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LA VIDA RUTINARIA

Splotchy front seat view to Lima

Huacachina to Lima

Yesterday morning, I was pouting with my arms folded. Today, I woke up with my arms wide open. No more pouting. Excitement filled my being. Butterflies were fluttering in my stomach with anticipation. That and the grumblings of hunger.

Part of my routine for the last few days, I had breakfast of: bread, eggs, juice, nescafe. As I ate, I got excited that I would soon return to my usual breakfast in San Francisco: oatmeal with nuts, banana and honey along with brewing my Blue Bottle coffee or sorting out which teas infuse in my special mug.

As I ate, I read more e-mail messages from friends and family excited about my return. It was funny to me that this morning there was again more fog. It was like my usual mornings in the Inner Richmond waiting for the fog to retreat and hearing the fog horn that I have missed which always makes me feel as if I am living in a Scooby Doo episode and should be looking for ga-ga-ga-ghosts.

In Huacachina, part of my routine was to practice yoga post breakfast (after an hour of digestion) with the door open overlooking sand dunes through the thinning fog. At home, I would slowly see the peek-a-boo view of the Golden Gate Bridge start to appear through my bay windows.

Once the haze retreated, I took my spot next to the pool to soak up my last bits of Peruvian sun. I soaked up the moment trying to be present and not think of the road ahead. Now. Listen to music. Watch my surroundings. Soak up the sun. Flip. Repeat.

When it was time to check out, Charo and Fernando (Charo’s brother) treated me like an old family friend just like the first time. Being the family run establishment that it is, they seemed sad to see me go but happy I stayed with them again and were certain I would be back soon enough. This made me happy I had spent my final days in Peru and South America here at Hotel Curasi. A home away from home. Family away from family. Once again, last stop before LIMa.

The taxi driver was not like the one who drove me back into Huacaina. There was no fist-pimping music to DJ Tiesto. Instead, it was the normal routine of pumping me with questions about: Peru, my travels, my job, my boyfriend/husband and if he could marry me. I answered them all. I refrained from telling him that he did not meet the height requirement to ride this ride for the final question. He later turned to politics. It was always a routine switch once they knew I was not sexually interested or they had given up.

After buying my bus ticket, I could not help myself, I returned to the cart I had visited on the previous occasion. The same guy was selling sandwiches con queso for 1 Sol. He once again watched in a combination of excitement and horror as I put a healthy spoonful of aji caliente on each sandwich.

While waiting for the bus, I thought of my previous travel partner who used to drive me insane. He was almost infantile or OCD the way he had to have the exact same routine…for EVERY LAST THING. Now, I realized, we all have certain longings for routine or stability. Something you could count on. I realized I was not to much unlike my OCD travel partner however I liked routine but with elements of unknown sprinkled in.

My musings were interrupted when 2 girls entered the station. One was struggling on crutches with foot in a cast up to mid-calf. The other was struggling with 2 large packs. Like an inquisitive chils, I could not help myself and ask for the back story. The gimp confessed it was a sprain which occurred during a drunk night in Huacachina. She said, “Too many huacafuckinchinas (a drink with too many liquors poured into one glass).”

This made me think of my buddy Alex, who I still did not know how he broke his foot within the 1st 48 hours in Bolivia thus canceling our adventure together. Since he has not yet come clean for about a month now, it only makes me assume it was something really retarded that he knew I would give him endless shit about and revoke his man card. Damn, now I missed our once a week pint nights.

Boarded the bus. Standard operation: shoes off, socks on, kindle on. 4.5 hours flew by.

Back in Lima. Standard operation: grabbed bags (easy), grab a taxi (pain in the ass). I waited curbside like I did before. A man with a badge came up.

Me: “How much to Miraflores?”
Him: “15.”
“No 12.”
“No discount too much traffic.”
“Always traffic in Lima, no deal.” (Por supuesto, todo en Espanol).

I stood there for a few more minutes. How about now? Stonewall. Went to the transportation desk a few feet, er meters away. I asked the lady about a taxi to Miraflores for 12. She said, “Si, tarriff.” She reprimanded the driver and told him to take me. Boom! I win! (as usual)

Make it to my hostel. This time Flying Dog. I check in. I get to my room to discover an annoying old dude from Florida. Seriously, over 50. He came to Lima to get some dental work. He told me his whole dental history within the first 5 minutes. I excused myself before he could tell me about his medical history and last prostate exam. Plus, I had to get ready for a hot date!

I waited at the hostel bar. And my date, Katherine joined me at the bar. We had one drink before taking off to dinner at a sushi restaurant. We caught up on everything and excitedly exchanged our stories. It was great to see her again. We felt bad Elizabeth was not here but she was in Holland hanging out with Katherine’s hottie, so we did not feel too bad. Hanging out with Katherine was like hanging with my best chicas able to talk about anything and everything..unfiltered.

After sushi, we wanted some scenery, vistamos muchachos guapos. However, it was Monday night. Kinda dead, no mucho. The only place with a pulse was an irish pub. We grabbed a pint and a table outside. Katherine told me there were 2 cute guys standing at the doorway staring in our direction. I looked back to see, GOOD LORD, my Huacachina players and ducked too late. Small world! They left. Later as we finished our pint, the two walked by with a newly acquired blonde female. Ah, the nightly routine!

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