music. There’s restaurants, clothes shops, food stalls, bars, clubs, heaps of shiny cars parked in the parking lot, security guards.. just imagine luxury.

We get a bite to eat and I try Salcuchos (cows heart on a stick) and Picharones (fried dessert with honey) from one of the food stalls.

After buying a Red Bull to keep us awake, we decide on our favourite place for music and go in. All the young people inside are wearing good clothes, have flawless skin, at least two people in their circle of friends are smoking and there’s easy access to alcoholic drinks. I just don’t understand where these people came from. I don’t remember seeing people like this walking around the streets of Lima. We ask one of the boys where he was from and we find out a lot of them are from a private university in San Marcos, Lima.

I think it’s just the attitude that surprised me the most and the fact that such an elite place existed which was so different to the streets of Lima I had been walking around in for the last couple of days. But I guess it makes complete sense. There was plenty of security and it’s a well protected area, so it would makes sense that the rich party together. I’ve just never seen such conspicuous class distinction before.

The next day we head to the beach. The first beach we try is “private”. Surprise, surprise. The second one is more our style with more people, more food stalls and more children running around. We get knocked about by the influx of waves that never seem to end and splash around in excessive foam that builds up on the shore.

After taking in too much sun we take the bus back to Lima later that afternoon.

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