What was arguably more surprising was the amount of tourists (mostly gathered in big groups) travelling through the square and of course, the Starbucks along other western brands which have somehow made its way into this iconic peruvian town.
It is indeed a town for tourists, well adapted, full of little stores advertising they take Visa, and many shouting you promotions in English as you walk down the street. And here is the feeling I think will take a bit to settle, how much is it good and how much is it bad for this culture what is slowly becoming an 'invasion' of tourism and occidental/european culture?
Further into the day, my steps took me to my first grocery shopping experience, and it couldn't have been anywhere better than Mercado San Pedro, the biggest in the city. So truly peruvian, it put my thoughts to rest for at least the time I wandered through its busy lanes. Clothes, fresh juices, meats, vegetables and street food all perfectly organised in a grid of white stalls. All looking the same, all offering very similar products, all shouting very similar sales chatter. It really made me wonder how people sell their product ahead of their neighbour who is clearly a friend of theirs.
So much amazing looking food (not the meats I must say), but oh the vegetables, fruits and legumes... I counted at least 6 types of maíz and countless other types of foods I'd never even seen. So incredible, and so frustrating not to know anything about that food, so incapable of preparing it to be able to taste it. So unable to select what to take as I wouldn't know whether I'd like it or not, and in a way, not even sure how much it was! Quite a lot to learn, but an area I'm really looking forward to learn more and more about.
Another full day of cultural shocks and visual inputs finished with a lovely family dinner at the hostel, a great way to gather everyone together once a week. A lovely way for me in particular to start to know those who will be my family in the days and weeks to come.
As recently described, one could say I'm a free spirit. Not something I'd usually write on my resumé, but as it turns out this is my blog, my space, and my thoughts, well, that seems accurate enough. The rest, you'll learn in reading my posts.