January 3, 2006 – Part 2
I admit, the sterile perfection of this country (which, in a complete reversal of South America, explicitly advises guests to PLEASE flush the toilet paper down the toilet rather than disposing of it elsewhere to maintain the hygienic standards) was getting to me a little bit…as in, “where’s the beef (or flaw or humanity)?” But I sure was grateful for it today when, upon returning from the Tolkien-like theatrical trail outside of our hotel room that provides a not-too-shabby place for morning reflections, I realized that I left my “bum” pak (ask us or Ruth Varney why we use that term) on the bench well within that walking trail.
In a frantic run that provided the only physical exertion I’ve had in the past several weeks, I high-footed it back to the bench, grimacing at all of the ED-TV Stepford wife nodding and smiling folks along the way only to find two travelers happily nestled on the bench.
“Is a bag there?” I asked desperately, searching for some culturally-neutral words to describe the container for my credit cards, camera and cash. “Oh yes — we were going to take it back into town when we were done.” Smile smile.