Monday, April 26, 2010

Home? What IS Home?

Home? Casa Jaguar?

Maybe it's me. My excitement for my own place and cooking my own food quickly transformed when the landlady, a hippie type named Sandra, raised the price of the room. I also got a much better look at the shower. Holy Moly! It's quite gross. And, although Sandra said I could get wi-fi through the travel agency below, after their response to me this afternoon was "no es possible," I felt frustrated. I had been had!
Trying to straighten out my "comforts" and what I want to balance my five hours of Spanish lessons a day has been tough. I really like blogging. I really like taking photos and discovering new places. I am on a budget. Going to a cafe everyday for a cup of coffee (real coffee, not instant) gets pricey. And generally after an hour sitting and sipping, the cafe's get antsy. Please order more they say in a subtle phrase every 15 minutes of: "algo mas?" "Something more?" they ask. It's just uncomfortable generally.
Yes, I suppose this is a blog-bitch session. I don't want to move again. There is a hostel that is REALLY nice where I would speak Spanish to the owners and get free wi-fi. And free coffee and tea all day. Maybe that's where I'm headed on Friday...ughhh. It's not right down-town, but none of the students are. And as most of you know, I am not a huge partier, so if I go dancing once every two weeks, I don't mind paying the cab fare of $2 back to the hostel.
I'm open to advice. I'm open to suggestion. I'm open to support.
On that note, there are always positive points to every experience. Casa Jaguar, my current residence, is right downtown. I live on the second floor of the building above. If you were any more downtown you would be a bum sleeping in the park. Or the guy that was sleeping in the street most of Saturday after a rough night and brawl the night before. Note: I was amazed at my willingness to walk past him without a concern. And yes, I did question: Is that guy dead?"

Second positive: my room is right next to the kitchen. After experiencing the Sunday market where I got a heaping bagful of fresh fruits and vegetables (mangoes, papayas, bananas, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, melon, pineapple, potatoes, peanuts, fresh bread, etc. etc. etc), the ability to eat healthy and cheaply is going to be easy. And I have LOVED cooking and eating on my own with the kitchen right next door.
Lastly, the colors are bright and funky, which I always love. Plants sit waiting around every corner that light is available. And they live in any vessel available, from old 5 gallon jugs to plastic bags. The below photo is a personal favorite of mine.
Maybe I'm getting old. Maybe I'm picky. Maybe I just want a cheap, nice, downtown location that where people keep things clean...and it would be nice to be a block or two off the park because every time a large truck or a pumping bass goes by I think we're having another tremor. Do I get out after a week? Or do I stay two weeks and then move to a nicer hostel? This is traveling after all. Oh, there's a T.V. with cable too. Little and cute. It keeps me company while I do my homework. And although I could watch T.V. in English, generally National Geographic or Discovery is on in Spanish. And generally the programs are about huge volcanic eruptions or earthquakes that, if occurred, could wipe out the entire East coast of the United States. Maybe that's why I haven't been sleeping well...

1 comment:

  1. You are old, and picky. Not that that is bad. I'm old and picky. There was a time I could slum it with no shower, let alone a clean one, for days. I also believe you might recall a time when a bus roof seemed more welcome than a pricey European Hostel. I'll also admit again that I ruined that trip. I hate to make it sound like some sort of team building activity, but try to focus on the goals.

    Blogging is fun, but requires a commodity in short supply...high speed internet. Besides, you will be home some time with a full memory stick. Journal now, blog then. Live in the moment. Practice speaking Spanish, wear flip flops in the shower, shower less? Challenge yourself to stay out of your hostel.

    There is no feeling like being out there. And you never know when the next opportunity will present itself. Live hard, write hard, blog later. Shower with shoes. Get some powder, and don't touch the walls. Juat keep emailing to let us know you are ok.

    Or use this strategy, it worked for me in New Zealand, a much more developed country, but still the U.S's global reach is great. Live like dirt for five days ( this might mean staying in an even shittier place) then live like a king (queen in your case) for one night. The cost balances out. Five or so nights in a hostel, one night in a hotel, with internet. Blog it up in a complimentary bath robe, or at least a shower with no shoes required.

    Let us know how it goes!