1.5.5 Side note.
We certainly feel that we are getting to know Cusco much better now, it is a relatively small city and we can easily wander around, going from the main plasa to our residence only takes twenty minutes on foot, and I love the familiarity. However, there is such a thing as getting too cocky, as I will now demonstrate.
After volunteering yesterday morning, we decided not to get off the ´Columbia´bus at our usual home stop, but instead stay on it, and take the route into town to grab some hot chocolate. We felt very pleased with ourselves until the bus took an alarming right turn just before the main plaza and began to head in the opposite direction, with some speed. We looked nervously at each other and decided that “it will circle round.” We were still saying this with much panic when, forty minutes later, the bus pulled to a stop in a small village outside of Cusco. On a side note, I am glad to have seen this village, it was very primitive and had plenty of markets, small dilapidated houses and a river running through it where some women were washing their clothes. Of course, I was a little unnerved and didn’t really appreciate the beautiful surroundings. The bus assistant (El Cobra) laughed at us for a while and then told us to change bus and get on the one that was headed back into Cusco. We ran across and climbed on, and finally this new bus returned us to the city.
However, our relief was short lived when Kati searched through her bag and announced that her purse was missing. A short interlude of more panic followed until we concluded that it must have been left on the first bus that we were on! We thought that the Cobra might have picked it up, because the bus was empty and he might have seen it, but the chances of him handing it in, or us ever finding him, or it, again, were diminishing rapidly. The bus we were now on was run by the same company and so I tried to explain the the Cobra on this bus (a very large and scary woman) the situation. She spoke at me in rapid Spanish, and all the other passengers joined in to try and give us advice. One sweet little old lady just laughed happily to herself at our misfortune and told us to be more careful. Finally, a lady sitting behind us managed to explain in half english half spanish that we needed to go to the bus terminal and wait for the next bus (the first bus we were on) to arrive. We held a mini summit in the back of the bus and worked out a strategy.
When we arrived at our home bus stop, Kati sprinted back to our residence to tell Lourdes why we were late for lunch, and beg her not to kill us. Kati is the best at Spanish so we thought she would be best at begging for our lives. Emily and Iwaited for the next ‘Columbia’ bus and, when it arrived, jumped on the Cobra and tried to explain. He nodded wearily and pointed to the front of the bus. I jumped on and scrambled over everyone to get to the front where I could see Kati’s purse tucked at the back of the dashboard! I practically climbed into the driver’s lap, much to his surprise, and tried to explain that it was ‘my’ purse! He looked a little scared and handed it to me. I was so triumphant to find the fricking purse, the other passengers must have thought I was a mad woman as I slid and jumped off the bus, but I was very happy to be able to give it back to Kati, especially as when we returned home we found that it in fact contained a lot of very important things including
Essential tablets that must be taken daily, a locket that she was given by her father when she was five, Bank cards, HSBC Secure Key, Money, and her Driving License!
Very happy to get it back , it makes a hilarious story, but only in hindsight!