I have NEVER been interested in cooking. At least not for the past 23 years of my life. But this year all I want to do is cook and bake and learn everything about food. Is my domestic instinct kicking in or something? I mean, I’m not complaining. I actually enjoy cooking now which is great because I enjoy what I am eating since it tastes delicious and I made it with my own two hands. The downside to this is that I don’t have all of the resources and ingredients I need to do everything I want to do in the kitchen. Argentina is very limited, compared to the US. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve been living in my new place for about 2 weeks now and I really love it. I have 7 housemates and we all live on the second floor of a 2 story building. Below us lives the owner and her daughter as well as another family. The only time I see the owner is when she comes upstairs to hang her laundry out on the roof or when something needs to be fixed. There are the occasional karaoke sessions on the weekends down in her place and you all know how I feel about karaoke. She also let me bake some cupcakes in her kitchen since we don’t have an oven upstairs. Her sweet little 9 year old daughter helped me make the cupcakes. I love that girl. She looks so much like my little sister Ambie when she was that age so I can’t help but squeeze her to bits because she reminds me of my cute little sister who I miss so much. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m moving again. WTF? I know. I have only lived in this place for 2 months, how can I already be moving again??? Well, I currently live with my friend from England and her husband. They are much older than me and could more or less be considered my parents (if they had me pretty young). When I moved in with them I knew it would be temporary, I just didn’t know how temporary. They were taking a risk by letting me in and changing up their stable, married and more or less unchanged lives. They were doing me a big favor by saving me from living with Laila anymore. Read the rest of this entry »
Ever since I returned from Peru I have been trying to find a time to sit down with all of my thoughts and write some thoughtful blog posts. Here I am now, with a mountain of things to say trying to figure out how to organize and say them all in a coherent and interesting way.
So much has happened since I got back from Peru that my head is practically spinning itself off of my body. My first important thoughts, or I should say doubts, were confirmed after having a good g-chat with my friend Ellie who is currently in New Zealand and can relate to me from a more relevant viewpoint than my family who misses me too much to be rational. I decided that right now I cannot realistically buy a house or start a bar, no matter how much I want to try and mix the young traveling life with a stable, settled life. I can’t remember if I blogged about this but I probably didn’t because I was waiting for a more formal decision before I told everyone I was doing these things (and for good reason too since I already changed my mind.) Read the rest of this entry »
This blog post is for travelers looking for an accurate route from Jujuy, Argentina > Cusco, Peru and from Cusco back to Jujuy. I did countless hours of research online trying to find the best and cheapest route to Cusco from Jujuy and I didn’t find much so now I am adding my own experience here in hopes that it will help other fellow travelers.
I encountered multiple strikes on my way to and from Cusco so this route is only by bus as all trains were not functioning in Bolivia when I was passing through. I went up through Bolivia to get to Cusco and went down through Chile to get back to Jujuy.
At my time of travel the exchange rate was roughly this below:
USD 1 = 3.79 Pesos = 7.02 Bolivianos = 3 Peruvian Soles = 537 Chilean Pesos (6/26/2009)
San Salvador de Jujuy, Jujuy, Argentina > La Quiaca, Jujuy, Argentina
Ticket: 35 Argentine Pesos / U$D 9.24
Company: Jama Bus
Duration of trip: 4.5 hours (6:00 am - 10:30 am)
You will cross the border by foot or taxi to reach Villazon, Bolivia. If you are a US citizen you will need a visa to enter Bolivia which costs U$D135. You are able to apply for a visa at the border but you will have to make a copy of your passport and provide 2 passport photos.
Villazon, Bolivia > La Paz, Bolivia
Ticket: 80 Bolivianos / U$D 11.43
Company: Expreso Tupiza (I thought the driver was going to tip over the bus)
Duration of trip: ~19 hours (4:00pm - 11:30 AM)
*It is possible to take a train from Villazon to Oruro, Bolivia and then take a short bus to La Paz but during my trip there was a political problem and the trains were not running. There were shitty bumpy roads the whole way there.
La Paz, Bolivia > Puno, Peru
Ticket: 50 Bolivianos / U$D 7.14
Company: 6 de Julio
Duration of trip: 7.5 hours (2:30pm - 9pm [peru time])
*For this bus ride you will disembark and take a boat across Lake Titicaca. At the Peru border you will walk across the border and get on a new bus. You do not need a visa for Peru if you are a US citizen.
Puno, Peru > Cusco, Peru
Ticket: 15 Peruvian Soles / U$D 5.00
Company: Power Bus
Duration of trip: ~7 hours (2:15pm - 9:00pm)
*It is possible to take a train from Puno to Cusco but it costs U$D200 roughly.
RETURNING TO JUJUY VIA CHILE:
Cusco, Peru > Arequipa, Peru
Ticket: 60 Peruvian Soles / U$D 20.00
Company: Ormeño S.A.
Duration of trip: ~14 hours (9:00am - 11:00pm)
*We went to Puno first and then went to Arequipa. This could have been for the strikes and a normal route may be shorter.
Arequipa, Peru > Tacna, Peru
Ticket: 25 Soles / U$D 8.30
Company: Transportes Moquegua Turismo
Duration of trip: ~7 hours (7am - 1:45pm)
Tacna, Peru > Arica, Chile
Ticket: 13 Soles / U$D 4.30
Company: Shared car or “Combi”
Duration of trip: 2 hours (2:30 - 4:30)
Arica, Chile > San Salvador de Jujuy, Jujuy, Argentina
Ticket: 38,000 Chilean Pesos / U$D 76.00
Company: Pullman Bus
Duration of trip: 24 hours (9pm - 9pm)
*There are two buses on this trip. You disembark in Calama and wait for 3 hours in the bus station from 6am to 9am. From Calama you go straight to Jujuy.
*This bus did not serve any hot meals, only cookies, crackers and juice. Be prepared to bring your own real food even though you are paying a ridiculous price for this bus.
As I was walking to the gym today a little old lady greeted me very friendly-like and started talking to me but I didn’t really understand what she was saying so I kept walking. She was heading in my same direction so she just kept talking to me and as she got closer to me she realized that I wasn’t the person she thought I was (which was her neighbor’s neice). When she realized I was the wrong person she put her arm around me, giggled grandma style and gave me a big sideways hug. She continued walking and talking to me all the way to centro. She was the cutest and sweetest little thing ever.
When I walked into the kitchen this morning Laila and the maid were in there. “‘Tevs,” I thought, “I can handle being in the same room as her, no biggie.” As Laila was on her way out the door she said “Autumn, after you go to Macchu Pichu you need to find a new place to live.” Damn her — she said it first! I had been waiting for the appropriate moment to tell her that I would be moving out at the end of the month (not after Macchu Pichu which would be in 2 months) but since we barely see each other at all, at most for 5 minutes each day, finding the appropriate time wasn’t easy. I didn’t want to do it her way as I walked out the door.
It felt like we were breaking up. Like we both knew we were having problems and we both wanted to break up and it was just a matter of who did it first. In any type of breakup, you always want to be the doer, not the receiver. I didn’t want to be “kicked” out of the house, I wanted to gracefully remove myself from it and possibly even part ways amicably. I think we are past my ideal way of the storybook ending of this situation.
I was a little annoyed that she said what she said in front of the maid. Either she doesn’t consider the maid important enough to have existed and didn’t think what she heard mattered OR she didn’t care to keep the matter private and just between her and I. I choose the latter explanation because I found out later today that she also called my host mom here in Argentina and apparently “tattled” on me. I’m not exactly sure what was said, I just know that she has now tried to blacken my name among the people I respect here and who respect me. How lame. I mean, I guess I’m doing the same thing by shouting this drama to the rooftops on my blog but I’d like to think that I am telling a story versus blatantly trying to ruin her reputation as a good person.
On top of this morning’s breakup, I come home tonight to find that a French girl has moved in to the spare room while I was away this afternoon. What the hell? She only broke up with me this morning and she’s already found somebody new? She had to be cheating on me…
No but seriously, this woman works quickly. She didn’t even have the decency to tell me that I would be sharing the house with yet another person. Good thing I move in about a week.
I told the French girl that we should sit down and have a chat. I am not going to bash the shit out of Laila like she is doing to me all over town but I am going to let her know of the obvious things in the house that need repair that I have been putting up with for 5 months. Laila is apparently milking the French girl for more rent than me — 850 pesos a month versus my 750 pesos and frenchie’s room has visible black mold. Ouch. Unfortunately, there aren’t many places to rent in Jujuy so she will probably be stuck with Laila. As much as I hate seeing Laila jump right back on the money train, I can’t recommend a better option for frenchie and it is really not my place to anyway.
I’m kind of anal when it comes to my health, especially with my teeth. I have never had a cavity in my life due to “hard teeth” and a strict brushing & flossing regimen. The only invasive surgery I’ve had in my mouth was getting my molars removed which I thoroughly enjoyed. Laughing gas has to be one of my most favorite drug experiences ever. I actually enjoy going to the dentist as well. It’s like my mouth has been to the car wash and I treated myself to the turtle wax finish.
I have been in Argentina for almost 9 months. Once I realized this and realized that I normally go to the dentist every 6 months, as advised, I quickly called up my yoga teacher who also happens to be a dentist.
I showed up to my appointment, eager to see how much different it would be from the States. For starters, the exam room was bright lime green. Even the exam chair was green to match the walls and the cabinets. It was amazing, to say the least. I am fond of the color lime green. The room was anything but sterilized and organized, with tons of green plants spilling out onto the porch, a bottle of soda on the sink and tools and creams randomly placed everywhere. This was definitely Argentina’s way of doing dentistry — totally laid back. He was playing some jazz in the background and wore jeans and a t-shirt.
I sat in the chair as Sergio, my yogi-dentist prepared my cleaning. He didn’t put a “bib” on me to catch the flying spit, he didn’t wear gloves or eye protection — he just let my mouth juices spray all over his face and my chest like we were having a “wet ‘n’ wild” competition — who could leave the room with more of my spit on them by the end of the exam. I’d say he won as his face was closer than my chest. It didn’t seem to bother him at all.
The exam didn’t take long. At the end he pulled out this tube of fluoride that looked like pink hair gel and tasted probably the same (as I’ve never tried to eat hair gel before). When I was done I paid him the 30 pesos for the exam which is less than 10 USD. Not too shabby.
My friend Pato asked me if I would cook her a real American breakfast. I am totally willing to show my spanish friends a bit of my culture, especially since I already make American breakfasts here all of the time.
I was thinking of offering the following menu for them:
-over easy or scrambled eggs (which is more american? I’m a sunny-side-up American)
-american toast, buttered with option for jam as well
-bacon (OF COURSE)
-homemade hash browns
-french toast (maybe)
Does anyone have any other ideas? Am I leaving a major American breakfast staple out of the menu?
I woke up this morning and stumbled half asleep to the bathroom. When I went to plop down on the toilet I saw that SOMEONE or SOMETHING had left a smudge of wet sloppy poop on the toilet seat. This didn’t look like cat poop and it didn’t look like the cat jumped on the toilet seat with a poopy paw. This looked like HUMAN shit. I saw that the bathroom did not have any toilet paper in it. I wonder if someone decided to wipe their ass on the toilet seat…fucking disgusting.