Archive for the 'random notes from the edge' Category

another sad sox fan

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

forgot to mention: our tico (i.e. costa rican) kayak guide the other evening? a red sox fan. we commiserated over the sad end to the season. sox (love and) sorrow is everywhere.


Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

we’re back in the tropics… and it feels soooo good. the skin is slowly warming, pores opening, cells stretching towards the sunlight.

it’s delicious.

muffin tops

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

J: “so do you think they actually sell women’s clothing that fits in this country?”

me: “i’m sure they sell it… i just wish to god i knew why no one bothers to wear it.”

more random wisdom

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

more lessons learned as we near the end:

1. the bus is always 10 degrees too cold.

2. the less developed the country, the more expensive the postage.

3. electricity is a very bad way to heat shower water.

4. s.u.v.s are not just an american plague.

5. you can get dunkin’ donuts in bangkok, chile and peru… but not london. in fact it is easier to get american products just about anywhere else in the world (including *cambodia*) than it is in the u.k. go figure.

6. checking in 2 hours ahead of a flight really is important.

7. anyplace that quotes their prices in dollars is trying to rip you off.

8. the poorer the country, the more polluted it is.

9. madonna is the most universal artist on the face of the planet. how very scary.

10. a beer goes a long, long way towards improving a bad day.

fringe benefit

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

one of the unanticipated bonuses of this trip has been becoming more comfortable with my looks. or, more accurately, becoming more comfortable with caring less about them.

at home, i’m a makeup-every-day kind of girl. not a lot, mind you, just enough to touch things up a bit and look slightly more pulled together than my usual rumpled self.

and (i am loathe to admit) i did actually bring along a tiny bit of makeup with me. i don’t know why – i guess i had some vague notion about wanting to “look nice” when we went out.

so i was surprised to find that i never even touched it (or missed it) after the first week of our trip. my fringe/bangs have been, by necessity, a d.i.y. job along the way. they grow at an alarming rate, and require trimming at least every two weeks. at first, i was understandibly trepidatious about taking the scissors to my hair, but i can tell you now: there’s a certain freedom in realising that they simply cannot get any more f-ed up than they already are, so now i snip away with abandon. mirrors along this trip are often tiny or non-existent; i can’t even remember the last time i saw myself full-length. and slowly but surely, the need to check them has gradually tapered away. in fact, on the inca trail recently, i went four full days without any type of mirror whatsoever (which, given the level of cleanliness after 4 days trekking, was probably a blessing in disguise) because i just plumb forgot to pack one. and you know, i didn’t even miss it.

now lest you begin to think i’ve let myself go to pot, rest assured: i still shave and pluck. i’ve dyed the roots more than once in a hostel bathroom. i’m still a devotee of deodorant and clean underwear.

but it’s been tremendously freeing to not have to think so much about how i look. it’s been nice to break my slavery to the reflected image. to be able to focus more on *doing* and less what i look like doing it. to channel more energy into feeling good rather than looking good.

i know this won’t last forever. once i’m back in a city full of polished people, the pressure to look “nice”, the need to appear “professional” at work, will ultimately require a little more effort than just toothpaste-fresh breath and a strategically worn bandanna. i know this.

but until then, i’ll just enjoy it while i can. chalk it up as a fringe benefit.

file under: bizarre

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

i know i mentioned before how the streetsweepers in kunming, china play “happy birthday”.

here in arequipa, peru they play salsa. a little more thematic, but still strange nonetheless.

why do they have to play *anything*?! isn’t it enough to provide clean gutters and sparkling pavement? they have to be entertaining as well?


Saturday, September 16th, 2006

two words: electric showers.

what i hate about peru

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

diet coke is one of those “standards” you can count on all over the world.

except in peru.

i have no idea what they do to the stuff here, but it is vile. and i mean undrinkable. trust me, i’ve tried – it tastes like detergent. gah.

things fall apart

Friday, September 15th, 2006

we’re currently in cusco peru at the moment. peru and bolivia have really been wonderful to experience (although bolivia got short shrift because we couldn’t make it to copacabana with the blockade). we arrived here yesterday after an agonisingly long bus ride from puno on the shores of lake titicaca. i would just like to add to my previous observations on bus travel all over the world that an interesting phenomenon always seems to occur. the foreigners all buy their tickets in advance, select their preferred seats, and settle in with enough drink/snakcs/entertainment for the duration. inevitably, ten minutes after leaving the station, the assigned seating and prix fixe system breaks down into chaos, as locals hop on/hop off, sit in the aisles, drag on 8 metric tonnes worth of luggage, and the “direct non-stop” route has more detours than you can shake a stick at. how i am still surprised by this every time, i have no idea. but it irks me to no end.

other things which seem to be crumbling…

my poor ipod seems terminally ill ever since i foolishly tried to turn it on in sub-zero temperatures on the uyuni trip. bah humbug. makes a long bus journey even longer. surprisingly there aren’t any apple repair shops in peru.

the day after tomorrow, we embark upon the inca trail and i was ill last night for the first time in this entire trip. like blowing chunks, ill. considering that we’re still at altitide and i felt particularly weak today, this is not a good thing. more bah, more humbug.

also, my usb card reader seems to be broken. no idea how. which is a pain in the tuckus, because now i have to waste my camera batteries to upload my photos every time. blech.

my packing system seems to be breaking down… what with picking up odds and ends and just generally not caring anymore if things are neat. which is just laziness on my part, but makes for crazy mornings when i can’t find what i want/need and then accuse j of hiding them. not the best start to the day.

still – we soldier on. tomorrow i will feel better. the day after that will be amazing. so really, it’s not so bad. i’d be a miserable old bitch to complain really, so i’ll end here.

political paint

Thursday, September 7th, 2006

i find the political graffitti that’s everywhere here a refreshing change from the usual “britney luvs kev” or “jayz wuz here”.

if you’re gonna go through all the trouble of spraypainting a wall, make it something worth reading!

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