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Day 205 – An Edgier Narrative Structure

May 3, 2011

Location: Lima, Peru

Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Did you catch it? Did you notice the disturbance in The Force? That something’s changed?

Like a gimmicky TV show, we’ve flashforwarded.  A quick look at the dateline above reveals the following:

—–1. This post is labeled as “Day 205″ a full 100+ days after my last post.

—–2. I am now in Lima, Peru even though my last post has me in Chile.

—–3. It is now today’s date. In other words for the first time in a long time I am posting on the same day that I write.

The question is: What the hell happened? Why has TheOverpacker been frozen in amber like a prehistoric insect only now to leap forward skipping over three months? Two things:

—–1. I fell behind in writing.

—–2. I forgave myself.

If a markedly religious childhood and a steady diet sappy movies has taught me anything, it’s that forgiveness (of yourself, mostly) is a good thing (Ordinary People, Good Will Hunting, I’m looking at you and your brothers).  I have forgiven myself the sin of not writing every day.

All that means is that I’ve embarked on a new plan. I will henceforth be writing two storylines. They will, in turn, answer the following:

—–1. “What the hell happened over the last three months?”

—–2. “What the hell’s going on right now?”

To whet your appetite for the first storyline, let’s see what you can expect to learn about THE LAST THREE MONTHS:

—–1. I worked my way through Argentina and Chile via Mendoza,Tucuman, Cafayate, and Salta and landed in Arequipa in Peru all of it by bus (surprise!) whereupon I. . .

—–2. . . .spent three months in Arequipa—possibly my favorite city in South America–primarily:

———-A. studying Spanish.

———-B. eating. A lot.

———-C. Hanging out with some really good people.

—–3. Of course, I couldn’t leave it at that so I also:

———-A. Went to Lake Titicaca to visit the Uros floating islands and the ancient cultures of the Amaru and the Quechua.

———-B. Descended into and climbed out of Colca Canyon which nearly has a depth of the Grand Canyon.

———-C. Accidentally did the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life: tried to summit Mount Misti.

———-D. Ate. A whole lot.

In the haze of THE LAST THREE MONTHS I fell behind on writing. That’s because, it turns out, being a full-time Spanish student is really f****** hard. Your brain is exhausted. It’s nearly impossible to find words in English because your mind has been grappling with another language all day—in the classroom, on the street, and hanging out with friends. My brain couldn’t find the time.

So I’ve forgiven myself the sin of THE LAST THREE MONTHS. Sorta. I’m still going to write about what happened (because it’s some damn good stuff, let me tell you). It’s just that now I’m going to focus on the here and now and throw in a dash of THE LAST THREE MONTHS when I have time.


Which leads me to now. I have left behind my beloved Arequipa and am now in Lima waiting for my flight to Mexico City, Mexico (referred to by Mejicanos as “DF” and pronounced “Deh-Effeh”). Mexico will be the last country I visit before I head home and have to start dealing with REAL LIFE.

And let’s leave it at that because if I talk about REAL LIFE for much longer I’m going to burst into tears and throw myself out this 8th floor window but only after I swallow shards of glass and light myself on fire.

Let’s focus, therefore, on this: I am going to the Land of The Taco, The Molé (note the accent), The Tamale, And SO MUCH MORE. I’ve even heard something about history and culture and “Aztecs” and stuff.

So strap yourself in. You’re going to getting regular updates again. On the daily (mas o menos).

I welcome me—the writer—back.

I’ll see you tomorrow. In Mexico.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Matthew Easterbrook permalink
    May 4, 2011 11:38 pm

    Great to hear from you again . . . stuff is happening here, give me a call when you have a little free time.

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