Monday, June 06, 2011 – Cieneguilla
Yesterday I took my first swim in the Casa Del Gringo pool. It was chilly out but I needed some exercise to clear my head from the writing work I’d done with Walter and the work I’d done on my own. The water was rather cold on entry but once I got moving it wasn’t so bad. There’s nothing like a brisk swim to still the mind and refresh the spirit.
Today I learned how to correctly make rice. Apparently I overcooked the rice I made yesterday; I wasn’t so picky since I was hungry. I’d made it like I do quinoa and shared with Walter. He suggested I have Geraldine show me how to make it better. Boy, please, I think, you want rice, you should learn to make it yourself. But I don’t get all ghetto on him. Instead I ask Geraldine (the house keeper) to show me how Mary (Walter’s girlfriend) had shown her how to make the rice. Turns out, the trick is not to stir the rice before it boils down the water a bit. I tell Geraldine that a lot of people in the States make their rice in the microwave. She was horrified and intrigued. “They always want everything so fast,” she said. “Yes, they do,” I agreed. It was a true bonding moment for the two of us.
After we had our first cooking lesson, Geraldine handed me a thing and said, “This is a fruit. You can have it if you’d like. It’ll go bad soon if you don’t.”
I asked her how to cut it and if there were any special instructions I’d need to know before eating it. It’s called Guayababa or something like that. Guavababa? I don’t know. I tried to google it but the pictures that came up didn’t quite match. It looks slimy, like some kind of shell fish,
however, it’s surprisingly tasty. I take my salad, my correctly cooked rice and my new fruit out to the patio to eat.
The sun comes out
I finish the guayaba
It’s like coconut and pear
I sit out by the pool while I finish my strange fruit and think of all the things I should be doing.
I’ve got a dog at my feet
And I sit here for a moment
I always feel I need to be doing
Can we achieve
And move slowly?
Or does it always have to be
And go some more?
I don’t know the answer to this. But I feel I need to work on my book, edit the parts of Walter’s book we’d done the past two days, figure out how to at least go on my own trips to other Peru places, start my next novel, stay in touch with friends, fix the things on my computer that aren’t working correctly, move forward. Grow. Learn. Always moving up and onward.
Close your eyes
Shut your thoughts off
For a moment
In your own silence
I’ve taken several showers since I’ve arrived, good thing, yeah?
But they were all cold showers. Since there was only one faucet I figured there was only one temperature of water. When I was in Mexico they had to start the water heater which was kept on the roof to activate the hot water, but I didn’t see anything like that here. So I figured it’d be a winter of cold showers. Cold showers are good for your health. They are supposed to aid in longevity. This is what I told myself while trying to stay out from under the water as much as possible. Today Walter asks me if I’ve figured out the shower. I tell him I think so, but ask if it’s all cold water. He then shows me the switch to turn on the hot water.
“Don’t touch the shower head while the hot water is on,” he says, “or your hair will be a lot wilder.” With that advice I might or might not decide to stick with cold water showers.