It was hard for me to believe it was December. I am sure all the backpackers will agree that time flies especially when you’re on the road.
After taking a rest last night to acclimatise, I went out to explore this city. It was another small city but it was very attractive. I loved the cobblestone roads and the architecture.
Helen recommended a biking tour to Machu Picchu to me. I said, ‘but I can’t bike well.’ ‘Don’t worry. The roads are very easy to ride on. You go downhill all the time.’ She said. Ok I took her word for it. So I went to that tour company and paid USD200 for that trip to Machu Picchu. I was excited. Machu Picchu – I had seen it on TV but had never been there and now I was going there.
As I walked around the city, I found an invitation to a Mass posted outside a church. I decided to go there that night but I needed to do some chores first.
My ATM card didn’t work so I had to travel on a really tight budget. I shifted from the single room to a dorm room with 3 other people. I was thinking, if I couldn’t sort out my ATM card and credit card problem, I’d have to leave. 😥 What else could I do? In retrospect, I could actually try to find a job or a volunteering opportunity there. Simply apply for a work visa. That should do. 🤔
Even though it was a tourist area, Cuzco wasn’t too expensive so that was good. My first lunch there cost me 5 soles which was not too bad.
I found a contemporary art gallery in the city centre. I liked one of the paintings but the staff couldn’t explain the meaning to me. I wish I could talk to the artist and the staff in Spanish. Well, I’d soon start my one-week Spanish lesson. Soon meant after this Machu Picchu trip. Then I’d be able to talk to some people in Spanish (or Spanglish 🤣).
I got a phone card. I never needed one when I travelled but this time, it was different. I was travelling for a relatively longer time than before so it’d be convenient as I’d be making friends along the way. It was so funny. The Claro staff didn’t understand English and I didn’t understand Spanish so we typed sentences in Google Translate. 😄 Well, everyone knew the quality of Google Translate but we managed to understand each other and I managed to get my phone card in the end. I needed to sort out my ATM card problem. I could have used Skype but back then I wasn’t that comfortable with it. I was a bit old school then but I picked up technology stuff quite quickly and now I understand blockchain, I can code using Python and I can do data analysis using R and so on. I have achieved quite a lot since then. Well done! 😊
I went back to the hostel to make sure I remembered the way. Well, as usual, I was lost. Anyway, I made it in the end. Before I went to mass, I picked a restaurant that sold healthy food to have dinner. 12.90 soles for that meal. Not too bad.
It was a requiem mass. I saw a picture of a person who passed away. In my country, it was a very solemn event. But in this mass, people clapped. I wish I could understand what was going on. After the mass, I saw people eating and drinking outside the church. I took a few photos and then I saw a young man and an old man standing looking at the crowd. So I started a conversation with them. The young kid said the mass was for his uncle. I expressed my condolences but at least we all knew that his uncle was with God.
1 December 2012
P.S. It is very important to pray for the dead. After all, they were once humans. We call them ghosts but they are not different from us. Pray that they rest in peace.
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