I Crossed the Wishing Bridge


In the district of Barranco, there is a bridge called el puente de los suspiros.

According to legend, if you can hold your breath while crossing it, you get one wish. Some people say it only counts the first time you cross it; at any rate, I didn’t know of this belief until a few weeks ago, after crossing it for the first time.

Today we visited that bridge, and I found myself in a situation worthy of a plot bunny. I was falling behind, losing sight of the rest of my party (it’s crowded in Barranco; a lot of tourists go there.) So I was sprinting across this bridge, trying not to crash into anyone, when a man shows up in front of me holding a green bracelet.

I didn’t see his face, because the moment was so quick. “To make a wish,” he said. “It’s an outward sign.” (Roughly translated—he’d spoken in Spanish.)

And I said a very firm no—but I didn’t do it out of a rude refusal to make a wish. I said it a bit harshly because I was looking for the crowd I’d come with, and he’d gotten in my way. Scanning the crowd for my mom and brother, I hurried past him.

At once I felt a twinge of regret. The bracelet would have been nice, I thought, even if the wishing part is only a legend. So once I found my party, I turned and tried to look for the guy giving out bracelets—but there was no one on that bridge giving away bracelets, or even selling them.

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I’m not terribly superstitious, but my heart did sink a little. I’m not sure if it’s because I probably sounded a little upset, or I really wanted a handmade bracelet, or I really thought for a moment I would have a wish granted.

But I’m going to live with that what if moment forever. I could have a bracelet. I could have made a wish—after all, I’d been crossing a “magic bridge” and the legend is hundreds of years old.

You may not believe in wishes either, and the regret is likely to pass. But I wanted to share my story, because it’s one of those times you do cross paths with magic—or walk through a legend—a split-second where your yes or no will haunt you, even if the situation seems trivial.

This bridge is beautiful. Behind us, a young man played his cello to make some money. Barranco is a place full of murals and artists, art fairs and tourists from all over the world. It’s so colorful and vibrant; I can say it’s my favorite place in Lima so far.

Maybe the third time I visit the bridge, I’ll run into another chance to take the pretty bracelet and make a wish at the magic bridge. For now, I take the memories—the adventure—and pictures of a beautiful place full of art and culture.

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In California


While on a trip, you find yourself encountering new plot bunnies. Even when you’re back at home, they aren’t finished; they make themselves known at bedtime, steal your attention from everyday duties, distract you.

They’re cute, cuddly, and insistent–you can’t send them off. You don’t want to, either. The more time you spend in a different place (in my case, California) the more bunnies you pick up.

Since arriving, I’ve been to the beach, Disneyland, and San Diego; we’re going to see the Queen Mary today. It’s surprising how far everything is. We’ve spent a lot of the time in the car driving places–back and forth. I marvel at how roads here wind and dip below each other.

My Instagram is full of pictures (look for the #SerenadeCalifornia hashtag) because each day goes by too quickly for me to keep a journal. I’ll have to reflect on my trip when I get home; at the moment, I’m too busy living it.

I got sunburned. I met Ariel. We found the USS Midway by accident driving along the coast–it crept up on us.

There remains some time for adventure…and more bunnies.

Let them come–all of them.

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