I think I’m about all museumed out for the rest of my trip after today. I saw enough paintings of spiritual figures in various states of supplication and/or bloody duress to last me a lifetime. Man, Catholicism is kind of depressing. Today I attempted to come to terms with the fact that yes, ok, the Christian religion was stuffed down the throats of the Incas and the indigenous tribes, but whether for better or for worse, it became an intrical part of their culture and belief systems and still continues to exert powerful influence over the whole country to this day. So I was trying to view stuff today in the light of that it was just a much a part of Peruvian history as the Incan and Chavín and Chimú eras and not to hate it. I saw some contemporary art today at least, weird trippy political stuff, and nativity scenes where the characters are indigenous for example, and that was refreshing to see some distinctly Amerindian faces after a day of walking past paintings of pasty double-chinned white folk.
Qosqo is beginning to grow on me, I had two of the best meals I’ve had in a while today. For lunch I had a Pisco Sour followed by an amazing ensalada–which I generally shy away from–and then the traditional dish of Lomo Saltado, which was the best form of it I’ve had as of yet. It’s amazing how much better papas fritas are here. For cena I went to a pub and ate an Indian curry. It was damn good curry too, better than a lot that I’ve had in the states. Now I’m bumming around and waiting until it gets later so that I can go shake my booty in some disco. People don’t really go out until 11 or so in Peru, which is kind of annoying to me because I start getting tired at 10. But I need to get some ass shaking in there tonight because I’m starting to get lonely and a little bit bored.
Tomorrow is Santuranticuy, a festival in the Plaza de Armaz, the central square in Qosqo (aka Gringoland), in which the people of the Sacred Valley tender their Christmas wares. I’m sure I’ll find a couple of good cheap regalos mañana. Already the streets are closed off and the Andean folk are gathering, it’s pretty crowded. It was erie walking around there tonight because there was a bunch of lightning in the sky but no rain, as of yet anyway.
Here in this place of history and historias–
the stones of another age and time still perfectly wed
along the narrow cobblestoned streets–
the travelers come with their hunger to escape themselves
and lose nothing.
The people’s lives here have changed irrevocably to accomodate
needs that they can not understand.
And I am searching for a form of myself
that can be known anywhere, anytime,
but most critically,
here and now.