Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Arequipa Tuesday

Our second day of school went well. Not as exhausting as the first day. After class we had lunch and were going to go on a tour of a cathedral but Tiffany was feeling sick so we changed plans. I think she is a day or 2 behind my illness which I hope is on the way out. Before anyone asks, no diarrhea involved.

I went with Marta to the central market which was quite an adventure. First we jumped on a combi which is either a large van or a small bus, I´m not sure which. It only stops for a few seconds so you have to be quick. The seats are made for people 4 feet tall or less and it can get very cramped with people standing in the aisle. From school kids to men in suits to grandmas. When you get off you hand a coin to the guy who stands in the door. He´ll give you change. No matter how far you ride, it´s 70 centimos, about 23 cents. We got off and walked to Mama´s house and after walking a block or so, very slowly and then caught a cab to the market.

This apparently the biggest market in the whole city and I beleive it. It seemed about 5 times bigger than Super Walmart. There are differnt sections for everthing you could imagine but all individually run stalls. There are sections for meat, vegetables, fruit, grains, shampoo and soap, pirated movies, shoes, clothes, cooking supplies, liquor and tons of other things. I saw raw meat hanging, sheep heads, white potatos that had been dried, salted and frozen in the Andes, white meat that had undergone the same process. Apparently this is how the incans were able to preserve food for long periods and is still popular today.

We got everything Mama wanted and I carried the progressively heavy bags. Once she was done, Marta and I shopped for the things she needed and then I got the ingredients for the pisco sour, the drink that peru is known for. I also had marta pick out five or six fruits unique to this region.

So, after another cab ride back to Mama´s house, we finally headed back to Marta´s. Tiff was feeling a bit better and shortly after, Jorwerd made us some pisco sours and another drink called cocktail de algarrobina. Both are pretty sweet drinks with a base of pisco which is a grape based liquor. The algarrobina is a tree based syrup that looks and smells like molasses.

The kitchen is on the roof and is open to the air. Having a very consistent temperature has its advantages. It hardly ever rains so most roofs are flat and are used as extra living space. The stove, sink and washing machine are all on the roof.

We had dinner late then bed. It is customary to eat dinner(la cena)late, usually around 8 or 9. Almuerzo is the biggest meal of the day and it is usually eaten around 4 or so.


  1. Those pisco sours should keep you healthy!


  2. I visited one of those markets when I was in Barcelona last fall... makes me hungry just thinking about it. It wasn't nearly as big as the one you visited, but the same type of layout -- a big warehouse with individual stalls selling "specialty" items (like slabs of raw meat). Very cool.

  3. Hola, mi hermano! I'm thrilled you're enjoying your adventure. Great posts, great pics -- and I learned that the pisco sour is Peruvian! Cool!

  4. Update on Chloe: She is very much at home here, and has integrated into our admittedly overpopulated animal house. She sleeps in between Terry's legs every night which prevents him from rolling onto his back and snoring, so I'm sleeping very well. She seems to be particularly attached to him. Maybe it's because he bought her a chewie bone as big as his leg.