• Cold beverages – as in much of the world, beverages come to the table at room temperature unless we specifically request them to be cold. And while we may think that this is because of lack of refrigeration, it seems really to be a matter of preference.
o We have a bottled water dispenser in our kitchen. Every morning our maid pours herself a glass of cold water from the dispenser and leaves it out on the counter until it has reached room temperature and is therefore drinkable.
o Richard stayed home recently on one of his rare sick days. The building porter attributed it to drinking cold water.
o This same bias seems to apply to air conditioning as well – I have yet to meet a Peruvian who thinks it is good to have. They may complain about the heat but do not seem to see air conditioning as a good solution
• Living with mold – Despite being in this enormous desert, Lima is actually quite humid and mold is a major factor. Our apartments come equipped with electric dehumidifiers but that doesn’t help in keeping items in our basement storage unit free from mold. So we have Sekin©. This is product that uses some kind of magic crystals that suck water out of the air and into a bowl. The crystals last about 3-4 weeks and really work. I’m hoping that Rio has the equivalent!
• Coffee – this is a big product for Peru but not if you want decaf. Richard and I have moved pretty much to decaf over the past few years and are challenged here in finding an affordable stock. Restaurants serve it in powdered form – Nescafe is Latin America’s Sanka and pretty much the only decaf served in them. Decaf costs more, much more, in the stores and we have therefore become bulk on line purchasers. (Always a welcome gift…. Hint, hint)
• Buying clothes – this effort has not done much for my self esteem. I am 5’ 5” and a size 6-8 depending on whether I am working out regularly. Here I wear large sizes because I am so big – poor Richard must rely on mail order or periodic trips back to the states.
• Appliances – we now have a full selection of both 110 and 220 volt appliances. Since we don’t know what we will need at different posts down the line we will have duplicates for a long time to come. Our maid at the end of our foreign touring time will make a killing in inheriting all of our 220 appliances.