Thursday, 6 March 2014

8) Days blur into one

I had been given some foul liquid to drink with my pills in square bottles. They both looked like, tasted like, and had the texture of hand soap, but down they went anyway and they did seem to do the trick.
Over the next few days to keep myself occupied whilst Jamie was out in the field I did some exploring. Unfortunatley my bread diet meant I couldn't try new places to eat, though on the Wednesday I could take plain bread no longer.
I'd taken some clothes to the launderette, and all day for some reason the internet was filled with burgers. Literally a burger on more or less every page I clicked on. I knew there was a fast food place round the corner from the launderette, and on my way to pick them up I stopped for a minute and thought. The clouds were getting darker with a few spots of rain, I'd told Oscar I'd be 5 minutes, and the doc had said my intestines were super sensitive at the moment. 
My willpower broke, and I thought YOLO and if you and your laundry aren't soaking wet from the rain and  you aren't shitting through the eye of a needle, you aren't really living at all. The place was called Picollinos, and I ordered a "Royal" despite there not being a Peruvian monarchy since their independence from Spain. After 10 minutes it appeared, accompanied with a little pot of this chilli sauce that everything here comes with, and the cheese I had seen in the picture turned out to be egg, another thing that Peruvians seem to garnish everything with.
I must have looked like a fat little shit stuffing it in and smiling uncontrollably but I didn't care. I went back to the office avoiding shitting myself and most of the rain too!

Apparently it's much more exciting Saturdays
That week I entertained myself by sending a postcard to my nan, and finding the only street in Huaraz that was left standing after the huge earthquake in 1970. It wasn't an exciting affair and didn't really look much different from the rest of the place, though there were banners up and the streets were cobbled. A blind boy who looked like he'd had his eyes burned out came and shook my hand, gabbling away. It was quite off putting. I stroll

ed from one end to the other in about 10 minutes, there isn't much to do, but apparently the place becomes a market on Sundays.

On the Thursday, I found the Ancash Regional Museum, and paid the 5 Soles to go inside. For those of you that have had the pleasure of visiting British Museums, or any for that matter, it was a pretty disappointing affair. I was the only one in there, and it comprised of 4 rooms over 3 levels, and a garden. There were some cool mummified bodies knocking around in glass boxes, but it was mostly Incan pottery and stone art. The Incas were not good artists either. The garden, as every patch of green is in Peru, was meticulous, and nice to sit in and watch the birds for a while. As I went back into the museum, I could see through the front a mass evacuation of the main square.I signed the book leaving a polite message in a mixture of English and Spanish, and went to investigate. 
Peruvians do gardens right
Going through the doors out into the open made it immediately clear. The wind was intense, and the clouds pouring in over the mountains were dark and ominous, so I clutched my hat close to my body and began the dash back. The thunder started before I got back, and I made it through the door just in time for it to start hammering down. It was tropical storm kind of weather, and the corrugated plastic on the roof allowed stupid amounts of fine spray through.
Later on in the day Jamie returned, earlier than expected. Apparently he'd ridden on the back of a motor bike most of the way back! There had been political protests too that had been dispersed by the storm, leaving behind trails of burning tires and placards. We went out for food, and I had plane pasta with olive oil and some awful awful chips, before heading to a bar to play chess, as you do.


  1. Sorry to hear you're ailing, dearest Thomas - but you've no idea HOW disappointed I am that you didn't end up repeating my now infamous "sudden urge for a rapid evacuation whilst 1 mile away from the field-station and no choice but to take a short-cut through the rough end of a strange city in rural Romania" incident. It involved cunning use of my Ph.D student to run ahead, unlock the front door, leave the bathroom door open, wait for me to run inside and then shut it behind me and make sure no one came in. I've never been that bad before or since but it turns out Romanian Imodium (which has no label on it and just comes in a jar with no label on it so no idea what it really is) is about 200x stronger than in the UK and so I was good for about 3 weeks after that.

    One of them "you know you're a biologist when" list thingies that does the rounds has "you've almost shat yourself on fieldwork" on it - I think this makes you a proper biologist now, dearest Mr Hathaway!


  2. Hahaha that's fantastically grim! Thanks for the advice Rich, 7 months of working with you means I never take things from jars without labels on, but I'll be sure to be vigilant!