Sunday, February 20, 2011

A GOOD day in Peru

A GOOD day, en mi querido Perú

1. The 4:30 A.M. bus got to Arequipa by 8 a.m.
2. Good breakfast, VERY good coffee.
3. Picked up a package from Serpost without it being intercepted by The Denier of Customer Service, with a very funny—and highly profane--script (with a possible role for when I get home!).
4. Also picked up my Peace Corps W-2; $3,100 income in 2010, either the hardest I’ve ever worked for that little money, or the most I’ve ever been paid to have such a great time.
5. Medical appointment—OK, all things considered.
6. Video guy in the Siglo XX mercado hails me, has the classic dvd I asked about 3 months ago, and an Oscar-nominee; pirated copies, no doubt, but there’s no other choice in Peru. Total cost: $2.
7. The nice lady in the mercado made me a large jugo mixto (mostly papaya, piña, & something unidentifiable she fished from a questionable-looking jar), and yappa-ed me a second large glass. The 8-hr countdown clock has expired, with no GI consequences.
8. Found a new sandwich joint where my pollo, queso, & tocino sandwich came with mango salsa and SPROUTS! Unheard of! Total cost: $2.
9. The always-nice folks at Hospedaje Caminante Class, who let me drop my stuff off for the day, and use the bathrooms, even when I’m not staying the night.
10. The 4:30 P.M. bus got back to Chivay at 9:20 p.m., not a fast run, but at least it didn’t slide off the road and fall over a cliff in the heavy snow that was falling in the alturas, a very real possibility.
11. In rainy Chivay, I stopped at Juan’s store on the Plaza de Armas to buy a box of Corn Flakes, conducting the whole transaction (including pleasantries and comments on the weather) in Quechua, which amuses us both.
12. The one remaining cat in our home greeted me enthusiastically and affectionately, an unusual quality in a cat.
13. Late (10 p.m.) supper of Corn Flakes in our cozy and not-too-leaky nest, followed by rum and grapefruit juice w/ my enthusiastic & affectionate mate.

The usual day-to-day annoyances that Peru regularly provides were also present in their usual number, but it was somehow much easier to overlook them today.

¡Que Viva El Perú!