Written By: Larry Pitman
People often ask me about how I first came to Lima. I have told this story many times, but recently I have been hearing a voice whispering to me while I tell this story. It really bothers me.
The first time I saw Lima was in 1980. I was on a business trip to Latin America.
Dang it! That’s a lie. Tell the truth
Some of my wealthy investors were so grateful for the excellent work I did for them that they made donations to give me a trip to Peru so I could scout for new investment opportunities.
You mean that you stole some money, and you were on the run from the law
I chose Lima to start my trip because there is a town in Ohio, where I am from, with the same name.
Come on. You threw a dart at the map of South America and the closest place was Lima.
Lima seemed like it would be a pleasant place. I was impressed by the airport when I arrived.
Let’s face it. Lima in those days was on its heels, a backwater. Just the kind of place you needed to hide out. The airport at Corpac was strictly small time
It was weird coming off the plane because I didn’t know anyone in the whole country. However, I liked the idea of a new adventure.
Oh yeah, really you were scared to death, but you didn’t have any other choice.You were just glad that the police were not waiting for you at the airport.
I asked the taxi driver in my finest high school Spanish to take me to the best hotel in town.
He took you all right, charging you three times the going rate.
That was the Hotel Bolivar. They have a great bar there and, of course; I had to try their famous Pisco Sours.
Yeah, that’s no surprise since you are a drunk
That was where I got my big break.
Of course, you found another drunk
I was sitting there a few days after I arrived and this guy and I start a conversation. He is a Peruvian named Fernando. He spent some time in Miami so he speaks pretty good English. We hit it off pretty good. After a few drinks, he asked me if I would like to go to a night club. I always enjoy the night life so I said yes.
You mean, you and Fernando took off to the local whorehouse.
Fernando and I got to be really good friends and before long I was almost part of his family. That is how I met my love, Liliana, Fernando’s sister. Then, when I married her, I did become part of his family.
They were desperate to marry her off and you were the only candidate.
Soon after we were married, they asked me to be a manager for one of their companies.
What else could they do? Then, they put you in a position where you could not do any damage.
Even though the economy went up and down, I figured out how to operate in Peru and I did well.
You were lucky to be in the right place at the right time.
Now I am president of the company and an important businessman in Peru.
You are still just a crook on the run.
Why don’t you shut the hell up? I don’t need you.