I

I hate Lima. Okay, okay, that might be a little harsh. I hate the smog that is giving me headaches. I hate the underwhelming gym that wants to charge me $90/mo. I hate the car horns. I hate the loud buses. I hate it that pedestrians have to fight for the right to exist. I hate the fact that no one has air conditioning so you have to have the windows open so you have to hear the noise so you have to breathe the smog. And I hate that I can’t see my friends in BA. I miss the tree-lined streets and the street art and the quiet. Lima makes Buenos Aires look downright sleepy.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Hacker Paradise is still great. The quality of food here is so much better. Their craft beer is quality. !!!!Spicy food exists here!!!! The grocery store is wonderful. The ceviche is to die for. My Airbnb hosts have taken me under their wing. My Spanish class is amazing, and I am. in love. with surfing. I’d like to be a fish and live underwater here.

II

On my way here, in the Santiago airport, I did something totally out of character: I ate at Ruby Tuesdays. I sat at the bar and I ordered a beer and I read that American menu and I ordered a California Club quesadilla and I loved the damn thing. Then, I got back on the plane and tried to understand the safety instructions in Spanish.

And it’s okay. It’s okay that I found comfort at Ruby Tuesdays. It’s okay to take a break from the challenges of a new country. It’s okay to briefly remove myself from waters of immersion. It’s okay that I’m not in love with Lima, and it’s okay if I never fall in love with Lima.

“Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

III

There’s some wonderful food being documented on the Little Spoon Instagram, so if you aren’t following that yet, I recommend it. As for me, I will continue to be me—trying to make the best of things, reaching out to locals, asking deep questions, and laughing as much as possible. All we can ever really control in this life are ourselves.

I’d love to hear your stories about being in a place you didn’t like and how you made the best of it. Respond in the comments, and let me know.

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