Alex Behles was one of the first people I met at GWU, and she was in fact my Colonial Inaguration (GWU's fancy name for orientation) roommate. For three days we lived together, and then for all intents and purposes forgot about each other until Senior year. Our last year at school we happened to have very similar friends and went to a lot of the same parties, and she also dated one of Josh's good friends from basketball. For all these reasons and more (the main one being lack of money after more than a month of travelling) Alex came knocking on our door looking for shelter and a floor to call home for a few days. Turned out to be more than a few days, and it also turned out to be one of the happiest coincidences that led to her staying here for in Alex we found a new friend and of course a place to stay in Cusco!
Hmm, so she arrived on a Sunday, and it was a most lazy Sunday. That night we helped end Alex's boycott of red meat with juicy cuts of Argentine steak with Nick, and Dan Cowell. I'll just take a moment to explain how Dan Cowell came to be at our table, because it just goes to show how ridiculously small this world is. My friend Erin (who happens to be childhood friends with Alex's old roommate and our friend Liz Hall) is friends with a Colombian who is Dan's roommate. While we were over for dinner one night Dan was there and said, hmm, GW, do you know Alix Behles? HAHAHAHAHA, we laughed, "she is staying on our couch next week!" (Turns our she is allergic to cats and Chimba had rubbed his furry little body all over that couch so that didn't work out as planned). Lucky for us Dan is super into cooking and the meat was perfectly cooked, and the wine was delicious, and the company even better.
In the week that followed we took in various cultural sights, ate more steak, and moved to our new place on Wednesday. Ulysses (new housemate) taught us how to make empanadas!! and we cooked big dinners and went out for a few more.
By the time Friday came we were all ready for our first Asado!! Lots of people showed up, and while we still had some chorrizos left, everyone who came got their fill of churripan or hamburgers, and more than their share of beer and wine. After kicking everyone out and throwing back a few more we headed out to the Red Door sometime around 3 and stayed out till around 6. Poor Josh was in bed with a migraine from the smoke for a day and a half, but he is better now.
After sleeping for a few hours and waking to take care of Josh around noon, Alix and I headed out to see the Botanical and Japanese gardens. We talked about college, and what we are doing here, and it was nice to have someone to talk to about what we are doing and why, who knows what its like to move to another country very different from your own. For her it is a bit more extreme seeing as she is in Cusco and went somewhat alone, but in another sense its easier because she has the security of a job with a stipend. All in all there was much to discuss. Also, we witnessed some amateur sumo wrestling. Never before have I been so comfortable with a strange man approaching me in his underwear with a sumo thong on top, but the fact that he handed up pink origami hearts made it that much better. However, when he asked us to enter the ring I was glad I had my bruised bottom as an excuse. Those guys were big and sweaty.
Que suerte! (what luck) there was a bus across the street that took us to Frisbee where we played a close game with Big Red and Alex jogged a few laps. We returned home tired from the day but ready for dinner and a big night our with our new roommates. They had put our names on the guest list of Voodoo Motel (very confusing because everyone kept pronouncing it Boodoo) where we headed after our homemade empanadas for a night of dancing.
For the first time we drank canned beer from a straw because Ulysses insisted on it (something about cockroaches) and we danced the night away until I could literally dance no more. It was 5:30 and time to go home. Of course we were the only ones who wanted to leave, so we walked to Santa Fe and with mucho suerte we caught the elusive 29 which dropped us off half a block from our new casa.
There we passed out until mid day and made a thwarted attempt to go to the Ferria in Matadero and instead walked around the good old San Telmo market and watched Tango in Plaza Dorrego. That night Alix took us out to DesNivel where the chicken was more than disappointing, but everything else was great (wow, its lunch time and this is making me so hungry). Monday Alex took a disappointing trip to Tigre (it rained all day) and Josh and I did...nothing and it was wonderful. At night we attempted to go to Bomba del Tiempo but were thwarted by ridiculous crowds and the raid made by the police the week before where they laid a large fine on the Konex Center for over crowding the place. The after party was weak as well because they had raided it too, but we went and had empanadas and drank cervezas in Plaza Serrano until Ulysses finally let us go home where I passed out until only around 11. Alex left at 7:30 and now life returns to its routine for another week until Josh's brother comes!! I'll take advantage of this week by doing nothing and getting to now my house a little better. We'll miss you Alex! It was an awesome week, and one of our happiest here.
Pictures to follow.