Lost Toenails and other Christmas Stories

Traveling takes a toll on the body, and my body is no different.  While traveling in Lima, I had stubbed my toe while in the hostel, and it forced the toenail loose.  And then while in Cusco, I contracted a stomach bug.  So, when I returned from Machu Picchu, I decided that it was probably best to visit the doctor.  Luckily for the me, the Clinic was only a ten minute walk from my hostel.  While trying unsuccessfully to bridge the communication barrier between me and the receptionist, a peruvian doctor, looking strikingly like Javier Bardem and speaking English, intervened on my behalf and said he could meet with me in 20 minutes.

The diagnosis was as expected.  I needed to be put on antibiotics, and it would be best if I had the toenail removed.  Another 20 minutes later, I had my prescription, and my front toe had a new sexy / sleek look.  It was about this time, that I realized I should probably take it easy and stay in Cusco through Christmas.  This turned out to be a good choice, as I had just met a bunch of new people (many from my own dorm room) that I liked hanging out with.

The next week was spent exploring new parts of the city.  Cusco held an art exhibition in the streets near the Hostel I was staying at.  I also was introduced to the San Pedro market.  Leticia, a brazilian woman that I befriended while in Cusco, introduced me to a new Cafe named La Valeriana.  I spent the next couple of days getting to know Vanessa, Sarah, Clint, and Calvin.  We all decided to spend Christmas together.  Sarah prepared Swedish meatballs and potato salad.  Another couple contributed some fish.  We finished off our meal with fruits and cream and also a bottle of wine that I had purchased.  It wasn’t the standard american Holiday Feast that I’m used to, but it was with new friends, and that alone made it special.  After dinner, four of us went to the Plaza de Armas to participate in the Christmas festivities.  Children and adults were lighting off fireworks.  The whole plaza smelled of sulfur and small explosions.  Sarah spotted some children selling cotton candy and we all decided to have some.  I finished the night having a holiday drink with my friend Leticia.

The next day was spent saying goodbye to friends, some that I hoped wasn’t goodbye…. only goodbye for now.  I caught up on some emails and skyped with some friends back home.  The next day, I’d be leaving for Buenos Aires.

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