Friday, December 3, 2010

It's in the little things

Only just over a week now before I'll be hopping on a plane and heading out of Lima. And being me, that means I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, trying to evaluate how it's going to feel to be back in the good ol' U.S. of A. after 4 and a half months. Not that that's really such a long while. People live overseas for years, all their lives, and I got nothing on them. But still, Lima long ago stopped being a vacation and started being, well, my life. And I'm gonna miss it.

And while some of the biggest things I'm going to miss are the beautiful friends I've made here (see the lovely ladies above) my life has always revolved around a repetition of the small and seemingly trivial. The things which I have time to enjoy and savor and love on my own. That might be why of all the things I remember at Machu Picchu, I can recall with special clarity the little place in which I sat by myself for a good half an hour to eat a mandarin and look out over the city. The prickly grass, the dilemma over where to put my seeds, the group of three men who asked me to take their picture.

And so for me, I think some of the things I'm gonna miss the most are the tiny things that make up my everyday. Let me give you a sampling:

The two note song of the pigeons outside my windows. The first time I heard it I had to ask my host sister (conveniently named "Paloma") if someone was playing an instrument outside, and she laughed.

The micro drivers joking and competing among themselves. It's like a little road community with protocols and ruffians and pals and spats. I love watching it.

Stopping traffic by holding up my hand when the policewoman has already motioned cars to stop but they continue to roll up and you're thinking "Are they...?" but you're in a hurry so you walk into the street anyway and give them the I-ain't-stopping-so-you-better hand while looking all blase like. Love it.

The paper bag my bread comes in which makes me feel all old-worldy despite how people in actual old-worldy times may or may not have carried their bread.

The happy bliiiing sound washing machine makes a when I turn it on and turn it to the setting I want. It makes me feel like I'm giving attention to a small child. A small child which I've neglected for 3 weeks.

Seeing someone from la Catolica with their carnet, our student id card, around the city and feeling just a little connection with them. And then feeling a thrill realizing that I can feel connected with Peruvians who I don't know on the micro.

They might not be anything ground-breaking or even life-changing, but they're my life right now. And I hope I'm gonna miss them.


  1. Girl, you are so brave. That "holding up your hand to stop traffic" move would totally get you killed around here. You would quickly become a human speedbump.

    Thanks for your great comment on my newbie blog. What a fascinating life you are living. I'm totally following you - in the fun blogger way, of course, not the creepy stalker way.

  2. Dear Holly, feel free to follow me in the creepy stalker way. You seem like the good kind of stalker.
    That's how I'll be following your blog anyway. :)

  3. awww, life still goes on. I hate being attached to places, makes me so sad when I leave them. But believe me, it'll be ok. =)

  4. Thanks RS! I do actually get to come back after the break, so that makes things much better.

    PS First I was like "Girl what are you doin up at 4:44 AM??" And then I remembered the time difference. Oops.

  5. methinks life's smaller moments are the most important ones. Like walking around NYC pretending I live there not caring if I go to all the touristy stuff just wanting to soak up the air and smells and atmosphere and the old buildings. Remembering the button store around the corner...what a great experience you are having. Lucky lady...have a safe trip home with your little memories.