Landing in Lima

I did not make the move to New York. In the end it’s Plan B.2. “Just find the cheapest flight”, nudged a Colombian friend from graduate school who now works in Lima. Three days later at 4:00 in the morning, I found myself searching for flights. And a week later I found myself in Peru.

Almost three weeks had passed since my last day at work and I was still stuck in Washington DC. In between those three weeks, I became savvy with Craigslist postings to sell whatever furniture my studio apartment managed to host: a full bed ($50) and a solid metal shelf ($20). Earlier I gave away two wicker chairs in exchange for dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant. For more than a week I slept on an air mattress lent by another friend. A sofa bed ($40) also went quick to the bedroom of a former officemate, which came with free lifting service. The last two pieces furniture that lent a semblance of ‘home’ were a table and an office chair (free). When a neighbor bought the table ($15), I knew was really time to go. I spent the last day packing and cleaning in my Foggy Bottom apartment, which I called home for almost two years. Then a friend put me up in his place in a neighborhood aptly called Friendship Heights.

There was no grand farewell party. I got a couple of dinner treats, which I tentatively accepted. Farewell parties, it seems, are only for occasions when one is forever banished and never to return again. Will this trip be just a two-month stint, or will I stay for an indefinite period? Will I move to another place after some time? I’ll be treating this trip like a learning holiday at the very least.

I’m already in Lima. Still, I’m living out of a suitcase as I move from one apartment to another as I find an ideal living arrangement, my itinerant start seeming like a microcosm of the past years. I’ve stayed in the bohemian district of Barranco, upscale side of Miraflores, and might go back for a week to Barranco only to leave again for Miraflores the next. On my second day of stay in the city, I met a girl who is a fellow Filipino. And another Filipino the other day. I’ve been invited to a Peruvian family dinner, and saw a glimpse of a LImeno Friday night. All these after only having been in Lima for ten days.

I’m not really livin’ la vida loca. Or maybe I am in a more literal sense. Packing my bags and hopping on a plane to leave behind Washington DC and fly to a part of the world I’ve never been to actually come quite close.

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