Day 8- May 19TH
It is crazy to think we have been in another country for over a week now. I don’t know why it feels like it should be more of a ground breaking, life-altering experience, but I think the privileged way of living both in the States and here allows the similarity. Today was to be a relaxed, catch up day like we have been having in somewhat of excess lately. We woke up around 9-9:30 for breakfast, and then we cleaned up. It feels like this has been the same entry for the last few days, and I find it frustrating because I want spice and something different. Perhaps I expect too much, but, also, I should enjoy the downtime because we have a lot of things yet to come.
After breakfast, we literally hung out, played video games (Super smash brothers and FIFA 2010) for hours. We caught up on our journals a bit, and we enjoyed having nothing to do. I called Allison, Nick and Chase in that order, and all was well on their end of things. It is weird to think about how my social life back home is forever changed, and I am leaving the immature college life for something… except I have no idea what that something is. It is daunting and sad, but life goes on. Sometimes I feel like I care so much about my friends and loved ones that I want to spend all my time with them. True friendship is invaluable, and I want to express that to the best of my ability, but I find that I fail so often. Perhaps the root of my hole-digging is that I care and expect more of myself than I can fairly ask for; or, on the other hand, I am an asshole and simply let people down. Either way, I love my friends, and I will miss what I had at Truman.
We were to meet with Gonzalo at 3:00 to go get our bus tickets, but there was no apparent rush because we ran a little late. We had a light lunch of chicken with rice, which I promptly covered with Rocoto. As always, the food was delicious, and we made our way to Gonzalo’s soon after. We arrived at his house and were met with weak lemonade and a beautiful house. Apparently, his grandpa is the dean of the best medical school in Peru and a former doctor. We were all in spectacular company, but I fear we have been desensitized of such things by Maury’s lifestyle here in Peru. He is the in most upper class, and, although we expected it, it is still interesting to observe the social construct he operates in. It varies greatly from what I perceive as my own back home, and It is a weird observation. My third-world country friend lives better and in a far upper class than any of my family ever has… I dunno, it’s just hard to accept where I come from sometimes, perhaps it is this way for everyone.
After hanging out at Gonzalo’s house for a bit, we left to go get our bus tickets to Huaraz which we would need for the 27th. He is a crazy driver, and, again, I felt like I would die multiple times. The absence of road rules coupled with his reckless abandon directed us toward certain doom, but we all somewhat expected such a fate upon arrival in Peru. We awkwardly parked outside the bus place (half on the sidewalk, half in the street) and ended up blocking one of the street lanes from normal traffic progression. Gonzalo didn’t seem to mind, so we piled out the safe side of the car and made our way towards the bus purchasing area of the complex. The tickets only ended up being $45 for 16 hours of VIP bus riding, which I found to be a pretty good deal. We have reclinable bed-seats and TV’s in our VIP riding area, so we should be relatively comfortable throughout the trip. A funny point to mention is that Gonzalo had his shoes shined during the purchasing process. We were in an awkward time crunch, yet he decided to stimulate the third-world economy for a few minutes anyways. I guess he is somewhat of an airhead and this is normal for him, but I thought it was funny nevertheless.
After getting our tickets, we made our way to the local mall to meet up with Roxanna and Jazz. We had no idea we were even going to meet them there, but Maury doesn’t usually keep us privy to our plans anyways, so no harm, no foul I guess. Austin and I got these oreo cappuccino things for half-price, and I was surprised at the classiness of the McDonald’s here. They even had fancy dishware instead of just Styrofoam cups – something that I was surprised about having been a 3-year McDonald’s employer. Anyways, it was good, and then we toured around the shopping complex for a while with Gonzalo. He is an interesting character because he is distracted easily and indulges the slightest of whims that he may have. This general nature led to a long stay in the joke shop, which we all found amusing, but he loved this place more than I ever could. Though I often feel like a five-year-old, his endearing immaturity tops mine, and it is sort of relieving. We briefly stopped by a couple of other over-priced shops (for Peru, of course) before making our way to Maury’s Grandparents’ house.
At his house, we had Cusquenas waiting for us (thanks to his grandpa), so we had a few and just hang out and talked. It oddly felt like some sort of holiday dinner where all the kids sat together because it was the five of us, Mafud, Sarah (Mafud’s girlfriend) and Jazz. We talked about our experience so far, old memories and our preferred pastimes, and it was an overall good time. After a while, there were some sandwiches for us to eat that were fantastic. The high level of bread here never ceases to amaze me, and I worry I will come back to the states finding things second-rate. I wonder how African tourists feel in the states…
We returned to the Galdos home after an extended stay at their grandparents’ house, and it was nice to know a good night of sleep was looming. Though I have been relatively well rested over the past few nights, the joy of sleeping in is a nice indulgence no matter the day. We hung out, I called Allison and everyone got ready for bed. The funny part of the night was right before we all went to sleep and we talked to Mafud. He pulled out this ugly-looking hair piece and offered it in my direction. Knowing that I would probably need a hairpiece in a couple years, I reached out for it. He told me that I probably wouldn’t want to touch it and the story of the hairpiece began. Apparently it was made of real human hair which came from his grandparents’ former, beloved maid. Even weirder, the wig had been used for a weird science experiment Mafud had to do for school which involved making shampoo that inflicted glowing hair (under the blacklight). To top the story off, the maid was actually dead, and this was the only remaining proof of her existence in the Galdos/Garretta family. Super weird, but it was a hilarious storing that left Austin and I in near tears before we went to bed. I hoped that I would not dream of haunted hairpieces, and I installed my newly acquired earplugs for another night of hard work. We can sleep in again tomorrow, but we are going to the beach, so I am excited to get there asap.