December 1, 2007

State of the Union
Lima, Peru

I'm without Internet access. This has been the situation for, oh, going on three days now. This home uses an ADSL connection, and it would seem that one of Tatiana's sisters forgot to pay the phone company. The house can still receive incoming calls, but when I pick up the phone all I hear is an automated message, instead of a dial tone.

I'm agitated today. Not being able to access the Internet in the midst of developing an Internet-based project is one of many things that are affecting my mood. The Boza family knows I need it—they need it themselves—but there's not much that can be done that already hasn't been.

I think contributing factor to my agitation is that I've been cooped up in this house for three weeks, with few excursions outside. I've been investing tremendous amounts of energy into several projects, and have even sacrificed a night of sleep because my brain doesn't want to shut off—the sound of wheels churning inside my head is deafening in a darkened room.

I had to retrieve something from my backpack today, and found myself holding it longingly for more than a brief moment. I love having the ability to do this work—I need the connection, privacy, and comforts this household offers in order to labor at this rate—but I think I miss being somewhat anti-social. …"Selective-social" is what I coined it, some time ago. I don't talk to people unless I really want to.

Here, in this household—like any other—people talk and laugh and shout and cry together. Everyone in the home gathers for lunch. I'm so use to eating a little meal on the street, that consistently sitting down and socializing with people is something I have to adapt to here. I absolutely love that there is food downstairs and that I don't have to think about it or hunt for it, but I tend to eat as fast as I think, and many times all I really want to do is just get back to work, or continue my day without hitting the pause button.

Tatiana understands. She's more than happy to accommodate by bringing me food upstairs, but I know where the line is drawn in the sand. I know that I need to hug or kiss people on the cheek when I go make a bread and cheese sandwich in the morning, and engage them in friendly banter. I know I need to eat lunch with the family, even if I'm working or not hungry—because that's what's done in these parts. There's nothing wrong with all these things, it's normal—it's just that I'm not.

The discarded matches thrown on top of the hood of the stove bother me. They're too high for the house keeper to see—I doubt she even knows they're up there—but they're at eye-level for me, and are an odd annoyance. I'm not OCD, I just don't like unnecessary mess in places where there should be none. I could care less when I'm in a hotel/guesthouse/hostel, but in a home, it's different. I cleaned the matches up, and continue to do so daily, as people lighting the stove still discard them in the same fashion.

I noticed that the family would juggle the appliance plugged into the power outlet when they wanted to use the microwave or the television—something they've been doing for Lord knows how long. I asked if the outlet could handle both, which it could, so I bought a splitter. I bought two—one for each of the outlets in the kitchen prone to appliance juggling. Small problem + easy solution = quality of life improvement for everyone.

Walking Simba

The family dog and I have established quite a rapport. I feel his pain. Dogs need to run and feel the wind of their faces, not be confined to a room or tiled patio. I take him for a walk as often as I can—because with the act of freeing Simba, I free myself.

I watch the two young children in this home and feel sorry that they don't have a large, open yard to play in. Children, like dogs, need to run—outside the house. This is the problem with raising children or dogs inside an urban city. There isn't enough freedom, safety, or open spaces.

I don't want to see my son grow up in such a place.

Young boys need fields, woods, creeks, and ponds to explore. They need freedom away from their parent's eyes to become their own men, and masters of their limited domain. Young boys need to see the stars at night—not the perpetual orange-yellow twilight of excessive light pollution.

Large cities are no place for children and dogs.

Large cities are no place for me.

Comments:

Peru

Craig | travelvice.com

December 1st, 2007

I finally broke down, and am publishing a handful of posts from an Internet café down the street.

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