Hanging out in Arequipa

A winter's day 
In a deep and dark December; 
I am alone, 
Gazing from my window to the streets below 
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow. 
I am a rock, 
I am an island. 

I've built walls, 
A fortress deep and mighty, 
That none may penetrate. 
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain. 
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain. 
I am a rock, 
I am an island. 

Don't talk of love, 
But I've heard the words before; 
It's sleeping in my memory. 
I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died. 
If I never loved I never would have cried. 
I am a rock, 
I am an island. 

I have my books 
And my poetry to protect me; 
I am shielded in my armor, 
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb. 
I touch no one and no one touches me. 
I am a rock, 
I am an island. 

And a rock feels no pain; 
And an island never cries.
                                           Paul Simon


Yesterday Aodhan had a little trouble coping. He was grumpy when he got up. He was grumpy when he got dressed. He complained about everything. We went to go to the golf club and he insisted on a taxi. It was really hard to get a taxi, especially one that wanted to go way out to the outskirts, or even knew where the golf club was. I told Aodhan we should take a combi, and one stopped right away for us. Aodhan refused. He was bullying and belligerent and obnoxious. I could also tell he had to go to the bathroom. I really need to get him some laxatives. We did find a taxi in the end, but I was kind of angry with Aodhan because it would have been so much simpler, and cheaper, to take the combi. (Ok, folks, in reality, it cost us $3 for the taxi, and it would have only cost us about $1 for the combi bus. So we have to keep the perspective here:)

He waited all day to go to swim and then complained when I told him the kitchen was going to close soon. He said he wasn’t going to swim. I leaned over him and he pushed me away. I stopped. I looked at him. I said, Aodhan, you pushed me. Aodhan, you hurt me. It wasn’t completely true or untrue. When he pushed me, I had take a step sideways that made my knee turn a little. That hurts because my knee still hurts when I turn it. He looked away. I told him that since he put that sweater on, he has behaved badly. I am going to have to take the sweater back because it is causing problems. He finally agreed that it might be a good time to swim. 

He did change, and he did swim, and he did put on clean clothes. Well, except for his boxers. I had to tell him no lunch until he changed those. He did. 

We ate. He had chicken nuggets and fries, and I had lomo saltado, which is sliced tenderloin and onions and tomatoes and peppers, sautéed in a marinade. It is traditionally served with rice and potatoes. worked on my computer for a while. Finally, I realized how late it was getting, and I went over and told Aodhan we needed to go because it was after 5pm. He wanted to stay and finish his supper. I said he could come with me, or come later when he felt he was finished looking at his empty plates. He chose to stay. 

I stopped at the grocery store on the way for a few things. The grocery store was so packed, I gave up and went home (well, to Yesenia’s). It was already dark when I left the grocery store about 6pm. There was no sign of Aodhan. At 8:00 we finally called his old tennis instructor to see if he knew the phone number of the security guards at the club. He gave us the administrator’s number. We waited a little bit, but at 8:30, we finally called. They told us that the security guards had said Aodhan had just left 20 minutes ago. I was relieved, and he walked in the door three minutes later.

In retrospect, I should have never tried to make such sudden changes with Aodhan. I know he can’t handle them. In the morning, I said we could take a taxi, I should have stuck to that instead of suddenly demanding a change. In the afternoon, I should have kept an eye on the time and told Aodhan that we had to go in half an hour, or in 15 minutes, instead of walking over all packed up and announcing that I was leaving. It is just hard to constantly work around these things.

He did get up this morning and get dressed in the pants he doesn’t really like, with no complaints. He brushed his teeth, and even his hair after only being asked one or two times. 

I found a flight to La Paz for $101 (all in) each so we will be flying there instead of taking a 12+hour bus ride. Normally the flight is over $600 with taxes and everything. This has definitely relieved some stress for me. I would have had to spend all weekend travelling there, and then spent a couple of days settling Aodhan down. Now I can go to the beach Saturday and Sunday, and fly to La Paz on Monday morning. Yesenia's family are coming to the beach. I will get a hotel for us and we can stay and come home in the morning and have a little weekend escape.

My delicious steak and beans

My pasta sauce before adding the tomato sauce

Rice pasta

Canario beans soaking in my makeshift "bowl"

Maracuya and Acai

delicious steak and greek salad

Pretty pink and yellow potatoes. There are a thousands of varieties of potatoes. These ones taste a little like beets.

Mercado San Camillo

Street vendors outside Mercado Siglo XX de Avelino

Arequipa driving tip #7 - Use on and off ramps any way you like. Just make a U-turn, or cross through the oncoming traffic to get to the other lanes. 

The view as I came out of the grocery store last night.