I have heard the most beautiful sound in the world and that sound is pre-schooler children calling out in the street, “hola senor!”
I just want to call back “hola Bambinos” but I don’t in case I burnzy it up and confuse them. I’m not even sure bambinos is correct in the context. In mount Isa it’s the name of a coffee shop. I just stick to the Hola from my lips and warmth in my heart, returning from the market in the middle of the day.
I wish I was as innocent or as naive as these cuties, and then I think that maybe I am. Or at least, I aspire to be. There is nothing wrong with goodness and love and kindness and grace, without agenda, and yet at some point at time I could say I resented these traits. Or, more accurately, the people that bragged they aspired to these traits but weren’t quite sure of the subtleties of the opposites.
I’m getting preachy, I think, because I’m tired, and exhausted, and I’ve just returned from a weekend of partying in a nearby resort town in which I had a great night, and a not so good night, and it makes me wonder if alcohol is worth the price to body and especially to mind and connections.
Right now I wait to teach school children English and I’m not as prepared as I could be, because of my tiredness, and mainly that’s from a stomach bug. And I know my friends also teaching feel the same.
Maybe I’m being harsh to alcohol, and I’m really on a soap box but let me keep this going while it’s in my heart because I need to say this. I did not come to Peru to piss my money away on grog. And I have.
To be fair, some of my best moments this year and maybe my life have been while drunk here. And maybe that takes the validity away from what I’m saying.
But I spent more than three months without alcohol before I came here, to eat healthy, and it changed my life. It was the happiest I had been in Mount Isa. It wasn’t intended to have so much benefit, but I made a close group of friends who helped me rely on sobriety, (we called our group Side Shovels and we enjoy Doctor Who and Taylor Swift and Nintendo Switch). Suddenly, I was fitter and happier and stronger and confident, and I was free in my mind from anxiety. And then I came to Peru planning to maintain this sense of freedom and somehow didn’t.
My Side Shovels haven’t actually said it but I sense disapproval from our correspondence, as if my partying had let them down, as if I’m no longer being that guy our relationship was built on.
And yet I don’t quite know what to do. I really like my new friends around me, and fortunately alcohol doesn’t define them either,but suddenly I find myself uncertain on how to act sober. That’s silly, I know. I am me and I can carry on being that decent bloke I KNOW I am, but I find myself using alcohol as a crutch to try and imitate my best moments here.
I am a fun gringo, I am a super gringo divertido, and I can be that while taking it just a bit easy on the Crystal (beer) and the dinero.