I’ve had some rather strange dreams of late. A few days ago I managed to wake myself by growling for a short while and then yelling “fuck off”. I seem to recall that some kind of ghostly apparition was strangling me and temporarily rendered me incapable of clear speech, hence the incoherent noise prior to the cursing. Although I have recently befriended an abandoned dog called Orejas – with whom I can practice my Spanish without fear of ridicule – I have not got rabies in spite of what the aforementioned behaviour might indicate. After that, I was back to a familiar theme and once again dreamt about my teeth. Unusually, they didn’t fall out in this one but a dentist equipped with one of those meat slicing machines supermarkets use on gammon joints did take off my top lip. He then reattached it, slightly higher than before, so as to give me a Bugs Bunny like smile. Willem Dafoe made an appearance in my next dream and by all accounts, made a great deal of money stealing one of my business ideas by successfully pitching it on the Dragon’s Den, the bastard. If only I knew what that business idea was – maybe then I wouldn’t feel compelled to write this crap down.

On my recent trip to Panama, I unfortunately chipped a tooth and am therefore in need of a filling. The second dream did, therefore, have a purpose – it reminded me that I needed to pay a dentist a visit. Whilst I was impressed with the prices at “Multident” (fiver for a consultation and then same again for an X-ray), I was suitably more impressed by the cut of the dentist’s jib. After the standard small talk about the Premier League which almost always follows me revealing that I am English, he moved on to politics – my next favourite subject. Unaware that Blair had been replaced by Cameron, he attempted to redeem himself with talk of Thatcher. Redeem himself he did and spectacularly. With no hint of camaraderie or loyalty to his South American neighbours, he informed me that he thought Thatcher was a good prime minister, but not for the Argentinians, before bursting into a fit of laughter. Most people I have spoken to here politely question Britain’s claim to the Falkland’s so to hear something like this was quite frankly, brilliant.

“Thatcher – buena presidente pero no para los Argentinos”

I am now seriously considering giving the man some more business and entrusting him with the removal and replacement of my silver fillings. Why the British Dental Association still think it is acceptable to put mercury into people’s mouths is beyond me. Break a CFL light bulb containing mercury and you need to embark upon a laborious clean-up process after evacuating the house for a while according to government guidelines. However, it’s fine to stick this crap in your gob for a lifetime – something which an increasing number of respected dentists and toxicology experts throughout the world now refute.

I suppose I should enlighten my burgeoning readership about the trip to Panama given that it was my first excursion out of Peru. To be honest, I went because I needed to leave the country and come back in order to renew my visa and return once again to legal immigrant status. However, I’ve also always wanted to have a look at the Panama Canal, do a bit of tax free shopping in Zona Libre and visit picture-perfect Caribbean islands like San Blas (see below).

san-blas-island3

Except I didn’t get to San Blas. Instead, my “organised” tour had me journey through the Panamanian jungle in a 4×4 for three hours with some typically excitable Americans to wait two more hours for a boat to take me to the island of Coco Blanco. The boat didn’t arrive and nobody seemed to care so I then travelled back through the jungle – this time with some car sick Americans – and back to Panama City where I proceeded to spend my refund money getting hammered while enduring the agony of sunburnt shoulders. During this wonderful trip, which was presumably organised by Frank Spencer and Mr. Bean, I also witnessed some insufferable, arrogant Israelis tell the native Cuna Indians their flag was offensive. I have inserted a picture of this flag below and although I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, I am expecting these dickheads to campaign for the eradication of the backwards swastika from the Hindu and Buddhist religions next.

flag-cuna

The disorganisation I outlined above is actually not confined to the Panamanians. It seems to permeate Peru and apparently, the rest of South America too. As such, it is advisable that if you want to go ahead with the seemingly simple task of purchasing or returning goods in a shop here, you do so only before getting the once over from your doc. Anyone with a dicky ticker or a low patience threshold is liable to keel over/commit an atrocity if faced with some of the obstacles I have faced. I won’t go into detail for if I do, the bottle of Bombay Sapphire I recently procured will be decimated in an instant.

While disorganisation is rampant (unfortunately), so too is national pride (fortunately). Unlike in Britain where it is now a criminal offence to be English and celebrate St. George’s Day, Peruvians rejoice in their heritage. House after house, shop after shop and vehicle after vehicle are all now proudly displaying the Peruvian flag in anticipation of their independence day on July 28th. I salute this annual show of patriotism with an envious eye. Sadly, my compatriots only seem to get excited when an extremely privileged royal family pop out a sprog that will spend its entire life on benefits – much like great swathes of Labour voters.

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