after two days of bussing, i arrived here last night, with legs twitching with unhappiness at being cooped up.
travelling solo has suited me fine, especially with my big stash of reading material. however it was a nice break to travel the last leg of the journey (of a 13 hour trip) with a young german guy. i thought he´d be annoying, but we actually had a lot of fun talking. the bus showed the movie "finding private ryan" and it was really cool to hear tom hanks speaking spanish fluently.
i switched hotels this morning. my new hotel doesn´t have a private bathroom, but it has amazing views of the volcano and the mountains that surround arequipa, and closer by, the mysterious convento that used to be very, very secretive. i´m sure i´ll have more to say about it after i explore it at length tomorrow.
it feels very luxurious to not plan to go do anything outside the city; just chill and eat meals and walk around and shop and see the lovely buildings. today i happened onto a restaurant that had old colonial architecture juxtaposed with a classic rock theme. since my schedule is all confused, i was lunching at 11:30 and got to chat with the mother of the chef. she was quite pleased when i told her the chicken in almond and peanut sauce was delicious. her son went to chef school in lima, she told me, proudly. i asked her how to make it and she gave me detailed instructions, which i wrote in my journal. then she said, if you have a special request, he could make it for tomorrow's lunch. but--i´m too ignorant of the local cuisine to know what to request. i said, i'll come back--i'm sure whatever he makes will be good.
then--she brought me a rocoto relleno (stuffed hot pepper), just for fun, and for free. i was already stuffed but it was delicious.
what i really want to know about arequipa is if there are any mario vargas llosa sites for me to make a pilgrimage to.
but back to my inability to ask for something interesting for tomorrow's lunch: it reminded me of my life, and my wants in life. when i look back on the best events or relationships in my life, they almost never were things that i was actively looking for or even knew enough to desire. they were surprises, gifts. so here's to the big chef: "I´m sure whatever you make will be good."