MattNoonan's Travel Journals

MattNoonan

 
What is the most unusual word that you have ever heard?

llullaillaco. it's a volcano in argentina. that's not really intersting in itself, but spanish phonetics on quechua words is pretty interesting looking.

  • 28 years old
  • From Illinois, United States
  • Currently in Cordoba, Argentina

Peru: para mi & para you

ramblings concerning a four month stay in Cusco, Peru. circa winter/spring or rainy/almostnolongerrainy 2011 depending on your hemisphere/climate zone.

Desde Lima

Peru Lima, Peru  |  Jan 11, 2011
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 It's exciting not knowing where I'll rest my head next. But scary that soon some of this might lose its luster and become part of my 'normal'. 

Okay.  So, in my first 3 hours in Lima--ignoring the hilarious back-up at the baggage claim that left pretty much todos los peruanos shouting at one another--I met my host, Jorge--a Peruvian born, Canadian raised, ex-Chilean resident, free-lance journalist, couchsurfer extraordinaire--who took me out to a nearby bar.  Within five minutes of being there, I met a German guy and a Danish guy and listened to a blues group play American music in my vernacular.  I'm staying in an apartment in la municipalidad de Barranco which is right on the foggy coast.  I've been told it never rains here.  These roads make the Dan Ryan look like a county road leading up to a Walmart.  The brand of Spanish here is super quick and mumbly.  If it seems like this journal entry is thus far a bit choppy, sporadic, soundslikeit'sbeenwrittenbyafirstgrader, it's because I'm a bit sleepy, a bit ecstatic, and generally taken by what it really means to be a citizen of the world. 

Earlier today, I indulged myself in my first Peruvian ceviche at a little cevicheria called "El Muelle".  Ceviche is a dish made of raw seafood and vegetables (mine had white fish, onion, cilantro, peppers, corn, and yams--I imagine a pretty typical ceviche de pescado) "cooked" in lime juice.  There's something about eating such a dish in such a city that begs you to consider your place in reality; ceviche is not a common dish in the States, heck most people would probably even call it bizarre (cough cough Andrew Zimmern), but on the coast of Peru it's something normal and commonplace.  More explicitly, fresh caught fish, vibrant vegetables, the zing of lime and chiles on your lips, all of that stuff that I can probably describe in poetic detail for days, is simply commonplace here.  What does that say about these people?  What else of their lives do they overlook that I relish? Of course, I can turn those same questions on myself: What do I neglect in my life that these people could write poetry about?  I guess a lot of these questions will answer themselves in the coming months, but their immediate manifestation is indicative of the quirky kind of power that these latent cultural norms have over our understanding of reality.

Otherwise, I spent my day at the beach/walking around Barranco.  I watched a kid with a fishing line in his hands pull a fish out of the water and gut it right there on the rocks.  I had a rusty conversation with a younger guy from Cusco named Alberto.  I read some Pablo Neruda on the beach and felt like a complete hopeless romantic vagabond.  There's really too much to tell for me to explain in the detail that it deserves.

Tomorrow I take a bus twenty-some-odd hours to Cusco.  I arrive Thursday.  It's exciting not knowing where I'll rest my head next.  But scary that soon some of this might lose its luster and become part of my "normal".

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