While the heads of state pow-wowed over the “Lima Declaration” (a twelve point statement that says precisely nothing new) this morning, their husbands and wives were taken on a city tour of Lima. Here are some of the views that the bus sadly missed.
The best moment of comic relief was provided by President Twobreakfasts (who else?) on Wednesday. At a luncheon speech to officially welcome the President of China, Alan decided to give his welcome speech in Mandarin Chinese. Although President Hu Jintao kept his face all solemn and dignified, the smirks and giggles coming from the Chinese entourage behind the two Prezzes caught everyone’s eye. It turns out that nobody….and I mean nobody…could understand a blind word of what Alan said (make that ‘try to say’) in Chinese. He was later praised for his “valiant effort”.
The food was obviously crap. Over 100 cases of upset stomachs have been registered so far among the 8,000 foreign delegates attending APEC. An official government press release attributes the attack of Atahualpa’s Revenge on (and I quote, because this is again from the “can’t make this shit up” files): “The weather in Lima is characterized at this time of year by midday heat, but cool breeezes in the mornings and afternoons. Because of this, some of the typical dishes that have fresh vegetables and fish as ingredients, such as cebiche, may cause upset stomachs more easily and provoke discomfort amongst unprepared diners.”
To add insult to injury in the stomach issue, reporters were forced to use a line of hastily assembled portaloos lined up at the side of the main conference hall. The smell after 48 hours was “interestingly profound”, according to one photographer that e-mailed Otto. Well, that’s my general translation of what he wrote in Spanish, anyway.