I got a cute manicure in Arequipa [YQrtw Day 98 Jul 16]

YQ does nail art

Location: Arequipa, Peru

The only time I’ve ever gotten a manicure was part of a free event by some sanitary napkin company. My nails were painted a pearly pink.

While I liked my shiny nails, I’ve never found the time or money to visit a manicurist since then.

Today, my school mate N suggested that we visit a manicurist and that the price in Arequipa is a lot lower than overseas.

We went to a little alley that led into a courtyard a few blocks away from the hostel. The manicurists in one of the shops weren’t doing much when we went in.

I chose to do a plain manicure for 10 soles but N convinced me to get something fancy. I flipped through the samples and found one that I liked.

It was a white-background with blue lines like in an exercise book and doodles. I heart it very much.

YQ gets her nail painted
YQ gets her nail painted

The cost of the nail art was 20 soles (S$10) but it felt like a lot more work than that price. There was so much preparation: filing, cuticle pushing, painting the white base, painting the lines, painting the actual doodles. (You see what a noob I am at nailcare.)

The result was awesome. It looks like I am carrying exercise books on my nails.

My nails look like an exercise book. I love them!
My nails look like an exercise book. I love them!

Maybe I should have asked them to draw on the different past tense in Spanish, that would be very useful in class.

Throughout the manicure session, I felt something like guilt. Here I was with sweaty palms and my nails being painted with art. Am I exploiting the cheap labor of Peru or is this a fair trade?

Some things are best left unsolved.

Arequipa at night
Arequipa at night

Here is a photo of Arequipa at night to distract us all.

I don’t think homestays are for me

moving out with my luggage

My luggage and I moving out

I moved out of my homestay in Arequipa on Sunday. I realized that I was a lot more happy when I can make a huge mess of my hostel room without feeling embarrassed.

I’m not a very good homestay guest. I like to stay in my room when I get back. I like to shower twice in a day. I like to stay near the city center.

The other time I was in a homestay was in Japan.

All my homestays start off the same:

  1. Super excited before the homestay
  2. Awkward/shy introducing myself to host.
  3. Try not to be an obstacle to their lives
  4. Hosts are so hospitable I feel bad that I’m not as open and friendly
  5. Feel miserable not being able to live as I want
  6. Homestay ends

I do have a friend who did a homestay in France and loved her experience. She still contacts the host family and the little boys (now grown up). The difference between her and I is that she’s an extrovert who enjoys having active fun. My opinion of fun is the internet and books.

Have you been in a homestay? How was your experience?