It is 6:16 PM; I begin my account of the day near its end because my freshest memories are those that just happened. As I recant the most events, earlier events unwind and come into focus. For the record, my day is near its end when I enter my room because I will not exit again for anything - not even to cook the pasta I just bought at the supermarket!
I got lost on my way back from the Plaza de Armas.
While I got lost at 5:40pm, I did not declare myself lost until 5:55.
At 5:56pm, I figured out which way I should walk to get home.
At 5:57 PM, I realized I had a massive headache, which I had given myself by getting lost. As I walked in the right direction towards my house, I acknowledged the smart decision not to buy a gigantic jug of water until I got closer to my house. I did buy a few small containers of water when I was about two blocks from home.
As I weaved in and out of the crowd of people, who populate the road that runs perpendicular to Cercado - my narrow, cobbled street with no sidewalks (which still surprises me with cars and taxis rolling up and down it). I thought about saying excuse me but did not hear anybody saying it and could not think of how to say it in Spanish, so I just bumped through the crowd happy I actually knew which jean pocket held my keys.
This area, like many in Arequipa, serves as an impromptu bus stop, which Danny told me about two days ago but that was Monday, my first day here; I didn't retain much information that day.
My goal: get in before dark, which is about 6:47 PM here!
I made it to the door that leads to my room at 6:10 PM. By the time I got in and unpacked my purchases, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to cook anything and my day was pretty much done. I spent 137sols ($50US) at four different stores. I made purchases in order need and ability to carry:
Textilon - Tights (25sols) because I'm freezing
El Super - Groceries (37sols) because I'm hungry (spaghetti, bread, olives, avocado, garlic, olive oil, dishes)
(I've no idea what this place was called - A small change purse (8 sols) because I'm not used to having money in the form of coins
Starbucks - An insulated cup, a cup of tea to go, and a container of tea from Starbucks (67 sols) because I'm freezing
Corner Store - Water (3sols) because bottled water is the only way to go
This morning I awoke looking forward to taking a shower at lunchtime or right after classes. I got up at 6am to work on my mini-lesson for Scott's class. I slept a little later because I stayed up late working on it. I got to school early, printed several things, and thought I was ready to give my mini grammar lesson.
My grammar lesson on conjunctions bombed. The only thing I want to say about that experience is that I learned from it. I will leave the sordid details to the notes written in my notebook.
The best thing about Matt's language awareness class was that I had zero blah moments.
I did not come back to my room for the hopeful warm to hot shower because I used much time to do something that I cannot recall, which limited my shower taking time. I did take a short walk because it was hotter outside than it was in the building. My walk only lasted about 10 minutes.
When I came back to the building, everyone was standing near doorways and looking weird. Mena, the classmate who joined the program a day later than I did, asked me if I felt it. I told her no. Then she explained, if you're outside a building you're less likely to feel the earthquake tremors. I was happy I took a walk.
After classes were done, my plan for the rest of the day was getting a warm shower by 3:15pm and walking down to the plaza to do some necessary shopping. I was in the shower just long enough to soap up when the lukewarm water turned freezing cold. It was not a pleasant experience.
Note to self: next shower must be at noon. After my ice cold shower, I dressed quickly and headed outside for warmth and my journey to the Plaza de Armas.
The walk was warming and the streets were lined with shops. What got my attention most, where the numerous laundries, which my property owner had told me about on Monday.
I noted the curious smell freshly laundered clothes and smog created. Most of my attention was on the route I took so I would not get lost on the walk home (yeah, right!). The purpose of my trip to the Plaza was to get necessities and understand the route so I could come back and enjoy the plaza and cathedral later during my stay. I walked several streets but only identified San Jerusalem and San Francisco. I saw a line of policemen in full armor, which did not make me feel safe or comfortable - just foreign. I turned my attention to the 1.2 million pigeons in the plaza (which reminded me how scary the Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds really was the first time I saw it). I also let my eyes scan the cathedral, of course I can't recall it's name, which is why my plan is to go back to the plaza and soak it all in without getting lost.
Well, as I sit atop my bed, cross-legged, my toes tinkle with numbness and goose bumps move in waves across my near-hairless scalp from the dropping temperature in my room signaling I am done writing about this day. It's time for me to layer-up, brush my teeth, and confront the chilled space between my four thin covers and thinner sheet with my body heat, which will eventually win out. It is 46 degrees outside, which is warmer than my room.
NOTE: last night, while I stayed up late working on the grammar exercise that bombed today, I discovered that my iPad gives off a noticeable amount of warmth. Yes, I worked on my assignment with my iPad under the covers with me.