A laywoman’s response to crisis | Peru

(very, very minor: I rarely log into social media. Please expect considerable latencies if you message me on those platforms. Just email/text. My blog auto-posts over.)


I have a tradition of sorts, where I decamp and go far, far away after I am burnt out from a job.

I was in Peru this time, climbing some mountains, kissing some glaciers, accidentally eating an alpaca or two. I had had my fill of the bitter, grim high-school politics between our two warring sites.

The time before had been Tasmania (right after I had spent a few months getting harassed and not given even a chance to report it anywhere, thanks much – (rant) still don’t think too well of my ex-colleagues, armchair activists that they were, caring more about things they couldn’t change than about what they could (/end-rant)).

And yet before, I had run away to the Appalachian trails (right after I got tired of my stupid research director never figuring out that throwing more people at a problem in the eve of a demo wouldn’t get him what he wanted).

I’ve never been burnt out because of a job, now that I think of it. It has always been the people. I’ve dealt with some awful people, and then there’s usually the rest who ignore and silently tolerate/encourage that the first sort exist.

I love my field of work – once upon a time, I entered my field even when it paid nothing, the little idealist that I had been (and am still, I admit). I did not come from some other background, lured by the appeal of self-driving being the current, shiny thing. I chose this before it was ever a thing like it is now, and I am quite happy on most days.


In Peru, where I went because the flights were the cheapest, they like their cash. I was there without my debit card, with eighty dollars, and I managed fine. There were moments of concern, but I had a lovely week of it regardless.

I trekked up the Inca trail, went about Ausangate and saw a rainbow or two, and touched the sacred waters of Salkantay and Humantay. Low-life that I am, dwelling at sea-level, I suffered greatly from altitude sickness. It was still the most incredible trip I have been fortunate to go on.

As a few folks can attest, I like my baths (many, and long, and with hot water). This trekking business did not quite let me indulge to my heart’s content. I got back today and I shan’t leave the bathtub for any reason other than Pokemon.

A great deal of ceviche was consumed. It is one of my favorite comfort foods. I have some dishes I associate as comfort foods. There is curd rice, which is for when I have very strong headaches that render me nonfunctional. There is coconut-milk prawn curry, for when I miss my family. There is tiramisu, for when I am stressed out about finances. There is chocolate milk, for when I am lonely and see no light in the catacombs of life. There is ceviche, for when I miss home, red-earth and rain-clouds and love, and want something that smells strongly of fish. There is fried green tomatoes, for when I want to get over an occasional surge of writer’s block.


I have become rather unflappable when singing for my supper. So when things crashed at work, after my unicorn of a boss left, I walked over to the research labs across – it worked out, and I have a new team now without half a tear shed. I guess this is an improvement over my general, continual angst that has been a running theme in my job transitions before.

One eventually runs out of fucks to give, perhaps. No, that is not true. One lucked out and got an unicorn who showed one a glimpse of possibility. The inspiration is still going strong. We will see how long that lasts, before switching back to the normal mode of misery induced by the Karnaugh’s don’t care of Silicon Valley engineering teams.

And when that happens, perhaps there will be Peru and ceviche to console.