Monday Afternoon in Lima

Monday afternoon in Lima and I’ve just done my pull-ups and now I’m drinking instant coffee in the kitchen preparing to walk to Plaza Salaverry to buy boxers. I need boxers. If I buy boxers, I can delay doing laundry a few more days.

I just sat in bed listening to Vivaldi and looking for a cheap bus to Tacna. And by cheap, I of course mean as expensive as possible. This is because I want a lie flat bed if I go to Tacna. Anything else would be a wretched disappointment. 160 degrees? No. The bed must recline 180 degrees. It must lie flat. For this I’m willing to pay top dollar.

My friend Jenny sent me a song called “Hallucinating” but I don’t like it. There are some rice puddings on the middle of the table and I’m wondering if one of them’s destined for me. I’m pretty sure one of them has my name on it, despite not actually having my name on it. Last night the Spanish guy came back from being out of town a few days. It’s still not clear what he does or where he gets his money. Today I said, “Hey, what’d you do the six months you were in Asuncion.”

He looked uncomfortable. “We, like, barbecued and stuff,” he said.

“Cool, man, barbecues are cool.”

I didn’t mean to make him think he had to explain himself to me. He can only barbecue from now until the day he dies as far as I’m concerned, and I wouldn’t think less of him. I’m sure he’d get good at barbecuing. I’m sure he’d develop coronary disease.

The real question, of course, becomes whether or not to have a second cup of coffee after I finish this one. And the answer is of course yes. The answer is mind-numbingly yes. I’ll have another one, and then I’ll walk to Miraflores, and do pull-ups and think about my English classes for tomorrow. Today’s, with Elena, was wonderful. We practiced the prepositions in, at, and on for awhile, and then we learned bedroom vocabulary. Since the activity was from the British Council, some of the words were words I wouldn’t use. Like “chest of drawers” instead of “dresser.” The word “drawers” was particularly hard for her to pronounce. Drawers. Drawers. I said just think of it like “drors,” and then she got better.

A plane flies overhead. We’re close to the airport. When planes fly overhead during my classes I mute my microphone and hope I don’t have to talk. Sometimes I just type. I don’t think my students have noticed yet. But it’s hard to tell.

The Next Step "O logras ser feliz con poco..."

corey mark la paz

“Mi madre hablaba como la aurora y como los dirigibles que van a caer.” – Vicente Huidobro

I’m exploring options for the next few week/months/years/decades/millennia of my life after flying to Lima next Tuesday. At first I thought I’d stay in Lima a week and then make my way into the mountains.

But now I realize I have…

Options?

Option 1: Play it safe

Stay in Lima a week or two, go to small town outside Lima, go to Huancayo, a city six hours east of Lima located at 3,400 meters above sea level in the mountains, stay a couple weeks in Huancayo since weather wouldn’t be hot and it has cheap Airbnb’s.

Make way into the jungle…

The jungle.

Option 2: José Mujica

Stay a week in Lima, make way to Cusco, make way to Puerto Maldonado, cross into Brazil, go to Rio Branco, see a bit of both Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon, make way into Paraguay, then Uruguay, drink mate with José Mujica, then make way down to Buenos Aires, down to Chiloé, then Ushuaia.

Fly to Svalbard.

Option 3: Paraguay

Make way to Bolivia, spend a couple weeks in Bolivia, make way to Paraguay.

Paraguay looks…nice.

Option 4: English, mate, Svalbard

Fly to Santiago, fly to Valdivia, make way to Chiloé, stay with Marcela and Pablo on their farm for a couple months, teaching English, writing, and drinking mate. Then make way to Ushuaia. Fly to Svalbard.

Option 5: The southernmost “community” in the world

Choose one of the above, and in addition to going to Ushuaia also go to Puerto Williams, Chile, southernmost town in the world, and from there take boat to Puerto Toro, southernmost community in the world. Learn how to catch king crab.

Option 6: Babies

Make way to Córdoba, Argentina through Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay. Meet girl. Start pronouncing double “l’s”  like “sh.” Starting pronouncing single “l’s” like “sh.” Have 3-30 children. Stay forever.

Option 7: None of the above

Miss flight to Lima. Stay in Guadalajara.

 

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The Best Cafe in Guadalajara

Guadalajara has plenty of becoming places to eat and sip, or so it would seem after my short sojourn here. Much of the time I’ve been here has been spent traipsing around the Bosque de la primavera, an hour and twenty four minutes west of GDL, so my knowledge of the city still leaves a tremendous amount to be desired.

My favorite cafe so far is called El Terrible Juan, located in Colonia America, near the school where I teach, near the American Consulate where I also teach, and near Chapultepec, the most famous area in GDL for nightlife, gastronomy, and restaurants and cafes.

The reason I like El Terrible Juan is one I can’t tell you. It’s embarrassing. But the reason I WILL  tell you is because I like the sandwiches, and because the outside seating area is like sitting in a garden. You’re surrounded by vines and howler monkeys and other creatures of the jungle (minus everything but the vines), and you think at any point an ivy tendril might caress your hand and say, “Come, climb to the canopy with me! Climb! Before it’s too late!”

But the best part of El Terrible Juan, if you’re me at least, is the latte art. Or the lattes. Or the art. One thing I don’t like about this place is how many foreigners there are there. I hear way too much English being spoken, though to be fair, mostly it’s by me. I have yet to enact my “Spanish or Nahuatl Only” rule, but when I do I imagine life will get much more interesting. I imagine this blog will also be harder to read, since I don’t speak Nahuatl, and you probably don’t either. Nahuatl was the language spoken by the Aztecs, and is still (if my numbers are correct, and they always are) spoken by over a million people in Mexico. As far as I know, Nahuatl is not a tonal language like Mixe or Cantonese. In retrospect, I wish I had studied Mixe in Oaxaca instead of Zapoteco, because Mixe sounds prettier than Zapoteco. One must never underestimate the importance of tones. Tonal languages are, as anyone who’s ever hear Thai country music knows, the most beautiful. The most beautiful language that’s not tonal would probably be Finnish, followed in a close second by German. German, as anyone who’s ever heard an angry man spitting while he speaks it, is also a gorgeous, lilting tongue.

But I got off track. The  coffee! The latte art! The vines!