June 7, 2011 – Cieneguilla Tuesday
I basically have the place to myself today. Walter has gone to Lima to take care of some business or other and won’t be back until late. Geraldine is here, but she’s working. I’m not sure where Jose, the other groundskeeper is. I take my computer to the patio and work for a couple hours on Walter’s memoirs. Someone had asked me, “Why would anyone want to read his book? Who the heck is he?” It’s a good question. Why do we want to read any story? To learn, to live through someone else’s experience, to laugh, to cry, there’s a lot of reason why. There’s also something in all our hearts that makes us want to record our own existence. Maybe we have to validate ourselves through words and know that when we’re gone something of our time on earth will have been noticed, read by at least one other. Maybe also his is a story that is interesting to read about. Time will tell, to use the cliché.
The neighborhood dogs are going insane. The whole world is rife with barking.
|Negra and Peggy|
I don’t know what got them all so riled up. There are four dogs here at Casa Del Gringo, there are neighboring-place dogs, and there is a pack of dogs that live outside the walls. At night sometimes they howl. Right now they’re talking non-stop. It sounds like the part in 101 Dalmatians where the dogs are trying to pass down the message that the puppies have been stolen. Behind their noise I can hear the soft cooing of doves, and the occasional ribbit of a frog.
It’s chilly now. I go change my light jacket for a little heavier one. I’m sitting in the covered patio. I have a view of a variety of trees with the mountains as their backdrop. I stop and remind myself that I’m in Peru. It seems incredible.
Earlier, Geraldine found me and asked if I was going to go to the market. We were out of rice. It’s a Casa Del Gringo staple. It’s also one of the foods that will help me keep from starving until I can figure out how to get enough fruits and veggies and whatnot to tide me through a day. I’m almost there. I’ve gone to bed hungry a couple times, but I’m not starving. As a vegetarian, and a mostly whole food/raw food eater, filling up can be a bit tricky at times. It’s not impossible though.
I grab my bag and head to the market. It’s about one mile from where I live. I walk the whole way. There are little taxis that will take me to and from, but I don’t mind the exercise or saving a sole (which is worth about 33 cents). About three minutes into my walk I realize I’ve forgotten my camera. I’m not energetic enough to come back and get it and it’s kind of nice not to be totally pegged as a foreigner. I’ll have to remember to take it next time. I pass some walled in houses, walk past the ovalo (the roundabout), past a little park with swings and slides, past some small shops, and finally get to the market.
This is my third trip to the market. I’m getting better about knowing what an item should cost and taking Walter’s advice about asking more than one seller the price. I buy rice, quinoa, a variety of fruits, some broccoli, some garlic and some onions. One my way back I spot a Liquoria. In a splurge completely contrasted to my earlier thrift I buy a 15 sole bottle of Merlot (fifteen soles is less than six dollars, I think). I feel incredibly grown up, metropolitan and traveled. I laugh at myself.
Before I head back into the walled and secluded paradise of my home, I go gaze at the river that is just across the street from Casa Del Gringo. Later, when I have my camera and more time, I’ll explore more.
I’ll work on the other chapter of Walter’s book tonight and then I’ll be caught up. I’ll go make a bowl of rice and eat it with some garlic and onion. I’ll be warding off more than vampires with my breath. I feel I'll be safe tonight.