This evening we went to the Augustiner Bräu, and we went there both to eat and to drink. They offer one selection of drink: beer. Good Bavarian beer, served strictly by the litre — no problems there, beer don't get much better than that. They also, basically, only offer one selection of food: pork. Ahahaha... not so good — not for the Juden and the pork-averse amongst us, anyways. But what choice did I have — G-d didn't command that thou shalt drink thy stein and otherwise starve, didst he now? So yes, I admit, I ate a bit of pork knuckle. And yes, I admit, it was surprisingly very tasty. I hope I'm remembering correctly, when my Sunday school teacher once told me that we Jews don't believe in hell.
Such is the life of a Eurail pass holder: today was another "day on the tracks" for me; this time, from Dresden to Munich. After saying goodbye to the terribly-located Herberge der Jugend hostel, this morning I packed up my stuff, and hopped on the tram into the city centre. I was hoping to catch the 11:56am train out of Dresden Hbf (central station): however, I didn't have a ticket to ride on the tram; and since it was my misfortune that a ticket inspector jumped on halfway through my journey, I had to rapidly jump off, and wait for the next tram. By the time I reached the station, I'd missed the train by an excruciating 2 minutes. Stupid biatch inspector!
Most tourists who come to Cusco do their shopping at only a few central places, such as Gato's Market, Mercado Central, Mercado San Pedro (for the slightly more adventurous), and the shops in or near the Plaza De Armas. But if you stay in Cusco for a while, the locals will soon inform you that the only real place to shop is at El Molino. It's not in Lonely Planet (not in mine, at least — ostensibly too far away and too dangerous). It's not near the city centre. But it has everything you could possibly need, from shoes to DVDs, and from seafood to sunglasses. And all at rock-bottom prices. El Molino is the black market of Cusco.
I'd heard that you have to watch out for counterfeit money here in Peru, but I hadn't encountered any until today. I caught a taxi to the Plaza de Armas this evening; and when I handed over the two un nuevo sol coins to the cabbie as payment, he inspected them both, and handed one of them back to me. "Es un falso" (lit: "it's a fake"), he explained to me. I couldn't perceive any difference in the falso, until it was explicitly pointed out to me; but apparently, every man, woman, and child in Cusco can tell a falso a mile off. Can you?
In Australia, we have a tradition that when you reach the highest point in a hike through mountains, you acknowledge the occasion with a (shall we say) "special" kind of salute. Being the true blue Aussie that I am, I was obliged to salute my fellows atop Paso Salkantay, at 4,600m asl. But what I didn't expect was for the boys of the Belgian Front to join me in performing the salute. Great sports, those Belgians. And apparently quite capable of being as big a bunch of bogans as us Aussies.
Just for a bit of a laugh, an Irish guy at Loki walked down to the Plaza de Armas (main square of Cusco) with me this morning, to introduce me to the insane amount of tourist-hassling that goes on in this city. However, instead of letting these people get on my nerves, I decided to turn the tables a bit, and to get on their nerves, by playing an evil little game.
Do you know the mushroom man,
The mushroom man, the mushroom man;
Do you know the mushroom man,
He lives beside the road.
We had a pretty big "house party" in the hostel tonight. There must have been about 15 people there that were around at one point or another. Dave from NYC provided most of the beer, and the tequila (which technically wasn't allowed in the hostel). Sonya the Bavarian soul singer provided the entertainment. And everyone else provided their drunken presence.
Saw this in a bookshop in Mérida. It wouldn't mean much to the non-geekified among thee, but to me, it looked pretty cool. Deitel's C++ How to Program is one of the more famous books on programming that's available on the market today. I never imagined that I'd see it in Spanish. But I guess that a book like this is available in pretty much any language.