6 Quirky Reasons Why Peru Vacations Will Leave A Lasting Impression
(08/02/2011)Some people enjoy the slightly crazy differences with the way people do things in Peru, other people can’t stand them. Whatever your point of view, there’s no changing things. Here are some quirks that you are bound to encounter on Peru vacations
1. Good Food
It doesn’t matter where you go; form a $1 lunch ‘menu’, to a culinary tour of some of Lima’s finest restaurants, the big surprise is just how good Peruvian food is. Even a one horse hamlet in the hills of Chachapoyas can serve up a tasty feast. Food and the best cooks are a national obsession; just try asking where to get the best ceviche in Lima!
2. Peruvian sales technique
Sales technique and the hard sell are alien concepts in Peru. For example, a conversation you might have in Cusco on entering a stationery shop:
*You: Good morning. Do you have any pens?
Shop person: Pens? What color?
You: Black if you have it.
Shop person: No sorry no pens
You: But what about all those boxes of black pens there?
Shop person: Oh they aren’t the ones you want
You: (frustrated its true). Please can I buy one of those black pens you have on sale right there.
Shop person: Oh alright then, if you insist.*
It doesn’t matter if your Spanish is good - it’s just the Peruvian way!
A “Semi-Cama” seat on a Peruvian bus equates to business class on planes, and a “Cama” means you can lie down flat. Passengers can enjoy a movie, snacks, smooth driving, and attendants offering everything from alcohol to cotton wool (this is for travel sickness/ear popping at altitude).
4. Electric shocks
Even some time after leaving Peru, you will still find yourself putting your hand on the glass when closing a taxi door - most taxis in Peru will give you an electric shock. Its not a big one, but enough to make you drop your shopping. You have been warned!
5. Small change, what small change?
Nobody ever has any change. Hold on to your change as much as you can. Say for example you have a 10 sol note and two sols in change - you want to buy a snack that costs 2 soles. The woman in the shop will look at you suspiciously when you say ‘No, sorry no change’, but there’s no way on earth you should hand it over. For some reason changing a 10 sol note is nigh on impossible.
Is it really necessary to point out the truly spectacular scenery all over Peru? Lush cloud forest, vast desert and the majestic Andes all around you. Surrounding Machu Picchu are adobe villages, locals farming as they have for centuries on the steep sides of the mountains, and the snow capped sacred mountains in the distance. Or how about the wild empty coast in the north, with off-the-beaten-track beaches only known to fishermen, surfers and passengers staring out of bus windows...