024:336 Trunk

Living overseas is a unique experience. In my two years in Peru and three in Thailand, I saw things I never expected I would ever lay eyes on. This was not because I thought it would be quite difficult to see them (like Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls, or an un-ironic statue of Lenin), but because my imagination was not creative enough to have even dreamed up such an image.

This is one such story.

In February of 2012, the family and I were living in Peru’s capital city, Lima. Now Peru, being in South America, is located in the southern hemisphere, which means their seasons down there are reversed from what we experience up here in the north. February here in the Washington DC area is winter, but it is summer in Peru and summer means summer vacation.

Our children attended an American school in Lima, but they did follow the Peruvian calendar of January+February = Summer Vacation. So, for two long, laborious months, our kids were out of school and we had to find ways to occupy their time. One of the solutions crafted by my lovely wife was we had them sign up for activities that were sponsored and hosted by the agricultural university near our neighborhood. It wasn’t the Parks and Recreation Department from our county in northern Virginia, but it did the job quite well.

This post is not to bore you with all the cute things my children did and made during their various classes, but I only wanted to share with you an incident that was new for my suburban-raised eyes.

Since this locale of higher learning that I took my children to was centered around agriculture, there was a farmer’s market on the grounds where people could go and buy local produce. For security reasons, all folk who left the university by auto had to have their trunks inspected to ensure that the items on their receipt were the items in their car and not a leaf or husk more. It reminded me of a combination of the agricultural checkpoint that exists on the California-Nevada border that was placed there to keep the local flora and fauna safe from invasive species and the guy at Costco who circles your receipt as you leave the store.

On this particular last day of summer vacation, as I was leaving the university to take my children home, I was behind a taxi at the exit and, as expected, the security officer moved around the back of the cabbie’s car. The trunk was popped and inside the boot (as the British are fond of calling the trunk) was…

a complete, whole, and utterly dead pig with a gash down its stomach from stem to stern.

As a throughly urbanized (okay, suburbanized) man, I was quite surprised to the fresh carcass of an animal residing in the back of a car.

I was impressed at the range of products one could purchase buy at our local agri-university.

I also pondered if a dead pig has a stench to it and how long it would take the cab driver to remove it. That probably requires a forest of those little pine tree deodorants.

That’s my story.

P.S. As for the adventures in the land where I saw the statue of Vladimir Lenin…well, that’s a tale for another day.


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