Well, it seems to have been a while since I last posted anything. Last time we talked I was chowing down on octopus and watching hang gliders get unnervingly close to skyscrapers. You may be wondering what’s been happening in between then and now.
In short, not much. I go to school, I come home from school, I go to the grocery store, I read books, play some games on my computer, talk with my girlfriend, etc., etc. Really, I’m doing what I would be doing back home, just… sort of a Spanish version. Admittedly, the feeling of pioneering and adventure has worn off a little, but that’s to be expected. I’m actually not all that sad about it. It’s a good thing that I’ve reached some semblance of comfort so very far away from the States.
In any case, this weekend marks 2 whole months that I have been in a foreign land. 2 months. Away from home. Away from familiar. Away from my native language. Honestly, it doesn’t feel like it has been that long, but writing out “2 months” makes it seem so.
So on this 2-month-i-versary of my stay in Lima, I thought that I would reflect on things that I like about studying abroad.
Firstly, I love that everything is so darn inexpensive! (Comparatively). Look at the picture below.
Delicioso y Barato
This pile of delicious keeps me satisfied for just under 2 weeks-ish. A collection of food like this will generally cost anywhere between 40 – 50 Nuevos Soles. Which when transmogrified into US Dollars comes to around $17.00. This means that I can feed myself each day for less than $1.50. I don’t know about you, but I think that is really awesome.
Speaking of money, I have decided in all my wisdom that coin money is the way to go. The picture below has is a collection of “dinero.”
The ones I use most often are, naturally, the coins. They’re easy to carry around, they don’t wad up, you don’t have to worry about tearing or ripping them, you don’t need a wallet for ‘em, and they’re just generally cool. You might be saying, “Terry, we have lots of coins in the USA too.” But the cool part here is: you can actually purchase useful things with them. I mean, go find 2 quarters. 50 cents. Now go into any store and try to buy something using just those quarter. Can’t be done. At most, you can get a gumball. With 50 “centimos” in Lima, I can get a bus ride. The ball is your court, American monetary system…
And now, speaking of public transportation, Wichita definitely needs this in some form. I have never been a huge fan of driving. It’s really boring. And it’s also expensive. Seeing as how I haven’t really been in the USA, I don’t really know what gas prices are currently at, but when I left, it was pushing $4.00 in Kansas. I love not having to purchase gas. Also, I love not having to be responsible for dealing with… This.
El Tráfico de la Noche
Yes, I might have to wait for a bit to get through on a combi. But it’s someone else’s job. I can sit back, throw on my mp3 player, and let someone else deal with it.
That’s all I can really think of for now. Overall, I’m liking it. It’s interesting to see a different part of the world and observe a different culture from the inside. In general, the Peruvian people seem to be a rather industrious bunch. Everywhere you go you see people building things, cleaning things, selling things, repairing things, guarding things, managing things, taking things apart, moving things, driving things, and lots of other “things.” Everyone is always up to something productive.
Well, two months down, and 2 months to go. I like it here, but that’s not to say I’m not looking forward to getting back stateside on a permanent basis. I like adventures and all, but I think I’ve gotten my fix from all of this.
Now don’t forget to go have adventures of your own back home! Just because you’re not in a foreign country doesn’t mean there aren’t fun and exciting things to do!
p.s., oh! My latest food experiment here has been a “papa rellena.” Essentially, take hash browns, wrap them around a bunch of…. stuff, and then cook it. It’s not too bad. I imagine it all depends on what you put into it. I forgot to take a picture, but this is pretty similar.
Also, every single meal here has rice. Every one. I have not eaten one dish or platter in this country that didn’t come with steamed white rice. It’s gotten to the point where I’m not sure I’ll be able to get used to it when I get back home. If I order a hamburger, I might accidentally call to the waiter: “Hey! You forgot the rice!”