Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Yesterday was so great and cool and fun and then... TODAY HAPPENED.

Jorge the Bartender called me yesterday around noon to come meet up at Plaza del Sol with two other girls in my program so that he could cook us lunch. Holy crap, this guy was not kidding. We showed up to his apartment to find out it was an entire family affair complete with parents, cousins, siblings, nephews, three dogs, and a cuy. The family's Peruano and they mean business when they have their family dinners. Ham, cheese, dried corn, wine, bread, and potato chips graced the coffee table in case we couldn't wait until mealtime. Chips, by the way, and such things like it, are one of my favorite quirks of Peruvian/Ecua food. Families spend hours preparing home-cooked feasts, and yet they somehow want the most un-food food on top of it. Like ketchup. Like mayonnaise. Mayo was the nectar of the gods to my Peruvian host family - and host Padre was a professional chef.

Anyway, when the meal arrived it was somewhere roughly around 18 courses with the best ají I've ever had in my life. It's this really spicy sauce that seems always to be on the table in South America, but last night's version is the first that I really fell for. Dinner accompanied by Pisco Sours all around. I tried this drink in Cuzco and it freaked me out because it's pisco (a Peruvian liquor), cinnamon, something, and egg white. It's good as soon as you stop thinking about the salmonella. Finished the day watching Spain beat Scotland 3 to 2 and all was well.

Then today. Back to school and my students do not want to listen to me at all. One of my Wednesday classes is impossible I found out. The other teacher told me so: they're "un desastre". Now I'm going off of these textbooks, and dude, they're boring. The English teachers tell me what to teach and we follow the curriculum, but the material just isn't interesting. And I'm partly griping because it's true and partly because what if I'm doing it wrong??!?!? What if a better teacher could make the audio tape where we count Rosa's and Luisa's siblings interesting?? Can't we talk about Machu Picchu and my pretty brother again?

The school day ends. I go to one student's house for her private lesson and get locked inside the courtyard when it's time to leave. I can't escape. I escape. I come home. My doorman tells me we need to talk.

Ooops. Sunday night I had invited a couple people over (read: 4) because the Belgian wanted to hang before leaving Monday morning. An hour and a half later there are maybe fifteen or twenty people sitting on the dozen unmatching chairs and bare mattress of my beautiful living room. I love my living room. It's nice and big and fits people and it's located in my apartment down the hallway from my bedroom and about a twenty minute walk from the center of the universe ie Sol. Though I've never used it my guests have also marveled at the oven we have. Although not exactly in the living room, it is merely steps away meaning Thanksgiving has already been assigned to Calle Rey Francisco, 7. Don't worry, though, this evening I was not playing music or participating in the tequila shots, and along with threatening Bertolt's life if he didn't get Juliet home safely, I made sure everything was shipshape and not too loud like the good hostess and apartment dweller that I am.

Julio the Doorman tells me the upstair neighbors thought not. And I'm kind of annoyed by this because hey, I live here too, and we were not that loud. And it was a Sunday before a Monday holiday and a lot of people left in the 12.00s to catch the Renfe and the remaining angelitos were perfectly behaved and calm. Julio thinks I didn't do anything wrong and these neighbors complain about everything, but I don't want it to happen again so I guess that means I will be canceling tomorrow evening's plans. I considered inviting the neighbors but that might not go over so well.

Guess what Dora the Explorer is in Spanish: DORA la ExploraDORA.

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