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Today I departed from Macchu Pichu, and I have to admit, I was a bit sad to go.  Life was a little boring at times, and I spent quite a bit of time just sitting on a bench on the plaza, watching the dogs chase each other around, and the children chasing each other around, and the tourists chasing each other around ;) 

So far, the climate there was the best by far, I loved the lush vegetation, and the orchids peeking around the corners of Macchu Pichu, and the rain, and the people too.  Made some friends there, which is always nice, and once again, so greatful for knowing spanish, otherwise I would have been even more alone.

One morning, as I was sitting on a bench at the train station, chatting with two guys in Spanish, two men came up to me, one white, the other hispanic, and the hispanic guy asked in spanish if I spoke spanish.  Well, yes, so he needed me to translate to the white guy (who was dressed all in a boyscout uniform, and I'm guessing from his accent he was from Germany).  I really enjoyed that, too!  Chatting back and forth, switching from Spanish to English.  What it came down to, was the German guy was a bit confused about a train time, and wanted to try to get a cheap fare.  Sometimes I shake my head at how cheap tourists try to be, after all, 10 dollars isn't very much to us, but it is an entire days wages for people here, or more!

Later that evening, I chatted with two other guys (I do seem to find a lot of men to chat with...) who worked at the restaurant that I had had breakfast in the day before.  They were very excited to have me
teach them some English, and ushered me to a seat, and plied me with free tea, as I taught them how to say "Please have a seat" and "Would you like another drink?".  They were very sweet.  They took my e-mail
address and promised to write.

But boy, the people who work in the restaurants have it even worse!  They work from 8 in the morning to 11 at night, 7 days a week!  I could never.  But Jessica, another student at the language school, told me that a woman at the school for special children that she works at, who is a psychologist (with a degree and everything) makes $200 a month.  And, she wants to send her son to university, which costs $200 a month,
so she has to take another job to pay for that.  And, on top of that, there is a decree in the education department of the government, that because they are so lucky to have a job, they have to work for March for free!  Can you imagine, having to work a month for free, just because you are lucky to have a job?  Huh??!!  This is criminal, and makes me sick to my stomach.

Well, a few follow up notes.  I didn't get to be in the commercial after all, they said I looked to much like a north american.  Well, yeah, hello!  I guess originally, because of my dark hair, he thought I could pass for a local in the commercial?  Hm.  I ended up watching the proceedings from my room, as a waiter brought a tray full of corn to a table with two
children, and they got over excited.  Looked a little corny to me.

Oh!  And a follow up on the guy that stood me up in the danceclub!  I had a feeling that I wasn't missing out on much, my intuition told me he probably wasn't a very stand up guy.  And sure enough, yesterday he
passed by me, holding the hand of a Peruvian woman, who I'm assuming is his girlfriend (you don't very often see Peruvians holding hands).  Mm hm!

Anyhow, I had a pleasant train ride, and a van ride with other tourists to Cusco (who vehemently argued to only pay 5 soles instead of 7, a difference of 60 cents, do you really want to waste your time over 60
cents?).  I sat next to a guy from California, of the surfing variety, and he talked to me about how he was going to move to San Fran, and how he considered Seattle, but there isn't any surf there, and he was also disgusted about how the others argued over 2 soles.  Give it up, people. 

So, now I'm back in Cusco, where the internet is much cheaper (yay!) and I have cable TV in my room, with lots of english shows (yay yay yay), and plans to go out tomorrow.  I do miss Macchu Pichu, but am happy to be back where I have some friends.

¡Adios!

Jillian
 





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