There are several things I´ve had the pleasure of experiencing in the last few days, and of the myriad there are several I´d rather have gone without. Still, every shit sandwich seems to instigate some sort of welcome side effect – at least that´s what I tell myself to appease the ¨arghhhhh!¿!!¨in the situation.
I´ve been travelling for 11 weeks now, and have loved the differing flavours and tastes of Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru (aside from recurring bouts of food poisoning). What is my favourite? you ask. I have a love for the fruit markets in Sucre, and the gathered warmth of travellers in Wasi Masi hostel – a perfect place to nestle and learn Spanish for a few weeks. The laid back edginess of Argentina skips hand in hand with its rosy red wines – find a garden, eat some meat, relax. Stay up late. And Chile kindled the initial fire for South America – the streets of Valparaiso an artistic labyrinth of anarchic expression. Now here, in Lima, I´ve developed an addiction to all things ¨Menú¨ – the ingenious inexpensive option at almost every eatery, offering up to 3 courses and a drink for a measly few dollars (get your soup on GIRRL).
I´ve seen a fair bit of Lima that most other travellers should hope to never encounter. Hour-long queues in government buildings and wandering around business sectors looking for a Scotiabank to pay inexplicable fees (sometimes a frustrating 8 Sol) for administrative costs, preludes navigating your way back to the initial 17 storey building to offer your receipt in order to proceed with procedures and procedural procurings. Passport matters are an easy day processing (love you @AustralianEmbassy) whereas re-entry stamps into Peru include this tedious search for the correct queue, filling out forms, trying to race before the 1pm closure of its Federal window operators.
In these moments I can´t help but feel the strain of this stolen passport debacle (thank you, anonymous Peruvian) but take solace in the same stories repeated from previous travellers to the Cuzco area, who experienced this too. Oh, Machu Picchu. Home to some beautiful ruins, and ruined morals.
And it´s days like this, when I storm out the internet cafe with a mission to find a particular building or snippet of information to further my USA visa tribulation, I have little tolerance for the endless smooching sounds and whistles on the street. I guarantee you by now, I´m a dirty backpacker with day-to-day practical clothing and yet, I seem to attract attention like I´m a hooker walking down the street at night. Every 3rd or 4th man can be expected to ¨woooo¨ at the tall Gringa woman walking down the street, and after a while, my friends, it gets pretty fucking old. To be fair, Peruvians, in all their candid glory, are fairly harmless in this manner.
And that´s my vent for today. Much love and peace