Counterfeiting is a problem in many parts of the world, but in the Peruvian capital, Lima, the black market has become a normal part of everyday life.
Well, that was a nice couple of weeks.
My friend Toivo, a Namibian studying architecture in Cuba, came to visit me in Montreal for a week. We had a great time, and I visited lots of local places I hadn't been to in a while. If all goes as planned I'll be back in Cuba this fall, in between (hopefully) Venezuela and Mexico.
I did tons of renovations in the house - change the floors in the basement, lots and lots of cleaning, re-arranging and throwing out old junk (so therapeutic). My sister's wedding is in two weeks from saturday, and we're going to have tons of family coming in from overseas or the U.S. staying at my place and my other sister's place. Most of them are from my mom's side of the family, and I haven't seem them in 6 - 10 years. It will be an interesting week, to say the least.
Even though the going has been tougher than I'm used to in my life for the past few weeks, I've generally been in a pretty upbeat / optimistic mood. Happiness really is a state of mind, and something we have control over no matter what is happening around us. Little things that require no effort are often the nice gestures we overlook - telling a cashier that she has beautiful eyes, for example. Even if I never see her again, I made her smile, feel good about herself, and pretty much made her day. And knowing that makes me feel better for the rest of my day.