Hellllooooo Faithful Blog Readers!
This post was requested by my mother and father since I “promised a post about school” and “some of your readers are wondering if you actually attend classes.” To which I responded “Drat, they’re on to me.” But I’ll be honest with you and say that mostly the only reason that I’m posting this is because I don’t have all the pictures that I need of my Amazon excursion to post a blog yet. And plus, who wants to read about school when I’m doing all sorts of other fun things like swimming in the Amazon river?? (yes, it happened. yes, there are pictures. yes, there will be a post)
I am attending classes even though – to be completely 100% honest – I’d rather be traveling. Peru is this huge amazing country located in an even larger more amazing continent known as South America which contains an abundance of countries. Each of these countries is wonderful and unique and *must see* in its own way and there is just no way I’m going to see it all because I have to sit in lecture. But I digress. Instead of crazy fun adventures, today I’ll write about a typical day for me. From beginning to end.
6am: wake up and promptly go back to sleep
6:45am: actually wake up and perform morning rituals (shower, getting dressed, deodorizing, hair combing etc etc)
7-7:30am: eat breakfast and walk about 8 blocks to the bus stop. If you’re wondering, I specifically take this route:
Turn left from the house, cross Calle Juan de Arona, Calle Chichon, and Calle Antequara. (Note: Calle is pronounced Kai [rhymes with high]- yay)
Turn left on Antequara and cross Calle Sebastian Telleria.
Turn right onto Calle Manuel A. Fuentes and cross a bunch of streets that I don’t pay attention to but at the corner of Antequara and Manuel A. Fuentes, there is a little Lassie type dog that sometimes barks at me. Occasionally I bark back. This confuses Lassie and makes me smile.
Manuel A. Fuentes at some point turns into Paseo Parodi and I walk on that until I find Javier Prado which is this huge street. (we all know from experience that I’ve gotten lost trying to find huge streets before, but so far I’ve managed to find Javier Prado)
Cross Javier Prado (this could take ages depending on if la Policia are controlling traffic or if the stop lights are)
Turn left once across Javier Prado and walk about 3 blocks to the bus stop.
7:30-??: attempt to catch a bus/combi going to “Todo Universitaria” or “La Catolica.” Both mean the same thing to me because if the bus is going to “Todo Universitaria” (Translation: All of Universitaria Avenue/Street/Whatever you want to call it), it will eventually hit “La Catolica” which is the common name for the school I attend. The process of catching the bus/combi really depends on my mood. If I’m in a bad mood or if I have some time to kill, I will try to wait for one that doesn’t look like a rolling sardine can that is only slightly larger than a regular sardine can (if you’ve ridden a combi, you know that this is actually a pretty accurate analogy). If I’m in a good mood or running late, I just look for one going where I need to be going. This is easier than you would think. Most buses/combis have an operator that stands at the door and yells destinations of the vehicle. And if you see/hear one that is going to the right place, you just signal to the operator person and most of the time they make sure the bus waits for you to get on.
So what is a combi? Well that depends. It can be a tiny itty bitty mini van-turned-public transport OR it can be a school bus type thing that picks people up and then rockets through the streets of Lima. Sounds safe, right? Frankly, once I get on a combi, I have to stop thinking about safety. Everyone here drives like a crazy person and combis really aren’t much more than bus seats wrapped in an aluminum foil cage with hand railings bolted to the ceiling. Most doors don’t even close all the way. But BONUS, if you’re lucky enough to sit in the front seat (shotgun, for my Midwestern readers, passenger seat for people who don’t know what shotgun means) you get a seatbelt. Whoa.
Ideal spots on the combi are A) the seats, B) standing next to the door, C) standing next to an open window. A) should be obvious. B) the easier to escape at your stop, the better. C) crowded combis are hot and the breeze offered by the open window is not to be squandered. Spots that no one wants are A) the back, B) the back, C) the back. Seriously, when everyone is packed into that combi, the last person you want to be is the person in the back trying to get up to the front to get off the bus. It requires forcing everyone to squish uncomfortably close to people that they probably don’t know at all.
All this being said, riding a combi is a right of passage for Lima travelers. For the people here, it is a way of life. But I firmly believe that everyone visiting Lima should ride at least one combi. So you can bet that when my family comes down here in June, I’m finding a semi-full combi and squashing them all into it. 😀
Ok so I’ve taken the combi to La Catolica.
Now it’s time to get into the school. I flash my PUCP (school) ID or if I don’t feel like getting my ID out, I just tell the bored guard that I’m an intercambio (foreign student) and head in. SUCCESS. I HAVE ARRIVED. BOOM.
On days that I have time to kill, I go somewhere that my phone will find wi-fi then proceed to be a bump on a log until class time. OK NOW LETS PRETEND ITS CLASSTIME
Walk into class, pick a seat in the back-ish. Its harder for people to stare at me if they have to turn around. I can usually count on my professors to be 5-10 minutes late so I get some last-minute Pinterest- I mean class-related reading- in.
I listen to the professor talk for an hour or two, taking notes faithfully (I’m a good student, guys, I swear)
Once class ends, I typically have time to kill so I head to Tinkuy (this large building with lots of study space, food court etc) and buy a couple ciabatta rolls from La Panaderia (literally translates to The Bakery) for lunch later. Then I head upstairs to the study areas to catch up on reading and hang out until my friends are free for lunch. I eat with them, attend another class, kill more time, attend more class. Then I go back. Basically, the combi journey is the same as before, just in reverse. I look for combis going to “Todo Javier Prado”
On Tuesdays, I get back to the house pretty early, around 2 if all goes well. On Mondays and Wednesdays though, I have a night class and don’t usually get back until 8-9:30pm.
I eat dinner, merp derp around for a bit, catch up on homework and stuff then go to bed.
That was a day in the life. 😀 It is a modest existence, but an interesting one.
Just so you know, I really do welcome comments on this blog and anywhere. If you want to message me on Facebook and chat about my blog post or life in general, please do. I love hearing from the States. It makes me feel a little closer to home. ❤
COMING SOON (theoretically) Amazon post. Also, I am going to Cusco and Machu Picchu NEXT FREAKING WEEK!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. We leave on Wednesday morning. I HAVE SO MUCH EXCITEMENT!!!!! I feel like Agnes in Despicable Me with the unicorn toy “ITS SO FLUFFY I’M GONNA DIE.”
I’ll make an actual Facebook post about this but – as of now – I’m going to be volunteering in Cusco from Monday the 27th until possibly May 4. This means that I will be celebrating the big 2-0 in Cusco! Super exciting, yes, but also potentially problematic. I do not know what cell signal/wi-fi strength is like up in the mountains so there is a chance that I will not be able to respond to birthday posts on my wall or texts. I am still very appreciative of these, and I will respond to them upon arriving back in Lima. Or maybe I’ll have beautiful cell service and amazing wi-fi speeds, in which case, I’ll answer them in Cusco. We shall see.
Lots of fun and exciting blog posts are coming soon! OH and if you want comment below (or message me on Facebook) if you have blog topic requests. Something I haven’t covered yet, something you want me to talk more about, things that I didn’t clarify or whatever you’re curious about. Since most of my weeks are your basic “school, home, school” on repeat, I find it a little difficult to come up with something that I can get excited about enough to post about. So give me ideas!
I hope all is well with you and yours. Have a wonderful spring time and I hope that you enjoyed today’s journey From Lebanon to Lima. Ciao!