So for the last 6 months my home has been Pimentel a tiny fishing suburb in Chiclayo which is 4th largest Peruvian city and a place full on chaos. Having been based in Pimentel and taking short trips to other parts of the country and neighboring countries, there was always the tell tale signs that you are back home :
- You wake up call is a man shouting “Chiclayo Chiclayo modelooo”
The public transport here is very easy to get as they combis, collectivos and taxis drive around the town offering you a ride into Chiclayo. The initial days it was downright annoying but by now I actually expect it and when you’re gone and return it’s good to know your back
This sometimes could be your neighbor blasting Peruvian cumbia tunes at 7.30am because the party is just ending or he is inspired to share his Latin music tunes. It also could be crazy man honking – one that you have not heard before
- Its 6am and its time to get Fishy
Here the fishermen use the traditional totora reed rafts up until today. It is one of those spectacular sights to behold. They all pretty much kick off at 6am rowing their rafts to meet the fishing boat that has been getting all the good stuff in the night. It also the best time to get your fish super fresh and right out of the Sea.
- The Supermarket does not have change for a 50 sol note
It is afternoon and you want to get some maracuya (passion) juice and you only have 50 sol note (approx US$15 ), unless you want to do your weekly shopping its best have loose change at the Supermarket never seems to have change the best time to get your fish super fresh and right out of the Sea.
- Hairless Peruvian Dogs Sleeping in the street All Day is Normal
So I am sure you have had of Peruvian hairless dogs, for me I think their extremely ugly – oops but I gotta say it’s interesting how warm they bodies are.. in the unlikely event I get hypothermia just put that baby on me and I will be fine. I have been counting how many dogs I come by in a day and its averaging at 5-6 each way
- Everybody knows you
Well let’s just say being the only African in a small city you will attract of attention unwanted or otherwise. However here in my current home everyone is super friendly from the teller at the supermarket, the man who walks our ASI puppies, the taxi who picked me up and has seen you Spanish literally grow etc. this however means every time they see you they want to chat and say hello and if not that they will just plain stare.
- ‘Chicken Lady’ is your best friend
This is the best concept which I last saw in Malaysia and I think everyone should take it up :). Its 8 pm and the ladies come out of their houses and set up a little stall to make chicken fillet burgers, freshly dine no patties with a good range of sauce options and even cheese. Our favourite lady – Patty better known as “Chicken lady” will know your name and your order on your 1st week. Isn’t that special? For me this was dinner or snack at least 4 times each week 🙂 Ohh did I mention she watched her telenovela as she made the US$ 0.50 hamburgers.
- There will be all sorts of reason to Party
The reasons for a party will be as far and wide as you may imagine – beinvenida(welcome), despedida(farewell), cumpleaños (birthday), fellow volunteer got a next gig after Peru part is over, ASI BBQ, surfing school chill out session, our buses got cancelled – BEST party so far, seating on hammock nothing to do – lets party, French crepes make we want to party.
- Pan Lady is your breakfast stop
Peruvians love their bread and when you get it so easily right on the street as you stroll the promenade on your way to work – YAY. Come rain or sun shine the bread lady will be seating at the same spot selling her different types of bread for those with sweet, plain or savoury taste buds. There is something for everyone. Then we have the churros for your evening treat as you walk home
When you want to feel healthier you opt to go to the Mercado – market and get fresh made juice on the go or drink as you enjoy seeing the fresh produces for the day get delivered.
Writing this I now understand the steady increase of the waistline – sigh can’t help it 🙂
- You are in love with the life here
- Pimentel es muy Bonito