Jul 27, 2011

Back At Home

I'm currently sitting in my bed, back home in Abbotsford, wearing my poncho. I'm officially back home. It didn't hit me until a half hour ago that I'm really home again. Today was my first full day back in reality, and it feels so surreal. Having a cell phone is disgustingly beautiful. How easy it is to get a hold of someone is a weird thing to get used to again. I also rode scoot for the first time today. It was like I was a 5 year old boy just learning how to ride a bike again. Pure bliss. Seeing all of my friends again; I don't know what to say when I first see them. I've had a constant smile on my face since I landed in Vancouver. Oh, I also got my job back at Starbucks, I'll be working at Bakerview by the border! But here are the things that I'm really, really going to miss about living in Cusco.

I'm going to miss having 3 meals prepared for me every day. Having my room cleaned for me. Taking taxis anywhere in the city that costed next to nothing. Sitting out on the patio with everyone having "dessert", aka a smoke. Screaming I love you in Spanish at Gabby and Priscila. Going to InkaTeam and never having to pay for drinks. Dancing on top of the bar at Mythology. Not getting home till 5 or 6 in the morning, and every time Rosemary would judge us. That wearing lime green pants and a beater was a normal thing. Watching True Blood for 7 hours straight. Not caring about hygiene, what is it anyways? (P.S.- I've showered 3 days in a row for people reading this I met in Peru. Isn't that just disgusting??!) I'm going to miss all of the amazing sights I saw, and the people I shared them with. The people I met. I am going to miss all of you SO much you have absolutely no idea. Spending 1 week to 3 months with everyone is something I'll always remember. Even the people I didn't get along with, I'll miss you too. I'm going to miss being forced to live with 20 people in a house, with so many different personalities, from all walks of life. Real World La Florida! I'm going to miss Jacob from Patas and his extreme awkwardness. Gremlin after dark. Only washing my clothes twice in two months. Raiding the fridge and cupboards, even though it was the first rule we were told not to do. MANZANA, UVA, PAPAYA, PLATANO, NARANJA, DURANZNO, MANGO MANGO MANGOOO, VAGINA!! All of the slang spanish that we came up with -- Lo sient, grace, tam, perf, etc. Screaming at the tourists, telling them how much I hated them. Crafternooning. Blackout. Planking everything. The oreo milkshakes from The Meeting Place. The Cure from Los Peros. How often we talked about our poops. When sriracha came into the picture!!! InkaTeam 3rd floor. San Blas. White chocolate macadamian nut cookies!!!! Gretels. Love affair cookies. Chicken for 5 soles. The Haucachina night. I'm going to miss when shit got weird. PachaFupa. I'm going to miss how everyone knew where to find me when Dirty Bit started to play. Getting hyphy to all the prime InkaTeam music! "Excuse me sir, but would you like a therapeutic massage?" Making guacamole at the San Pedro house. There's so much more..

What I'm not going to miss: being sick for 3 months.... I wish I could just forget about how horrible that was. How the water shut off at 1030-11pm everyday. How I didn't get used to the altitude my entire stay, I'll forever and always remember hate having to walk up 3 sets of stairs to get to the top bedroom. The cold. The fucking freezing cold. I thought I was moving to a tropical country. Oh I for sure was mistaken. I didn't appreciate you Cusco when you forced me to wear 3 tshirts, a poncho, sweat pants, shorts, alpaca socks, and a toque to bed every night. My bathroom shower. Why did I have to find out about the secret second floor bathroom 5 days before I left? WHY?! I'm not going to miss seeing dogs being raped. Gross. Having to say goodbye to so many people far too soon. Bus rides, bus rides, bus rides!!! Missing food from back home. Potatoes... Having to throw toilet paper in the trash can. Or not having any toilet paper in general. I'm not going to miss having to drink shower water in Augas Calientes because I couldn't afford bottled water. Def not going to miss when men would grab me and force me to go into The Lek. Your club sucked, I hate you. I won't miss Molino one bit!

I'm sorry for how disorganized this post is. But that was my life down there. I'LL MISS YOU CUSCO, CUSCO, CUSCOOOOOO!!

Jul 15, 2011

17 Hour Bus Rides + Haucachina

Hola, mis amigos! That's the extent of my Spanish, get over it. In my attempt to shower, since I haven't since last Sunday, it didn't happen. I just finished watching a movie, and with my luck the water was already turned off. Bullocks. So I decided it's time to update the Abbyites. I arrived home from Haucachina yesterday afternoon, and I wish that wasn't the case. Why was I forced to leave paradise to good 'ole cold Cusco? Oh yeah, because Peru hates me and wants me to be freezing 24/7. Anyways, I'll start with the bus ride. We boarded the bus and as soon as I sat down I burnt my foot on a heat register. I later found out that this heater didn't turn off. For 17 hours I got to enjoy it being 25 degrees. It didn't help with the screaming baby who sounded like a baby raptor trying to eat it's mother. Oh, I almost forgot the rabid vomit it was spewing the entire time as well. During this same bus ride a semi truck was broken down and took up the entire road. So we had to wait about an hour in the blaring heat. I then took the liberty to run into the sand and had a mini photo shoot. We also drove past the Nazca Lines. So whenever somebody asks if I saw them I can brag about it. When we arrived in Ica ( 10 minutes away from Haucachina) we were all in awe from the sand dunes that surrounded us.

We all crammed into a tiny taxi and made our way to the hostal. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L! If I was ever asked what my paradise would be I would have to say it would be the palm trees, the pool, the bar, the yellow beach chairs, being surround my sand mountains, and of course, the heat; a.k.a. our hostal. We got in around 230p so we just stripped and threw our nasty 17-hour bus ridden bodies in the pool. The next day we booked our sand boarding/sand buggying trip for 4p. So we had a repeat of the day before and cooked our bodies in the sun until then. When 4p rolled around we all jumped into our buggy and climbed bodies of sand at stupid speed. The sand buggying was probably the best ride I've ever been on. Dropping down steep ass hills and getting air was such an adrenaline rush! The driver finally stopped, gave us our sand boards and told us to have at'er. So I tried to go down standing up and failed horribly. Apparently they don't make sand boards in Peru that fit my caucasian feet; so I fell because my feet unstrapped themselves. Awesome. So I was forced to go down either sitting or on my stomach. I decided that going boarding on my ass wasn't working for me because I was too fat or something. I remember getting super angry and yelling I was too fat at the top of my lungs, and proceeding to roll down the hill because I was bored. With about 15 other people surrounding me. Whoops. After that incident I said fuck it and went down the hills on my belly. Note to self if I ever sand board again, don't do so while screaming. Eating sand isn't my favourite thing to do. While boarding there were two separate occasions where I almost said, "No thanks, take me home." They were the steepest things I've ever seen in my life that I was supposed to hurl my body down (minus bungee jumping). So I grew some balls, 4 apparently, and almost died. The first one I went down it at like 23524 km/hr, which threw my sunglasses off, gave me a mouthful of sand, and gave me snot rockets out of both my nostrils. Attractive, I know. It was SO painful, but worth every second! Okay, but the last hill we went down... I think I peed a little when I saw it. People looked like ants at the bottom of it, and every single time they got to the bottom every single person biffed it, looking like they broke every bone in their body. So I manned up, grew another set of balls (I'm at 6 now) and went face first. I just remember a mixture of screaming, thinking I was going to be killed by Worms (movie reference), and the poop I was about to let release. I survived without bailing. Just barely, though.

After that it we were in definite need of beer. So we went to a different hostal with a nice restaurant and kicked it there for a couple hours. The two Aussies, Kait and Ruth, that came with us, as well as Chad, surprised Rachel and I with tickets to the Paraca Islands. Rachel and I didn't plan to go with them because of our situation, the situation of us being broke, homeless people. Love them to death. But anyways, we got home to our hostal and thought we were going straight to bed because we had to leave at 630a, but walked right into a massive party. They thought it was a good idea to open the club that resided right outside of our room's door on the night we actually need to be up early. Perfect. The next idea in our heads was to pull an all-nighter. That was def a night to remember. 630a rolled around and we climbed into a 1 hour bus to the ocean. I loved every second of it until I started to die from being so tired. The boat ride was two hours and seeing all of the caves reminded me of The Goonies (another movie reference). We saw about 3 million birds, penguins, sea lions, and dolphins. Another crazy experience!

We came home, had a long nap, and just lounged all day until we had to get on another 17 hour bus ride. I hated that I had to leave my paradise back to an icicle. Okay, lets talk about the bus ride home... Between the man who sounded like he swallowed the baby raptor human the first bus ride. Yes, his snoring was that bad. And the person who I sat beside who slept on me the entire ride and his potent smell of rotten ham; bus ride number dos was much worse. Chad actually took a recording of this man snoring and we listened to it the next day, holy shit. I have never heard anything more repulsive in my life. I'm really not going to miss these long ass bus rides when I get home.

That was my Haucachina and Paraca adventure that I'll never forget! And now I'm about to leave in 5 hours to go on a 4 day trek to Machu Picchu that I'll never forget for a different reason. That reason being because I'll have my legs amputated. Can't waaaaaaait! There will be a blog post about this event when I get back.

Jul 4, 2011

Last Month In Peru

No, I haven't died. You would think so after not posting for a month, but I'm here, holding on by a thin thread. (Me being dramatic) I would just like to say that Peru hates me, and does not want me to be a healthy being ever. Would you like me to list off all the diseases that I've accumulated on my "Peru-Wants-Me-Dead-List"? Okay, I will:

1) A cold for 2 weeks
2) A parasite
3) Food poisoning
4) Another cold for 3 weeks
5) And finally, I currently have bronchitis

Right now I would like to be cuddled up in my own bed, squeezing Chairman Meow, and being warm for once. I miss the feeling of not being able to feel my lungs. What a weird thing to say...

Anyways. What the fuck has happened in the past month? I don't know, I don't even remember yesterday. I hate you. Let me start off with the Amazon jungle. SO, I went to Manu for a week. Sammie, Rachel and I thought it was the best idea to get absolutely blackout drunk, and pull an all nighter for our 10 bus ride. When will I ever learn that travelling while drunk/hungover is the worst possible idea? Never? Sorry Chad. Okay, moving on. We were being picked up at 5am, so it was a good idea to leave the club at 430am. The people on the bus didn't appreciate our drunken shennanies, I'm sure. After 10 hours of being thrown into the isle, hitting our heads on the roof, getting stuck in my poncho, sideways, where your feet are supposed to go, and almost puking for about 5 hours, we arrived. The jungle thought it would be a good idea to introduce it to us by giving us a thunder and lightening storm as soon as we got out of the bus. Good thing I bought a waterproof NorthFace jacket that wasn't waterproof at all. I'm now going to just throw the entire week into one long run-on sentence. It was so hot that I constantly had a shiny coat of sticky sweat on my body, I climbed a trail in my lime-green gringo pants and ripped a hole in the crotch while I was free-balling, the monkeys loved me and sleeping on my bed, I was eaten alive by bugs, I bathed everyday in a river, there was so much down time that the only thing to do was chain smoke, a friend and I power-smoked a cigarette in two minutes for fun (not fun), the food was vegetarian everyday but fucking delicious, we slept in an open bungalow by a river and fell asleep to that noise every night, I met some pretty awesome people there, we got day drunk at 11am, and I miss that jungle heat so much right now. That was my jungle experience.

Now what do I talk about? Oh, I have a new placement. I work in a daycare with about 20 two year olds. I love it to death, and I love getting to see their chubby faces every day. Even if they are snotty, smell like shit, spit, bite, won't eat their food, won't listen to a word you say, scream, fight, spit a full mouth of rice on you, and throw each other off of tables making me catch them in mid-air. What isn't there not to love about that? Naw, I kid.

The house has changed again. Sammie and Rachel are the only people who were here before I moved in. We finally have a full house again, and it was loud at dinner. That was a weird thing to have. I have yet to judge the new volunteers until I see them at InkaTeam; but only when I'm cured of my bronchy. On the topic of InkaTeam, I met a Peruvian Princess, who didn't turn out to be that at all. That is all I'll say on that topic.

I have 3 weeks left in Peru until I'm finally leaving. Which is a weird thought, because it still feels like I've been here for a couple of weeks, but a year at the same time... If that makes sense. I don't know, I'm ready to come home, but I'll miss this culture to death. I'll especially miss partying with all of these crazy folk I've met. I'm rambling, and I'm rambling because people are forcing me to blog. Jerks.

OH, I almost forgot, I'm finally going to Machu Picchu. I'll be gone from July 15th-18th. A lot of treking, a lot of biking, a lot of me complaining because I've quit smoking. I feel sorry for Chad, and Rachel (who I'm going with). Anyways, I'm sick, in my death bed, wearing my alpaca body suit, and super tired. So bed time it is. I promise you one more blog post after I get back from some stupid ruins, and shit.

Perf tambien Grace, Ciao Chicos.

P.S.- I don't even know how I've lasted two months with my Spanglish. How am I still living? No one knows...