Bank loans? Stability? What?!

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Three kangaroos talk to each other while my mum and I visit the zoo.

I’ve been fortunate. Already I have found a job, signed a contract, and am ready to start being a journalist again.

And yet I find myself, for the fourth time in a month, staying in yet another house, belonging to a friend or family member. I have to do this until I get paid. In an hour I’ll look at a nanny flat in the new town that I’ll call my home.

It’s a beautiful sunny place. It’s a stone’s throw away from the town I finished high school. Everyone including the electricians in the street will say “hello cobber” and even respond to your response. Automatically I wonder what they want from me. It’s a sign of the emotional defence I’ve had to put up in the 17 months abroad. The defense can go down now.

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The main park in town.

 

I start work in two days. Routine will begin, but for now I have no car and I wonder how I’m going to survive the basic needs for the next week while at the same time making a good impression at my new job.

I’ve survived on a lot of good will in almost a month, from friends and family. It made me wonder how I can get away with doing this again, travelling overseas and coming back with nothing. And with that thought I wondered about my options; credit cards, or a bank loan. From that thought and brief research it made me wonder about the feasibility of a car loan, and an interest rate, and the physical dynamics of it all.

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Eating Tim Tams. I did miss those in Peru.

There were these questions, and I never used to want to know the answers to them, but now I kind of feel helpless not knowing the answers. I look around and see everyone and wonder when they started looking old. When did everyone seem so distant? Did this happen when I was in Peru, or did this happen long before? Did I somehow get through my 20s not bothering to learn the practicalities?

And as I dig into these answers, Peru feels far off behind me. It’s only the people I met there that I miss.

 

 

 

When there was no house to go to…

I wrote this while rather scared in Starbucks last Saturday:

The six month lease on the apartment ended today, and I don’t exactly have a long term plan to stay anywhere. 

I woke with a hangover at 5am, and helped clear the last of the house.  Housemate Adriaan left first (to a hostel nearby), and then Amy left clutching a pot and looking tearful. Nicola and I shared a cab to her new place in Trujillo because the mall was nearby. And that’s where I am now, trying to write with dodgy internet.

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Our cheesy and almost awkward snapshot together. We have lived and worked and even studied together for eight months.

In the taxi I found 200 soles I forgot that I had, which I had put with my passport. What a win! When I left the taxi on an unusually sunny day, I walked with a backpack, my wallet, phone (with no credit), and passport. That is all. My suitcase is in my girlfriend’s room, so the sense of freedom or insecurity right now is only an illusion. I still have to go to work on Monday, and I still have relationships here. But it occurred to me that I could go anywhere I want right now. There’s a big part of me that thinks, ‘why not?’

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Party drinks at a hostel in Huanchaco that we call ‘the cheap hostel’. We used to go here a lot when we first moved here. It is now run by a French and Irish couple.

The apartment and the job has kept me grounded for six months. It’s the apartment mostly. When we first moved in I breathed a sigh of relief and in the seclusion of my room next to the garage at the back I had a place to call my own – the first moments of privacy I’d had for two months in a foreign country. We had a lounge room to watch Netflix and our kitchen. I had my own bathroom. And regular commitments to paying rent.

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My ‘Peruvian sisters have a drink.

I need the job to make money so I can live. But at some point the job took over. It became everything. I have obsessed over it teaching about world wars, the Incan Empire, and Peruvian presidents. I have tried to be the best at this job and find myself in meetings with parents, and disciplining teenagers.

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When we did our TEFL course eight months ago in Zorritos we played a game called Bullshit. Another name for it is ‘cheat’. It is about lies and deception and trying to catch others in doing it. The Joker card is the ‘wildcard’. It can really mess with a good lie detector.

What am I doing? Why am I doing it?

For  friendship. Supongo.

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“This photo sums up our friendship. You annoying the hell out of me.”

I tried to kill my roommate Sydney

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Although this picture of me with Trujillo in the background has nothing to do with the story about a rat, I didn’t really want to show a pic of my toilet which was the other option.

Forgive the clickbait title. It’s just that my roommate Sydney is a rat. I don’t like him.

When I say he is a rat I mean that. He is the biggest rat I have ever seen but I have only met him properly once. Two weeks ago I was full of innocence when I opened the toilet lid to, well, you know, and there he was. Staring up at me with a grin on his face and I swear he was as big as the bottom of the bowl. He dived into the water and crawled into the pipe as I roared in horror and jumped back.

I have been searching how I am supposed to get rid of rats from the toilet bowl since then and the only advice I could find was that bleach would help. He returns sometimes in the early hours of the morning, and I know this by the random splashes, the oil stains, the smell, and the splashes on the lid the following morning (and no. Don’t blame me!).

One time at 3am I heard the splash and jumped out of bed. “Die you rat bastard!” I shouted, pouring the bleach into the toilet and flushing, hoping it would reach Sydney stuck in a hole somewhere.

I call him Sydney not because I miss Australia while at the same time hating that Sydney, but because it’s a cool name for a rat. I first wanted to name him SG (for Shits & Giggles) but I did actually miss Australia. I thought it was a bit cute to name my fear. When I was a kid I used to hate going to the toilets because of the spiders (the red backs and the daddy long legs and the occasional huntsman), but that’s nothing to the fear that a rat might jump out with a “taadaah!” and bite your bum.

Sydney and I have an arrangement. I knock on the toilet lid before I use it to give him fair warning and if he’s lurking in there he will nick off down the drain for a while. It’s happened twice.

But the last few days there has been no sign of him, and I wonder where he has gone. Sydney could be anywhere….

If my housemates still read this they are going to murder me. Possibly with the bottle of bleach in my ensuite.

 

 

 

 

Adios Huaraz: A tribute from my eyes and ears

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I SAY goodbye to Huaraz. I have been there for most of two weeks and have attracted much attention on the street for carrying a camera worth almost the average annual salary, zoned out listening to my Ipod shuffle.

HuarazFor the first time in a long while I am fatigued with words and so for this post between the photos I will use lyrics from songs I have been listening to while out in Huaraz.

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“Can I just fight for the winning side
And feel that I’m building a
Home and a life to behold
Till it’s robbed from my sight?”

-Sjamboksa, Gang of Youths

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“Now well, when I was young, we connected
When we were little bit older, both sprung
I got issues and chips on both of my shoulders.”

-End Game, Taylor Swift ft Future and Ed Sheeran

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“We need change, we need it fast
Before rock’s just part of the past
‘Cause lately it all sounds the same to me.”

-Do You Remember Rock & Roll Radio, The Ramones

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“I’ll be animating every night
The grass’ll be greener on the other side
And the Vampires and Wolves won’t sink their teeth.”

-Tokyo, The Wombats

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“Triple dj let the bass drum go like – Bam, Bam, Bam………Here’s Johnny!”

-Here’s Johnny, Hocus Pocus

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“If you fade out without me
Will you know all about me?
If you fade out without me
Will you know all?”

My Heartstrings Come Undone, Demon Hunter

 

 

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“Here we go again, another drink I’m caving in
Stupid words keep falling from my mouth
You know that I mean well.”

-Can We Dance, The Vamps

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“And I felt I was in a trance
And my spirit was lifted from me
And if only someone had the chance
To witness what happened to me.”

-Dance of Death, Iron Maiden

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“Go forth and suffer for your art,

-If it’s all you look for, you will always find the dark.

-Suffer, The Smith Street Band

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“Nothing’s gonna hurt me with my eyes shut
I can see through them
I can see through them
I am drawing pictures, I’m evading.”

Eyes Shut, Years & Years

 

 

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“I’m trying to keep up with the latest trends
You pulled me up so quick that I got the bends.”

-We Spend Too Much Time Together, San Cisco

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“I been running Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday…….

What have I done?”

-Police On My Back, The Clash

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“What’s been happening in your world?
What have you been up to?”

-Snap Out Of It, Arctic Monkeys

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“For the ones who had a notion, a notion deep inside,
That it ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive
I wanna find one face that ain’t looking through me
I wanna find one place.”

-Badlands, Bruce Springsteen

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“And here we go, life’s waiting to begin.
Life’s waiting to begin.”

-The Adventure, Angels & Airwaves

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