Monday, September 28, 2009

The Streets of Chiclayo II

Okay, there is time for one more post before getting on the big silver bird and winging our way first to Lima, then on to Atlanta and finally Milwaukee. Look out you Wisconsinites….here we come!

A photo on the previous post showed a typical restaurant and a woman cooking anticuchos, which in Chiclayo are pieces of beef heart on a spit cooked over wood or charcoal. I love those things and could probably live on them if I had to. Brochettes are nearly identical but the meat is chicken. On the streets you can buy two of each plus a potato for about $1.50. And whether eating on the street or in one of the smaller restaurants, everything is fresh. The people purchase the ingredients that morning, and sometimes after you order. It’s all home cooking. I’ve gained weight since I came here.

The bodega is a very small general store usually located in the front room of a private house. They sell a wide variety of minor items and are usually busy, especially in the morning when most of them sell fresh baked bread. I am amazed at how many of them there are. It is rare to walk more than two blocks without passing one or three of them. Competition among not only bodegas but all small businesses seems to feed rather than detract from each other.

As you near Chiclayo’s mercado modelo, which is a huge collection of businesses under one roof, the street vendors become more dominant and a point is reached where single-file walking is the rule due to lack of space. Tourists generally have a tough time at first with this situation because it is so chaotic, but there is a rhythm to it and after awhile you learn to feel and go with the flow.

It’s time for me to shut down and head for the airport. We’ll see you when we get back.

Tom & Maribel

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