confession: for someone who claimed to prefer to never hear a pan flute again, peru is an odd choice of destination.
confession: a group of 16 men circled up chanting at midnight in a park, 15 of them playing pan flutes and one playing a big bass drum can make hearing the pan flute nearly tolerable. still, i kept walking.
confession: i pocket food from the hotel’s breakfast buffet to eat for lunch. i wish i could discreetly carry a pineapple in my pockets.
confession: street food is my favorite food option. unidentifiable meat on a stick charbroiled on scrap metal over coals tastes best to me.
confession: street dogs populate the town streets, never begging and rarely barking. they are covert about where they relieve themselves. there’s no dog shit in the streets. they are the most polite street dogs i’ve ever encountered.
confession: stupid americans are stupid everywhere. stupid american tourists give me hourly opportunities to practice compassion rather than judgment. don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of stupid australian and european tourists in peru, they simply don’t challenge my quest for non-judging compassion as much as stupid americans.
confession: international high school students trying to escape their chaperones to drink beer amuse me. drunk high school students are less amusing.
confession: within moments of stepping off the train in aguas calientes a five year old boy challenged me to a stand-off staring contest. his boldness impressed me. the contest was a draw.
confession: i don’t barter. i’m perfectly capable of bartering but conscientiously object to bartering with natives who can buy their kid a pair of shoes with the extra $2 i’d be squabbling over. however, if the vendor’s initial price is greater than the average asking price, i walk away and respectfully offer my business to another.
confession: i’m privileged to travel the world and i don’t take that privilege for granted. i do my best to give more than i take, to humbly learn as much as i can, and to honor the culture of the places i visit. in peru i practice my spanish, my most grateful smile, and my kindest kindness.