08 January 2011

same old story

Stop me if you've heard this before: I don't know where I'm going to be in three days.

Come on, admit it--you missed this! I know I did. Staying in one place for too long makes me restless.

Here's how it happened: Host mom just decided she didn't need an au pair, simple as that. She's got both her parents around to watch the kid, and he's frequently over at his friends' houses, so she doesn't see the point of having me around to watch him for five hours a day. I can see her point, but his English isn't going to improve like she wants it to unless he's conversing frequently with a native speaker.

So there was no big disaster, no falling out or anything like that. To make things clear, I did not immerse myself in a torrid affair with the boyfriend or ride a horse naked through the streets of Jose Ignacio (although that would be fitting). She just decided to cut things short by two months and give me only a few days' warning.

I've been looking up flights, bus routes, and hostel job openings for the past couple of days, and here's what I've come up with: Peru. I want to go to Peru. There's so much to see there, from Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca (it's okay, I laugh when I see the name too) to volcanoes and some of the world's best surfing in Mancora. It doesn't hurt that some of the cheapest flights home I've seen depart from Lima's airport. They're so cheap, in fact, that it would cost more to fly out of Montevideo or Buenos Aires than it would to take a three-day bus trip to Peru, travel there for a bit, and fly from there.

So I think I'm going to head back to Buenos Aires this week, because that's where most of the buses leave from. I might spend a couple of days there, and if I have a confirmation on an opening at a hostel in Cusco, Lima, Mancora, or Arequipa, I'll hop on a bus and head up there.

Why don't I stay in Buenos Aires for a while, you ask? Well, it's hella hot there right now. It's a great city with so much to see, but when you combine the heat with the insane humidity, lack of beaches, and ridiculous smog, it seems a little unappealing. So I'm planning to see a few special people, visit the tourist attractions I missed, and then say adios.

It's true that I will miss Jose Ignacio. In my seven months away I have not found a single place that reminded me so much of home (except for the ever-present Atlantic Ocean in the background). The horses, the house, the kid I watch have all made this fantastic. But what I read in the articles before coming here is true: Jose Ignacio is getting a little too touristy. I mean, they have a Setai Club here, for goodness sakes. As if this were Miami or New York. And now that it's high season, the dirt streets in town are lined with Porsches, Benzes, BMW's, and any other high-class car you can think of. You can barely find a spot to lay out on the beach, unless you go a couple miles down the coast like I did in the pic above (come on, I couldn't be around people with a bum as white as mine).

And you know what? I'm ready to go somewhere a little more real. Somewhere with ruins and people who don't speak English, or even Spanish. Somewhere with a little more adventure.

I'm so excited to see where this next week will take me.

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