New York Week

3 03 2008

I feel like I’ve spent a good portion of the last couple weeks whining: about the cold, my waning tan, my want of a home for the llama sweater… just about everything, that is, that has to do with returning home. And I fear that it’s shedding a bad light on my beloved New York. To rectify this situation, I hereby name this week “New York Week” and will veer away from tales of South American adventures to spend some time exploring a little closer to home.

Today I’m keeping it pretty simple, with a list of things I enjoy about the city:

1) HopStop, the lifesaver of a website that always gets me where I need to go, and never makes me feel like an idiot for having lived in the city over a year and still needing it.

2) B Cup, the friendly local coffee shop where they serve up delicious coffee and allow me to use the free wifi long after I’ve drained my cup. A perfect escape when I go stir crazy at home, especially because they play good work music without blasting it.

3) Enough said.

4) Mystery Shopping. (If I added a link it would take the mystery out of it, now wouldn’t it?) I fell into it while looking for a job last year, but it’s allowed this starving student to visit some of New York’s best restaurants without having to foot the bill.

Lesson learned: No matter what the temperature is outside or how much I miss my travels, I still live in a pretty fantastic town.

Olfactory Overload

29 01 2008

Some things that smell worse than the lady on the plane from Buenos Aires to Lima…

1) Me, on days 2-5 (ok, day 1 too) of the Salkantay trek. There is just something about mud and sweat (and possibly horse excrement) caked on your body that smells just lovely. Did I mention there were no showers?

2) The “ladies” on the plane from Cusco back to Lima. Yes, we did spend day 5 (after showers at the hostel, please be impressed) hiking at Machu Picchu, and arrived back in Cusco at 10 p.m. to throw on clean clothes and hasty makeup jobs (no showers here folks) and meet the rest of the backpacking gang for a night on the town. And yes, the next morning saw us rolling out of bed after two hours of sleep to make our way to the airport. Please don’t ask if I was able to locate my toothbrush before the cab picked us up.

3) The lady on the plane from Lima back to Buenos Aires. This time, not me. The woman next to me looked like she might be addicted to any number of drugs, had the nervous habit of picking at her very dirty nails, and radiated an un-defineable stench that seemed to be a mixture of dirtiness and gasoline. (Payback?)

4) My fleece, which I had to put on this morning for the bus ride to my hostel. Somehow the mud/sweat mixture, combined with having been thrust in a bag with the cigarette-smoke-ridden jeans from the night out in Cusco meant I felt a little ill on the bus.

Laundry time?