Lazy Lima Days

As of today I’ve been in Lima for five days. I got here on Tuesday, April 10th, 2018. I plan to stay at least until next Saturday, at which point I might go north to Trujillo to surf the legendary left-point Chicama, or head to the sierra, or head south to Chile.

Magdalena del Mar, Lima, Peru.

The thing I’ve liked about Lima so far is there’s almost always been someone to hang out with, whether it be Clara, the Airbnb hostess, her cousin Gabriela, or Cristina, one of the other guests. This is something I didn’t have in Mexico. In Mexico I spent most of my time by myself, watching videos on YouTube or walking around between various cafes, consuming, consuming, consuming. Not that I don’t consume here. Right now, for example, I’m consuming an instant coffee. I like instant coffee. I like being able to appreciate ultra-premium, fresh-roasted, 0.5 origin coffee, but I also like being able to appreciate coffee crystals that come from a jar you mix with hot water and a little bit of sugar. You have to mix instant coffee with sugar. Otherwise it tastes like battery acid.

lima corridor apartments

Lima has lots of buildings like that where to get to the individual apartments you have to walk down a long corridor. A bit like a motel.

Yesterday Cristina and I made arepas, by which I mean she made arepas, and I mostly watched. We didn’t have the right flour. To make arepas you need a kind of flour called harina pan, and we bought regular cornflour, which meant the arepas were considerably harder and denser than they should’ve been. It was a bit like biting into a two by six, albeit smothered with butter and cheese. In other words, not that bad.

la putna, lima, peru

Swimming at La Punta. Lima, Peru.

Yesterday I tried a new cafe called Puka Puka, located in the San Isidro neighborhood. I didn’t like it at first. It was hot and stuffy inside. I took my americano outside, began to bake in the sun, and then when I went inside they’d turned the air conditioning on. It was mildly life-changing. I grabbed an edition of The New Yorker they had hanging from the magazine rack. I nourished my brain. And I thought, I could stay here for several days. But then eventually I got bored and left.

A medium-rise apartment building in San Isidro, Lima, Peru, South America.

One thing I like about Lima, specifically about the San Isidro and Miraflores neighborhoods, are the parks. The parks are definitely neighborhood parks, in that the apartment buildings go up to the very edge of the park, and the parks are gated and only open during the day. They’re little oases in the midst of residential and urban(e) sprawl. Though Miraflores and San Isidro is tranquil urban sprawl. They’re gorgeous neighborhoods, but I don’t know if I prefer them to Magdalena del Mar, where I’m staying. Magdelena del Mar at least feels like Peru. San Isidro feels like Walnut Creek, California, which in some ways is wonderful, and in some ways boring.

It always feels like summer in La Punta. Lima, Peru.

I’ve decided to stop thinking of Sundays as “Sundays,” or as a day of rest. Why should they be any different? In the past I’ve used Sundays as a way to shirk responsibilities, and as a way to justify doing whatever I please. I’ve used them to justify sloth, gluttony. But there’s no reason Sundays should be any different. There’s no reason I shouldn’t write on Sundays. In fact, I should write even more. Sunup to sundown. With breaks only for instant coffee.

And now I should probably leave the house. I need to do my pull-ups. I’m almost up to five. I was looking at pictures of me in Costa Rica from 2012 and almost didn’t recognize myself. I had muscles. And now I’ve withered away, almost to nothing. Which means I must go out and do pull-ups. And seize the beautiful Lima afternoon.

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Throwback Tuesdays: The Camino de Santiago

Several years ago I walked the famed “Camino” de “Santiago,” a 500-mile “walk” through northern “Spain.” The pictures today are from the “last” part of that “walk.” I “took” them. With my “camera,” which was actually just my “phone.” All of these pictures are from Galicia, the northwestern-most region in “Spain.” Galicia is known for rain and for people speaking Gallego, which is a sort of “mix” between Spanish and “Portuguese.” I hope you “enjoy.”
Horses like to roam free.  This horse is roaming free vicariously through the cars above it.
The area after Miraz, quite possible the most striking part of all of Galicia.
Caldo gallego, sometimes made from cabbage, sometimes from “naviza” (which the internet is telling me means “turnip tops”).  Either way it’s delicious and a good way to raise core temperatures up from “critically hypothermic” after a long day on the Camino.
A forest scene somewhere in Galicia. The “mist” is actually tiny water droplets suspended in the air and not mist at all.
Eucalpytus trees are not native, but they are abundant. Eucalyptus trees like to grow near water. There’s a lot of water in Galicia..

I stayed in a monastery the other night and didn’t get to see any monks.  The thing that most stands out from the experience is how deathly dark it was in our room and how the Spaniard who I hated at the beginning and is now my friend who I hugged when I saw him today farted as he fell asleep.

Speeding by.
Masai warrior.
Where I was in Abadin.  Now I’m a little bit closer.
Gallego is a fairly exact mix of Spanish and Portuguese.  The only thing I know how to say is “Fai moito frio” (it’s cold) and “¿Bolsa poñemos? (would you like a bag?)

This strange contraption is called a “cabozo” and is used for storing grain.  I have no idea why they have the oriental-looking points on the top and when Hans asked a guy about them he didn’t know.  “Tradition,” he said.

Hans, the 65-year-old Norwegian? guy I walked with from an entire day and ate dinner with that night.
“Plato combinado”.  What to order if you’re looking for a cheap meal/coronary thrombosis.



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A Nomad’s 2017 in Pictures


As I like to do before getting to the “meat” of the post, I’d like to mention a couple things that are present on my mind right now:

1) I’m REALLY tempted to write about my personal life, but even though I sometimes did on Where’s Wetzler, I’m not going to here. Maybe I will on Patreon. But it’s probably better just to keep my mouth shut.

2) It’s cold as shit here in GDL and I’m pretty sure I just felt an earthquake. And yes, a quick search on gewgal (sp?) tells me that this just happened:

I was sitting on the toilet and the plant started shaking. I thought about whether or not I should get up should things really start shaking. I elected to not.

3) I prayed to the universe last night for something wonderful to happen today.

4) I woke up last night at at 2:50am and my mind was as clear as it’s been in a long time. I realized the possibilities for teaching English online. And Spanish, for that matter. So far I’ve only been targeting the Spain market. But what about Saudi Arabia? What about Kuwait? What about the rest of the world? There are people willing to play big doubloons for good teachers.

And now I have told you something the things that are present on my mind and can continue to the illustrious photo essay, A Nomad’s 2017 in Pictures.

Our journey starts and ends in Germany. Actually, if I’m not mistaken, our journey starts on a 787 Dreamliner somewhere above the Atlantic. And actually the journey starts in Lisbon, where I spent one night before Germany. But I’m not going to talk about Lisbon. All you need to know is that something happened there that would drastically affect the next few months. Something that would cause me to move to Hamburg. Something that would cause me to not drink for a few months. Something that would cause me to wonder if I was a bad person, even though I know I’m not.

In Hamburg I studied Germany with a guy named Seb from the Canary Islands who had a French mother and English father. I ate a lot of rice. I drank a lot of lapsang souchong tea. I read Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth and thought it was really, really, good. I tried to learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube.

After Germany I flew to Nice, France, and then traveled over land into Italy. The above picture was taken in Portovenere, just south of Cinque Terre. The town of Portevenere is every bit as beautiful as the Cinque Terre towns, but much less visited. Here I looked through these archways and contemplated the meaning of life. I contemplated the meaning of coffee. I contemplated the meaning of money. I contemplated the meaning of pizza. I contemplated the meaning of barbecued ribs. I talked to a Portuguese girl just outside this fortress. I can’t remember her face, only that she was beautiful.


Then I went home for seven months. This was from March to early November. Not in many years had I been home for so long. I taught Spanish at Shoreline Community College. I interpreted. I broke my wrist. This would also prove pivotal in my life, because once my wrist was broken I had no choice but to revive my passion for soccer. With this came passion for Christian Pulisic, and would the major factor in my decision to go back to Europe, and ultimately Germany, at the beginning of November. But the above picture has nothing to do with soccer or Washington State. The above picture was taken in Central Park, on a balmy day in early August. I went there for Music in the Park with my friend Jen. The concert was wonderful. I fell asleep during the concert.

After Seattle I flew to Copenhagen, where I stayed with my friend Linda and spent too much money. Then I took the long way to Paris, where I stayed with my friend Darren, pictured above. Darren is a back-end programmer. He loves Paris. He loves electronic music. We drank a lot of red wine and roasted a duck on Thanksgiving Day because we figured a turkey would be too much meat. We were wrong.

After Paris, I went to Portugal, then Morocco, and then back to Germany.

This is the beautiful Florsheim am Main. It’s just west of Frankfurt. I spent a wonderful five nights here in an Airbnb run by a couple from Bosnia. The first night I noticed there was a clock ticking in my room, but it appeared to be part of the thermostat. I quickly realized disabling it would require minor masonry. The next day I mentioned it to Ben, the husband, and he spent the next half hour figuring out how to make it shut up. “I think you’ll sleep well tonight,” he said when he finally removed it. And he was right. I slept well in Florsheim. It started off a bit shaky, but I slept well at the end of 2017.

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