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where is laura? Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers. Rainer Maria Rilke

life in cusco

PERU | Tuesday, 4 April 2006 | Views [919]

Well let´s start by announcing the unsurprising.. I had plans to leave for Lima tomorrow, via bus, passing through Nasca, the desert oasis of Huacachina, drinking Pisco in Pisco, and ending up in the big city by the weekend... all of which will still happen, but a day later, being that the buses are on strike tomorrow. So is my luck for travelling, but then again, it´s come to be expected.

so I havent written in awhile, being that the last 2 weeks here, it´s been more like I live here, and less about travel time. It´s interesting that I havent thought to write about the day to day.. it´s just  not as exciting, and full of discovery as time on the road. Nonetheless, I-m enjoying the routine I´ve fallen into, and the people that have befriended me. as far as my work here, I haven´t been all that productive.. but it seems in step with the system here.. meaning, where in the states I could do the same amount of work in 1 day that I do here in one week... but so it goes. effeciency is not the standard. Basically I´ve been working a lot with photoshop, designing a new cover for their brochure, as well as working on imovie to reedit and add subtitles to an existing piece, that will eventually loop in the new museum. I have come to loathe the simplicity of imovie... there is one person in town, who may be our only hope to obtaining final cut pro, but it has yet to be seen. Macs here in general are few and far between, and the people who own them, all know each other.

my routine each day is basically this. wake up around 8am, make coffee and eggs, or have some yogurt and fruit.. 8:30 the doorbell usually starts to ring, and I greet everyone in between finishing getting dressed and brushing my teeth. We work until 1pm, at which point whoever is in the office usually goes to lunch together. We have been going almost regularly to another apt, one building up, which serves lunch daily in their living room. The table sits 6, and sometimes another smaller one is brought in if needed. The TV is always on, and it´s usually some outrageous talk-variety show. The last few weeks with elections coming up, they have featured various congressional canditates, competing with each other in areas such as karaoke and cooking. It´s quite a farce, and likely the most popular way that people make their judgments about the candidates... I´d like to think I´m joking, but I´m just not sure.

Elections, this Sunday. It is required that all Peruvians vote, if not, you will be issued a ticket. However there is no ¨none of the above¨ option on the ballot, so you make your choice. So far Ollanta is in the lead, with Lourdes flores short behind. Ollanta is a controversial figure, with both a passionate and indifferent following. He has a checkered military past, which involved a failed coup to overthrow fujimori (who is also on the ballot, even though he is currently being indicted in chile). He has a dictator type mentality and thrust, but has been successful at appealing to the emotions of unity, and need for change... isnt that always the key?

Most people, just want to see the possibility of something better, and need to take a chance, often times out of honest desperation, and hope for improvement within their country.

So after lunch, we work until 6pm, at which point everyone goes home, and I usually cook some food and psych myself up for going out. I have 2 regular hangouts, which I´ve become quite fond of. Km 0, an Ärte y tapas¨ ´bar in San Blas, the quieter, artisan barrio up the hill from the main plaza. They have live music almost every night, and you dont have to feel pressured to just come and hang out without drinking. My first night out sola, I went there, and soon enough was chatting with the guys in the band about to play.. la tribu, they call themselvse, and they play a mix of andean fusion.. traditional instruments with a touch of manu chao-quechua sentiment. Since then, I have been going to their shows regularly, and meeting the extended family of friends who do the same. Afterward, that first night, I went with them to Ukukes, a bar I had heard a ton about, and finally experienced. I must say, sicne then, I have been going with some regularity, and it´s always a good time. Each night from 10-11 they have a live band... a mix of groups, but all within the andean cultural preservation theme. After that, 11am the dance floor gets hot.. and a mix of reggatone, salsa, rock, etc starts banging until sunrise. it´s a nice mix of locals and travellers, depending on the night, the balance shifts, but never feels, outright gringo laiden. The music is predicable, but enjoyable anyway.. and so far I havent encountered the same level of intense persistance as was found in bars in quito.. despite my warnings of bricheros (and the possibility of falling unknowingly into their trap), I stand by my sense of trust with the people I´ve met. found this interesting interview about the concept of a brichero, a long haired peruvian, claiming inca descent (a veces si, a veces no), who lives to seduce female travellers... born in cusco, they are here, we have talked, it´s a really interesting archetype, esp because of the situation out of which the ¨relationship¨ fulfills socially constructed  desires on both parts.http://www.gowanusbooks.com/guevara-interview.htm

anyway.. life here in cusco is good. I buy my eggs from the the same woman at the market every few days. I found a lavanderia that I like. the walk into town is 15 min, at which I pass buy a cake shop with the richest dark chocolate cake. recoleta is the last stretch into town. it´s a very narrown street that only allows one person on the sidewalk at a time.. sharing the path in a game of swap as you make your way down.

 as I may have mentioned earlier here, it is common, like we would use hey girl, or dude, they use ¨mami¨¨and ¨papi¨  I´m still not used to it, of at the point of using it myself, but it makes me giggle to myself each time.

Tags: People

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