Wednesday, August 6, 2008

With a hundred soles in my pocket...

Hey everyone!!

It's been a strange couple of days both because I've been in a really good mood and everything in Huaraz has just been insane. For example, I called my brother and Amy today, which was awesome!! However, I went to pay and I had 14 soles or a 100 sole bill. The bill was just a little over my change, but she couldn't break a 100 sole bill (I've had this conversation with EVERYONE who has traveled here... How do locals get around? The ATM spits out 100s but NO ONE takes them. It's very frustrating.) So, I said I would be right back (I see her a lot, so we're friends... You know the kind of friends where one of them pays the other one for services... WOW. That sounds awful but I can't think of how else to phrase it. She's the phone lady and I pay her. Sometimes we have conversations about Hindi music or what she wants to do with her life... That's friendly, right??) So, I go walking down the street to the gas station (grifa... I learned a new word!) where I ask if that lady could give me change for a 100. She affirms that I want soles and says yes. Then she proceeds to give me 100 soles.... in coins.

That's right, coins!! And only 30 was in 5 sol coins. A good 35 was in 1 sol coins and the rest was in 2 sol coins. My pockets are absolutely bulging. It's pulling my pants down... I'm going to have to stop by the hostel to drop some of this madness off. Plus, I think I have a 10 bill somewhere, maybe in yesterday's pants pocket. The tens are much more convenient, but even those, some people can't break them. It's insanity. The whole town is insane!!!

A little boy was walking down the street with his mom, but she stopped to look at a street vendor's goods, but he kept walking. I was stopped also, and he came over and wrapped his arms around my legs because he thought I was his mother. It was adorable, but I hadn't been paying attention, so I made a surprised noise. He looked up and started sobbing. Broke my heart. His mom turned quickly and scooped him up away from the crazy gringa, but I just raised my hands in front of me, the universal gesture of "Hey, sorry, it wasn't me!"

I also had this interview with this socialist tourist guide... he was crazy, too!! I liked it, though. He was funny, and I agreed with a lot of what he said. He was really angry with the United States, and I was like, I can't blame you. You get screwed over a lot in the name of capitalism... However, he was telling me that I needed to tell my government... and I'm like, I tell them what I can, but no one cares what I think. I can't even get all my friends, who love me, to read this blog... The U.S. government is NOT going to listen to me. Especially if I talked like he did. He was REALLY angry. However, I liked him. He was funny. It's people like him that are angry at the U.S., but aren't mean to me that make this more fun. Well, they don't have to be angry at the U.S. to be fun. But the people that have really strong opinions but don't yell at me.... I love them. I liked that guy so much that I bought an absolutely expensive and useless book from him. It's about geography in the Cordillera Blanca. It's mostly stuff I know already, but high five for the little socialist capitalizing on capitalism. Of course, he said that business is WAY down this year. I felt bad. He obviously really cared about the area and saw it crumbling before his eyes.

I don't know, I'm still striking out a lot with interviews, but people haven't been MEAN this week. I know what it is!! I only went to the bus station one day and left after everyone on four buses rejected me. None of them were particularly mean, although it probably would have hurt my feelings during the first couple weeks. The people from Lima like to glare. A LOT. They just get this look on their faces like you are the stupidest person they've ever met and they hate you for bothering them. That look crushed me every time for a while. Now it's just kind of funny. Well, it still bothers me, but I've learned not to be a glutton for punishment. If I feel bad vibes from the bus station, I leave before I want to cry. It's a much better system. Rather than sitting there because I feel like I have to, I sit as long as I can stand it and then go buy another DVD or hats for someone... It's nice.

Anyways, it almost feels like Huaraz (the city as an entity...) is trying to make up for a lot of the crap it's put me through as a whole. Funny, crazy incidents, but none of them involve late night phone calls to Sandip where I try to avoid crying in the phone booth... I'm exaggerating a bit. However, I do feel like I'm just happier now than I was for a long time. I don't know if I'm just seeing things differently or they ARE different. Who knows? Either way, if this keeps up, I'm going to miss Huaraz as soon as I leave. Funny, funny people. Although, I still think all drunk men should be locked up before they bother me... But I've learned to give them a wide berth and ignore anything they say. jerks..... The stories I could tell you would shock you!!!

1 comment:

AJ said...

Totally feel your pain on the bills/coins/no change story. Wonder how many unwanted purchases I've made in an attempt to spend the whole bill since there's no change anyway. *doh* Sounds like you've got your groove on, Sarah. Awesome!