I’m having such a hard time putting into words my experience of travel last week! Maybe it’s the illness that hit me after, but I don’t think that’s being honest. I even had a hard time putting the experience into words while my daughter and I were in Lima. It might also be the fact that I’m really not well traveled. Maybe my language for describing my travels would be more refined if I had more experience. Who knows? Peru makes only my second trip outside the United States. Well, that isn’t counting Canada, which is right next door (literally, I can walk down the street and see it).
The trip made me feel very small. I think I am broad-minded, yet my experiences are so narrow. I don’t know how truly broad-minded a person can be if they don’t actually experience much outside their “normal.” I also felt kind of brave, but I can thank my daughter for that–I wouldn’t have been there if it weren’t for her. She’s really brave.
But I’m getting philosophical and really I want to explore some aspects of the trip. So maybe I need to write about it the same way I experienced it… in bits.
In light of trying to pack light, I didn’t bring a notebook. I was sort of thinking I’d try to experience rather than document (aside from photos), but I should have known that was a mistake. For me, writing things down makes them stick in my brain. Even if I never read what I’ve written, the act of writing when or just after an experience cements it in my brain. I have details and feelings and images and it’s all at my fingertips (well, mostly). But I didn’t do that and already I’m finding myself at a loss. The fog is setting in now, so I better task myself with noting a detail or two every day so that they don’t all flit away.
Here is what I want to write about or at least remember in regard to the trip, in no particular order, and this list is really just so I don’t forget:
- smells, good god, the smells (good and bad)
- food, thinking about food, ordering food, eating food, deciding where to eat food
- traffic and drivers
- language (or, language barrier) and wishing I knew one other than English
- heat and humidity and my hair, which looked like a poofball
- dogs, everywhere (and some cats)
- traveling with my adult kid, trying not to annoy my adult kid, drinking with my adult kid (or, pisco sours make the tense bits all better)
- talking to strangers in foreign countries (which is different than talking to strangers at, say, the grocery store)
- doing things you are secretly excited to do but think you shouldn’t because you’ll look ___________ (old, ridiculous, stupid, etc.) but then you do them anyway and realize you don’t care one bit if you in fact looked ___________ (same list)
- not working for a week, and not being freaked out about it
I know there’s more but late night blog posts just aren’t going to come out fully formed. Anyway, I’ll toss another picture out here even though I haven’t picked up my negatives yet so I don’t know which film this is. Maybe that doesn’t even matter.
I promise this is not a dead cat. This cat was very much alive, sleeping soundly on a walkway in Parque Kennedy, which was a few blocks away from our apartment and is known for having something like 80 cats that live there and which also has something to do with honoring JFK but the cats are probably a more curious detail. We saw them everywhere–sleeping, playing, eating food that people bring them.