MattNoonan's Travel Journals


What are the ethnic foods that you eat on a normal basis?


  • 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.

Familiarity/With Love From Huanchaco, Belated One Month

Peru Cusco, Peru  |  Apr 14, 2011
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 This was written a month ago. It's a list of things that I miss, other than people. 

While this might seem like something of a cry for anything familiar, it’s actually more of a list of valuable relics from the last twenty years of my life that, even amid all of the magic that happens in my day to day here in Perú, I wish were a little more present here/now.  And, if you’re reading this, I probably miss you too.  And even if you’re not, you’re probably still a little important to my life, so thanks for that.

-Beverages during meals: In Perú, you drink beverages—of all kinds—only after your meal; I’m constantly parched.

-Toilet paper in bathrooms: Need I explain?

-Cold beverages: They think it’s a bad idea to drink things cold here, especially at night, because you might get sick as a result.  I’m torn on whether or not that claim is actually true.  But it’s an empirical fact that beer tastes better cold.

-Predictable weather: If you think Chicago is bad, think again.  I’m not even sure weather men exist in this place, because it would honestly be completely futile.  You always need to bring a sweater and your rain jacket even if you leave the house in the morning wearing shorts and sunglasses.

-Peanut butter: Seriously, get on board planet earth; peanut butter rules.  Thank you, George Washington Carver.  Thank you, America.

-Standard measurements: I feel better about myself as 6’3”than as 1.88m.  I feel like a shipment of an illicit substance when I’m 82 kilos.  In general, I do wish I could understand metric measurement more efficiently simply because the rest of the world uses it, but I miss my miles, pounds, feet, and inches.

-Being on trains: I never realized how safe trains in Chicago are until I experienced the combis (janky ass buses/vans) in the context of South American driving habits.

-Pavement: Nobody likes muddy shoes.  And even where there is pavement, the potholes are so bad that taxi drivers will swerve into the lane of oncoming traffic just to avoid them.  I guess this might include those gigantic holes that like to sneak up (especially on Laurita) in the middle of the sidewalk.

-Thai food: Nom.

-Live music: I guess I just miss going to shows of bands that I actually know.  The live music here is pretty special too.

-Not getting out of breath every time I walk up some stairs: Gimme dat O2, Perú.

-Living in a big room with friends: Don’t get me wrong, I love my homestay a whole heck of a lot, but there’s something magic about living with just your friends.  Plus room 219 was the bomb.  Solidarity Dojo/Ground Zero of the Snarf Revolution.

-Driving: It would just feel especially nice to drive somewhere here.  Driving in the mountains out west gave me a whole new view on what a car can enable for some dirty kids.  Also, I really want to learn to drive stick after watching people drive here.

-Climb On: Despite the fact that I’m in the Andes, I still haven’t gotten a chance to put my hands on some vertical, slabby, crimpy, slopey, or overhung crags.  Thus, my hands are weak and my brain misses that special stimulation. 

-Line Courtesy: People here cut in line.  A lot.  BOO.

-Using “left” and “right” or one of the cardinal directions instead of “arriba” or “a bajo”: Since Cusco is markedly slanted in general, you don’t use left and right as directions as much as you use up and down.  Also, Cusco is not on a grid in any sense—it’s actually supposedly in the shape of a puma—so terms like north and south hold no weight for anyone. 

 I guess that’s about it for now.  I’m going to Huanchaco with my good friend Fiona next week for “spring” break to learn how to surf.  Goodbye rain.  I plan on eating fresh ceviche almost every day.   Reading Pablo Neruda and Gabriel Garcia Marquez on the beach.  Gettin’ tan.  And word on the street is that the beer in Huanchaco is cold.  Whacky photos to come.  ¡Chócala!

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