I am leaving in the morning, to the Vallejo birthplace and the nearby thermal baths at Cachicadán. I was about to say I was sure there would be Internet access, but not sure the electricity would be reliable enough to permit me to see the Internet. Then I erased the sentence because I realized that if there is no electricity, there will be no word processing or television. I need word processing for the reasons you can imagine, and I need television because I have run out of reading material and it is hard in these mountains to get even a newspaper. So I have decided there will be electricity. But if I do not post, you know why. I am either away from the Internet, or in transit to Lima, or in a whirlwind of Lima activity before I leave.
Speaking of television: having seen several hours of it over the past week, something I had not done in more than five years, I can say that the shows have changed. Almost all of them involve something supernatural or futuristic, and all but the soap operas and TVE are even noisier and more violent than before. I am speaking U.S. as well as Peruvian, Venezuelan, Puerto Rican, Mexican and Colombian television (those being the types of television my relatively fancy hotel – $18 of fancy – gets).
Now I am going to see if I should buy a camera I do not want. The only camera I want is the old fashioned 35mm one I have at home. I had a digital camera but I did not like it because a) it involved using the computer, which I already do enough, b) one was expected to erase and/or manipulate the pictures after taking them, which subtracted all the mystery, art and skill from photography, c) it was a present I felt obliged to accept, from a person I was afraid of and at the same time felt obligated to.
I lent it to some Escuela Militar Leoncio Prado people – horrifying, I know – to take pictures of each other with at a lunch, and they got so much olive oil in it that it stopped working. I did not care. It means I have taken no pictures this summer, but I do not like taking touristy pictures. Now, however, I think I might need to take some research pictures, and I have discovered that you can buy used miniature 35mm cameras right here on the plaza for about $25.