Day 2. This morning I was woken up at about 12:40am by a very inebriated gentleman on the street who was relentlessly proud of his singing voice. He’s actually pretty good, but I would have rather slept. We had nice relaxing breakfast and this time it even had rice to fill me up, but we are the only non-Asians eating so I can’t pretend this was done for me. After eating the majority of the pan and enduring constant eat-shit looks from my fellow diners, we were notified our cab was there to take us to the airport. He was a seemingly nice guy, and was quick to help us with all of our bags. We loaded, hopped in the car, at which point the cabbie turns ON his flashers and proceeds to drive like a bat out of hell, and made it excruciatingly clear that the lane lines are there for no particular reason at all.
Also, I have noticed that while a good bit older, the planes in Peru have much more legroom than those currently used in the US, which is awkward because I am about a foot taller than the average Peruvian. I’m also having chest pains and trouble breathing which is weird, because everybody says it’s from the altitude, but I flew down from Denver so that shouldn’t have been a problem. Oh well, it’ll probably figure itself out, right?
Anyway, we landed in Cusco and I promptly took a nap because my level of energy doesn’t run on anything less than 7 hours of sleep. It’s pathetic really. Helen Keller wrote 12 books and this morning I put my shirt on backwards because I was a little tired. Afterwards we ventured out into the unknown city to see what all the Spanish-based hype was about. We headed towards the market because she wanted to buy stuff and I was hungry and it just made sense. To say we were haggled by vendors, vagabonds, and beggars would be like saying the sun is on the warmer side. I mean these people were aggressive. “No” definitely did not mean “no” to them.
We made it to the market, at which time I had walked an estimated 12 blocks, and thus was starving. I realized I had no idea what anything meant, so I pointed to some words on the menu, she split open a bag of green something and poured it into a bowl, scooped some beige something onto a plate, handed both to me with a roll of toilet paper and forcefully said, “Watch for bones.” Keep in mind this is just the middle of a market so seating is a crapshoot. Five star service in my book. Turns out, it was absolutely amazing. Still don’t know what it was, and still don’t care. If you give me white mush and green food out of a bag that is just as good or better than any I’ve had on a plate, you can be damn sure I’ll “watch for bones” and get the fuck out of your way any time.
On the way back, passing several more beggars and a bunch of women cops in riding pants who seem to have lost their horses and just decided to start directing traffic instead, we stopped in a park slash plaza. It was beautiful and relaxing, with great people watching. We hung out there for a while, of which about an hour was spent talking with a 20 year old kid named Dante who just wanted to practice his English. The kid is a civil engineering student, knows three languages not including English, which he is now teaching himself, and he speaks it better than some Americans I know. So after that incredibly demoralizing conversation I went back to go to be/reevaluate my entire life.
Tomorrow I’m waking up at 3:15am again because we’re taking a 1.5-hour bus to a 1.5-hour train to go on a who-knows-how-long hike up to Machu Picchu. And here I just realized I forgot to bring my off-road Segway.
Fact of the Day: In the 1980’s, Fergie from The Black Eyed Peas was the voice of Sally, Charlie Brown’s sister.
Shout out to Cory Gray.