Monday, May 07, 2007

Cusco: Quaint and Exciting

I know that my title sounds like some sort of tourist advertisement but this blog entry is honestly going to seem like it was paid for by the touris industry of Cusco. It all has to do with the delightful Saturday that I spent discovering the aforementioned town.

It all started out as a trip to the post office to try to reclaim another package. Yes, it was one of the dread #3 type of packages and the woman at the post office the day before had told me that I could come the next day at 9:00 to pick it up. She must have been confused because I discovered that the office was only open Mon-Fri (something I was pretty sure about but was hoping was wrong). The next thing to do was to find a notary for the letter that my housekeeper was going to take on Monday. I wasn't really sure where one was so I wandered up and down the cobblestone streets. I didn't not feel hurried or stressed and it was an excellent opportunity to explore a fascinating downtown. I happily discovered a couple artist supply stores but no notary. I found myself in Plaza Regocije and since it was such a beautiful sunny day and the fountain was splashing and happily calling me to come and stay for a bit, I took out my knitting and sat down to enjoy my favorite plaza. Besides a few people trying to sell me things and the men who were waiting for shoes to shine, I was pretty much left in peace. It was then and there that I decided that I had yet another reason to like Cusco: Pleasant plazas with happily dancing fountains...ahhhh....

Well, in case you are wondering, I found a notary and got home on the right combi (the last time I was downtown by myself, I got on the _wrong_ bus going somewhere I totally didn't want to go: UP!). Today, even though Marga had to wait for 3 hours, she was able to get my package out. I think the problem is mainly the people in the package area.... hummm...

My Saturday afternoon was spent planning for the next school week but on Saturday night I got to experience another face of Cusco: Cusco nightlife. Don't worry, I wasn't hanging out a discoteca! One of the teachers at my school, Luz invited me to come hang out with some of her friends from church. Since they usually hang out after youth group, I was invited to go to that first. It's a big church and the youth service was very exciting with great music and message. There were lots of jumping youths and since no one there knew that I was really too old for jumping around, I joined in!

After the service (it took a while to get out of there since several of the people were leaders), we headed downtown to La Nomade which is a quaint coffeehouse type of place. It had couch type chairs, low tables and games. There was live music that was a mix of jazz, blues and traditional Peruvian. Several of the band members were Christians and knew the people I came with. The music was very fun and besides the silly dancing that we were doing, we also got to dance with some of the band members. It was a small place and even though we were probably the only people not drinking, I think that we were the ones having the most fun. Those crazy Christians, they don't need alcohol to have fun! I taught them how to play Uno but one guy (who knew some English) kept saying: "One!" instead. It was great to actually have the chance to go out on the town! I was glad to get to know some other people and experience more of this quaint and exciting city.

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