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6 dec20176

First half of the Cusquenan adventure

Cusco, PeruCusco, Peru
Exactly three months ago I arrived in Cusco. 6th September seems like a different lifetime ago and yet it has only been three months. They say the older we get the different our perception of time is. When you're 15 a lot more can happen in a year than when you're 25. Do you believe that? I used to, nowadays I think it's just an excuse for people who can't or don't want a lot to happen in their lives.

After 12 weeks I can say I have a pretty good life here in Cusco. It has its routines and stability but at the same time always interesting and daring - I can't call it boring even if I wanted to. Beginnings are always difficult but I learned that humans can adapt to anything and I have too. At first it wasn't easy even with simple things lie weather. High-altitude climate surprised me but after two-three weeks my body and mind realised that is how it is here and you need to adapt. Week after week I managed to find my place, my bearings, get to know my surroundings.

One of the best moments for me, regardless of where I live, is when I can move around the place without a map, when I remember the names of the streets, shops, and other places. It shows my brain familiarised itself with it and that I feel comfortable. I see the same local people, which means our routines have an overlapping timeline and it always makes me smile. Those little things are like building blocks of a life - most of the time we don't notice them but when I move from place to place I do pay attention to those details.
View from my apartment
First thing I loved about this city? Mountains. I have never visited Polish mountains like some of my friends but I feel so happily insignificant surrounded by these rocky creaters of mother Earth. Wherever you turn your head you can see some spikes reaching to the clouds and sometimes even so high there's still snow on them. Do I miss Caribbean Sea? Of course I do, the sound of the sea in the morning, before fishermen started drinking, and at night after everybody would go to sleep was hard to give up but somehow I am growing fonder of mountains the more I am around them, I guess Canada had its impact on that one. 

Second thing and also my favourite one are the markets. The amount of fresh produce here in Cusco makes it practically obsolete to go to supermarkets. San Blas Market, San Pedro Market, Mercado de Wanchaq and the biggest of all Feria de Huancaro, which also happens to be my favourite. Browsing through simple gifts of the earth like fruits, vegetables, and grain is one of my favourite parts of the week. Sometimes I buy and try something new and sometimes getting all my usual products is a therapy on its own, good enough to change my mood and the outlook for the weekend.
Products at Feria de Huancaro
All those markets have inspired me to cook more as well. After I got my food processor I have been busy making and experimenting with lots of foods. Making hummus, apple sauce, and cashew cheese are just few things I have been making so far.
My hummus production line
After my foot injury self-inflicted on 17th Juy I couldn't wait for one more thing - dancing. Cusco is a great place to learn how to salsa and I was so eager to start but when I arrived, my foot was still in poor shape. Thankfully about one month after I arrived I went for one lesson and suddenly it was okay to dance again. Imagine my happiness. 

Dancing was the best part of my life in the last three years. Learning how to tap dance under the eyes of the greatest teacher on the planet - Brenda Walker - was a dream come true. When I stated learning Spanish in a school nearby it turned out they provide free weekly salsa lesson for its students. With best teachers in Cusco Glenny, Paco and PeterLee I have already learned so much and the passion I have for dancing lives again!

Cusco has this unique vibe and it is very difficult to explain where it comes from. Personally I am glad I live fairly far from the city centre and what I like calling gringo districts and perhaps my vibe is more than just ability to go to Pisac or get drunk in Plaza de Armas, visit Machu Picchu or see the Rainbow Mountain. Don't get me wrong those places are great I am sure but the vibe I feel the most is when at 2 o'clock in the morning I'm still dancing and practicing my salsa moves, or when I talk to the women selling potatoes and I ask them how far they have to travel, so that once a week they can sell what earth gave them.

One thing that also can not go unnoticed is the amount of street dogs. So many different breeds and when it gets dark the streets transform into, well a dog world. I remember one morning on my way to work when I went full WTF when I saw this
Today is exactly 3 months since I arrived. I am even more excited for the next three. The work I do is great and I learn a lot, I am amazed I managed to sort myelf a life out here within three months and in the UK it proved close to impossible. By definition I will be staying here for three more months and I can't wait to more Spanish, more salsa, and more Cusco!
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People's voice...
10th December 2017
well done dawid, you are doing things many people would never dream inspiring joe
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