about me, arnaud and François crossing the ocean and the equator looking for...

16 August 2006

from being alone to UWC gathering and "peruvian experience"

well, I did go have a coffee, but, of course, things didn't go according to plan.
I choose the cafe with the best view on the main square and, as I was about to open my book and order a coffee, an american woman, seemingly alone turned to me, asked me if I was alone and if I spoke english and after getting positives answers to all those tricky questions (asked in spanish) invited me over to her table (in english). I figured it's always a lot more fun when you're with someone else and decided I could join her. she introduced herself (but of course I forgot her name :). she is a bio-molecular-chemist something, working for a TV station in L.A., middle-aged ('bout 35 I'd guess), had been travelling in latin A. for the past 4 month, thought it would be her last "big" trip 'cause she wanted to have a family,...we talked about ourselves, Bush, the USA, Iraq, Peru, Matchu pitchu - then I had a pisco sour and a coffee - Belgium, Anthropology...after two hours she fslt hungry and I didn't, so she decided she'd go eat and I wouldn't :) However, she wanted to go see some live music in the evening but thought it was no fun by herself, and asked me if Ihad any interest in live music. as it happens, I love it, so we decided we'd meet in the same cafe at 2200 and I went for a shower and an hour of rest while she went for food and shower.
at 2200, while waiting for her to arrive, I shared a cigg or two with the waitress who loved her job, knew people from all over the world because of it (blablabla, she talked shit lots :)the american finally got there and we took off to a pub where there were more tourists than locals, and after a caipiriña and a white russian, they'd tured up the music so loud it was hard to talk over it :) so we left and asked at my hotel (I had to change my sandals for it was getting cold and it was on the way anyways) if there were anywhere more "typical" we could go to. they told us NOT to go to avenida XXX (cant recall the name) cause, yes, there were lots of club but also lots of people with knives and chains who would -haing drank a little too much - gladly molest us and take all there was to take. We figured we'd go somewhere else and he told us that just down from the "plaza de armas" there was a couple of clubs fopr locals, but not too dangerous 'cause there is also a police station.
we went for it.
it was quite big, had big screens all over with loud music on the dance floor but you could still hear yourself, and instead of s/ 10 for a cocktail (about 2.5 euros), it was s/ 10 for a jar of cocktail. kinda like the "grande casa soiree cruche" (Belgian reference). people there were piss drank and really friendly, some puking here and there and some others checking the woman I was with with such intensity she decided it wouldn't be wise to try to go on the dance floor. we drank our jar of Pisco Cesar while talking about drugs, then, exhausted and slightly "tispy" we headed back to our hotels.
a good night sleep - for earlier that day I had gone to buy some earplugs :). - althought they were still making a ruckus undeneath my balcony.
Being in no rush whatsoever, I woke up a 1200 and after shower went for lunch and a little internet session where I started organizing the year with the PIO's and Dauphin.I read the news that didn't look too good. and went back to my hotel to read on my balcony, looking at peruvian life going by. at 0600 I figured it was time to call the girls to see if they were back but all I had was the dad telling me they wouldn't be back before 2100-2130. so I walked around, enjoying the city until marie called me back at 2000. we agreed to meet at 2200 in front the cathedral and since I wasn't far from it, I went to sat down. There were lots of stuff going on on the square so I went to take a look.
A live peruvian band had dressed up some tourists in feathers and were making them dance in front of choking-with-laughter-locals at the sight of those unable-to-move-in-rythm-gringo's :) after having watched my fellow european for a minute or two I decided they should end it there and I should stop watching. I stopped wwatching but they kept "dancing". too bad for them. I went on.
the next thing people were gathered around was a painter. and an a-typical one at that : he was painting starwars like landscape with spray-paint (the ones you'd use for graffity's) and make really precise drawings using all kinds of stuff BUT pencils and brushes. the result is quite ugly but it's well done and the technique is impressive.
I went back on the stairs, read a bit and then Marie and Sophie got there. then Brenda and Leo (she's from portugal and was at uwc with Marie and Brenda).
we decided to go for a drink and sat together, drinking pisco until 0100. nice evening all in all and I was invited to come with them for arequipa's birthday on the next day.
after another good night sleep I wandered about the city, called my brother, Bruno, who's leaving for the Costa Rican UWC and whom I won't see till christmas. then i did some more reading while having lunch. then some more wandering and it wsa time to meet the girls. they couldn't make it to the centre 'cause it was full with everyone getting ready for the town's birthday so I went all the way up to brenda's grandma's place. they had been there for an hour and had been fed so much cake, cookies and sandwishes they were about to explode so I came in as a savior and got to finish all the cakes :) - real good by the way! Some of brenda's friends and brenda's brother were there too and they all loked very friendly and very pleased with the fact I spoke (some ) spanish and we could have a little conversation.
we discussed a bit about how to get to the matchu Pitchu (that the girls left for yesterday) and then went to buy their tickets to cusco. then nack to brenda's (enourmous for a 4 membre family) House where they all got changed and all of brenda's friends and brenda's brother (diego) 's friends joined us. we were many and trying to communicate in whatever of the three languages we had in common (english, french, spanish) which made a happy "melting-pot".
once everyone was there, we took a taxi to one of brenda's friend's to begin the party, and after they scared us saying they had 3 beers for 15 ppl, we went to buy 3x18 beers and pisco and it could start for real. I talked with eveyone who wanted to talk to me and the evening went just fine (of course I can't remembre everyone's name nor half the conversations we had :) All of brenda's friends were real nice. .we then left the house intending to go to a club, but the club being packed, us being hungry and people being drank and fighting in the street, we only made it as far as the Kebab place, had one, then all went our separete ways home.it was what Brenda called "the peruvian experience" :)
ear plugs --> good night :)
the 15th, the actual day of the birthday I woke up, refreshed and met the girls for our last day together since they were leaving to Cusco. we hanged out on the square next to san fransisco's church and did some shopping at the "handycraft fiesta" - and marie bought about half of it. then Yfat said she'd be arriving soon and we went outside to wait for her (not without going to a mummy museum that turned out to be a guy making - ugly -clay mummies and showing them for fun --> stupid and laughable (and we had a good laugh :)
Yfat arrived but it was - unfortunately - by the time the others had to leave for cusco so they only just met for 10 min :(
the others having left, Yfat, her boyfriend and I went for a beer and talked about good old times, other uwc'ers we had seen recently and all. unfortunately, her boyfriend doesn't speak english and I was way to tired to try to speak spanish ( I could barely undertand it :) but I'll try today. after the drink, all being really tired and not having done it for quite a while we went to the Cinema (the lady in the water). I really liked the movie, and they didn't :)
we went back downtown and watched the end of the parade in the street and at 2200, I told them I had to crash and sleep so I left them. This morning I went to book my ticket for TACNA where I'll get tomorrow 0400 before crossing over to sanpedro the atacama to finally head back to argentina. I must admitI have a bit of a "big heart" leaving Arequipa, the girls and Yfat. I've been here for five days nd it's been really fun (I even start to have some habits : MY restaurant, MY internet cafe...) and hitting the road again - all by myself - will be strange. but we shall see :)
c u in chile.

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