On my second night in Lima, Peru I was wandering around a public park near my hostel. I took a seat at a bench and absorbed the sights and sounds of my surroundings. There were couples going on dates, children laughing and screaming on the swings, park workers sweeping the street, stray cats lounging, cars honking, and the smell of popcorn and churros from the street vendors. I got up from my bench and I was walking back towards my hostel I heard the faint sound of a Cello playing Bach. Like a bee attracted to Lilac, I gravitated towards the source.
There I found an older gentlemen playing the cello to a small audience sitting on adjacent park benches. I dropped a few pesos in his hat, “Gracias”, he said with a smile as he continued to play his cello. I smiled back. I took a seat at one of the empty benches and enjoyed the music.
Many people came and went. One older man dressed in a suit and briefcase stopped, whipped out his phone and started recording. After the cellist finished the song, the old man requested if he could play it one more time. A woman and her daughter parked their motorcycle and the little girl ran over and playfully dropped a few coins in his hat which made the cellist smile. Another woman took a break from her hawker cart to sit on a bench and listen to the music.
Anytime I see a street performer, especially one that plays music, I always stop and listen. It’s a free concert that anyone of any background can enjoy.