Catch Him If You Can


This blog entry about the events of Thursday, December 25, 2003 was originally posted on December 26, 2003.

DAY 68:  Some people would say that the best invention since sliced bread is the “snooze” button.  You know it and its contribution to Mankind — why wake up and face reality when all you have to do is simply push a button and stay in dream land another ten minutes?

The one flaw in the snooze button is that is must be pushed for it to function and without doing so, the alarm just goes on and on until you wake up.  Pushing the button is an easy enough task — unless the alarm is coming from the room next door and you can’t do anything about it.  This is why I was up at some God forsaken hour after a late Christmas night out.

After a quick breakfast, I went for a morning stroll near the Plaza Regocijo to escape the Evil Alarm Clock.  The weather was pleasant and nice for a stroll, but all I wanted to do was go back and sleep.  I bought a new notebook and head back to the hostel — luckily when I got there the Evil Alarm Clock had shut up and I went back to dream land for a couple more hours.

I VEGGED IN MY ROOM all afternoon with my notebook catching up on Blog duties, and then vegged in an internet cafe for four hours typing and uploading everything.  Lara had been sick ever since the night of billiards before — so sick that she had to drag a bucket to her bedside — and we thought that maybe it was neither from the altitude or the alcohol.  She took it easy by watching Bad Boys II in the DVD theater upstairs from the hostel while I went out with bad boys too: Tony and Adam from Ohio.

TONY SENT ME AN EMAIL saying that there was a rumor that Leonardo DiCaprio — star of James Cameron’s Titanic and Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can — was in town, because he and Adam had stumbled upon a group of teenage girls out to stalk him outside his fancy hotel.  I met The Ohio Boys at their hotel and we decided to see if maybe Leo would turn up at Fallen Angel, an ultra trendy lounge bar that I had heard about from a Canadian guy at my hostel.  Fallen Angel wasn’t in our books and we figured it was one of those places too cool to be widely known.  Luckily Tony remembered seeing a flyer four blocks away from the plaza on some store’s icebox.

Finding the hidden cool bar wasn’t much of a challenge — it was right across the Plazoleta de las Nazarenas from the fancy hotel where Leo was rumored to be in.  Walking into Fallen Angel was like walking into a trendy bar in New York or Berlin, complete with the candles, downtempo music and gay waiters with a lot of attitude.  Most of the tables were made out of old fashioned bathtubs with slabs of glass over them to show off the tropical fish swimming inside.

“Oh yeah.  This is definitely Leo’s scene,” Adam said.

Apparently we weren’t cool enough for one of the fish tables and settled for a plain one in the corner.  Tony (whose last name is Alexander) ordered an “Alexander,” which he smirked and described as “sweet and robust…like another Alexander I know.”  The only thing my tri-level red, yellow and green-colored “Machu Picchu” girly drink said about me was that perhaps I enjoyed Froot Loops in the morning, or that I might actually be the sixth guy on Queer Eye For The Straight Guy.

Over our trendy ambiguously gay drinks, we chatted and joked about this and that, and like Dustin felt the night before, it was nice to chat it up with fellow Americans for a change — especially when they too appreciated the comic value of The Daily Show, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and the time when Saturday Night Live Weekend Update co-anchor Tina Fey quoted Bobby Brown telling Whitney Houston, “Damn woman, you can’t be disrespecting a man’s sandwich like that!”  True, you can’t have these kind of conversations with anyone but fellow Americans.

After a round we called it an early night — The Ohio Boys were to leave for Machu Picchu at five the next morning — and left the gay waiter with the attitude and the mostly German clientele to walk back to the Plaza das Armas, lit up at night once again (picture above).  “Every time I see this plaza, I just think what a cool city this is,” Adam commented.  I shared his sentiment.

I BID THE OHIO BOYS goodbye at their hotel and in less than thirty seconds I ran into Simon and Rich, who had just gotten back from their day train trip to Machu Picchu. 

“Are you going to the pub?”

I had no plans.  “Sure.”

I chat it up with the gay couple at Cross Keys on their last night in Cusco.  I primed them on what to expect in their next destination Iquitos, where they would continue to stay in the most expensive hotels and eat in the priciest places.  Incidentally, they had been staying in the posh hotel that Leo supposedly just arrived in and had also checked out the “gay friendly” scene at Fallen Angel.  One step in and Rich said that with the attitude, perhaps it might be even a little too gay for them.  The three of us chatted over rounds about soccer, cell phones and WiFi internet security until last call, and then went our separate ways.

I never did catch Leonardo DiCaprio that night — well, we barely made the effort — proving that what my “Machu Picchu” cocktail said about me was that I might be more into Froot Loops than that other thing it implied (not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Next entry: Two Women, A Llama and The Bird

Previous entry: Christmas in Cusco

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Comments for “Catch Him If You Can”

  • “Apparently we weren’t cool enough for one of the fish tables…”

    you and your friends are always COOL enuff for the fish tables at coach house…

    tranquilo, tranquilo…

    get a haircut, or grow it out like a hobbit…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/26  at  04:07 PM

  • first and second grin....wake up LP!!!

    ummm….if today’s post is 68, that means (drum roll, please) is DAY 69…wooohooo!!!

    francis u better post first tomorrow…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/26  at  04:09 PM

  • Hi Erik - I just found your blog the other day and have spent the last two days reading every entry!  I’m really enjoying it!  Planning my own RTW trip in 2005 - your blog is great for ideas!  It seems so strange that you run into people you know everywhere!  Keep writing!  The blog is great!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/26  at  04:59 PM

  • how far is cusco from machu picchu?? planning out our super short .5 second trip to peru. talked about going to lima…but after your stories & photos, cusco looks like the place to be! even leo goes there. haha.

    do they have an international airport?

    (i’m jealous)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/26  at  05:03 PM

  • LIZ:  Hello, and welcome to The Fellowship of The Blog!  Two days, huh?  That’s hardcore!  Glad to hear you’re going RTW.  I see that your email is from Japan, is that correct?  Spread the word of my blog over there!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/26  at  09:50 PM

  • ELAINE:  Machu Picchu is accessible from Cusco by: the standard 4day/3night hike on the Inka Trail (what I did in 2001), a short 2/day hike, a 4-hour train ride, or a really expensive helicopter ride (so I’m told). 

    If you are doing a stint in Peru, it MUST be Cusco, not Lima.  Cusco is one of THE most popular places to be in all of South America—touristy, but still pretty laid back.  Last time I came here (I’m still here) I said I wanted to move here, and I say it again now.  James, the guy I met in the Galapagos who left Hoboken/Mo’town,NJ to ride a motorbike down South America for 18 months, spent 6 of those months in Cusco alone.  I would say that in terms of the traveller party scene it rivals Rio—when it’s not Carnival of course (not that I know this from experience YET).

    There is no international airport; most domestic flights come straight from Lima.  In 2001, I did a overnight stay in Lima, but I heard from Brian (a new “character” I met today that I need to introduce in the next entry) that he flew to Lima and hopped on a plane to Cusco only after a short layover.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/26  at  10:01 PM

  • NEW USERS:  If you are trying to sort through the other areas of The Global Trip site, we are experiencing technical difficulties with Network Solutions and/or my host provider.  For some reason, none of my links work anymore.  Stay tuned!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/26  at  10:33 PM

  • Erik: I love how you’re pimpin’ out your blog internationally! You got Liz in Japan, Nevan in Oz, and you have the market conered stateside. I’m your Canadian bitch!

    [Td0t sings in a Ludakris voice]
    You got hos, you got hos… in different Country codes… Country Codes…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/26  at  11:54 PM

  • ...just wait till i get back to work! M-F 9-5, you may call me THe Blog Hog!


    erik: i just saw LOTR:ROTK. I agree w/ johnny….the first one is definitely the best of the three.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/27  at  01:16 AM

  • Erik,

    In response to your response from yesterday…

    I actually don’t know the Ohio boys. You sent me a compliment by e-mail on a story I wrote for BootsnAll a while back on Zihautenejo and Ixtapa (which I thank you for) that had this website linked up to it. So I’ve been following your progress from that, and it looks to be going brilliantly.

    Stay well. You’re doing good things.

    Vaya con Dios,

    Nick Fox
    Dayton, OH

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/27  at  05:29 AM

  • Hey Erik - yep I’m in Japan…. DH is Japanese and I’m Canadian.  So, I have a mission for you… We saw a bazillion adorable sea lions ... show me llamas!  Llamas are cute too… well, except for when they spit. wink

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/27  at  06:01 AM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

Praised and recommended by USA Today,, and readers of BootsnAll and Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, The Global Trip blog was selected by the editors of PC Magazine for the "Top 100 Sites You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without" (in the travel category) in 2005.

Next entry:
Two Women, A Llama and The Bird

Previous entry:
Christmas in Cusco


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