Karencita de Perú

My Neighbourhood – Mi Barrio

Posted on: May 3, 2010

I live in a nice neighbourhood, one of the better ones in Lima.   If I were to compare Mirflores with a neighbourhood in Vancouver, I would say it is closest to the West End.  There are always lots of people on the streets, almost everything you need is within walking distance and it isn’t a necessity to have a car.

The closest grocery store is about a block and a half from our apartment and it is called Vivanda.  It reminds me a bit of Thrifty, a nice, calm environment in which to shop, but the prices are a little higher and the selection is more limited.  The other grocery store close to where I live is called Metro and it is more like Superstore.   There are always lots of people, long lines at the check-out and a more hectic environment.  However, the prices are lower and they have more things, at least more of the things that I normally want to buy.  It’s about 4 or 5 blocks from where we live.

The other thing that there is an abundance of here is Miraflores is casinos.  They are called Tragamonedas, which translated literally means “swallow coins”… how appropriate!   The closest casino is across the street from the Vivanda and it’s called “Fiesta”.  There is another one just half a block further which is very big.  It is called “Atlantic City”.

I actually haven’t been to either of these casinos, but we went to a different one on Friday night in the JW Marriott Hotel called “Majestic”.  They actually have Texas Hold’em there, but I didn’t play.  I did, however, play Blackjack and managed to lose S./50 (that is 50 soles which is the equivalent of about $18 CDN).  The bad luck is the same here as it is in Canada!

There are two major department stores in Lima… Ripley and Saga Falabella.

They both have a lot of the same products as we do in Canada.  They have all the major brands of cosmetics… Lancome, Clinique, Nivea, Neutrogena, Givenchy, Elizabeth Arden, etc.   The common brands of small kitchen appliances such as toasters, blenders, coffee makers, etc. are Oster and Phillips, which we have in Canada.  In addition, they have Imaco, Continental and Recco, which I have never heard of before.  For larger kitchen appliances like stoves, fridges, washers, dryers, microwaves etc., the common brands are LG, Bosch, Mabe, Coldex, Samsung. Continental and GE.  I haven’t really had a chance to shop for clothes or shoes yet, but I have noticed a lot of the major international brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Jockey, Levis, etc.

In addition to supermarkets, casinos and department stores, there are lots of restaurants, cafes, clothing stores, shoe stores, boticas (which are pharmacies, but not like London Drugs or Shopper’s Drug Mart where they sell lots of things, they only sell pharmaceuticals plus a few personal care items like shampoo, band-aid, toothpaste, etc.), banks, lavanderías (laundromats) and various other shops.    Today we took our cloths to the lavandería because our dryer still isn’t fixed.  Supposedly, the guy is coming back tomorrow with the part that he took with him on Thursday.  It was a holiday here this weekend… El Día del Trabajdor (the Day of the Worker) so everything wasn’t functioning as normal.

In addition to traditional retail store, there are also a lot of  “mercados” or markets.  On Saturday, we went to the market in a district called Surquillo which is not far from Miraflores.  It was very interesting.  They have everything from food, to household goods to furniture, but I will write more about that another day.  ¡Hasta luego!

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Miraflores in Lima Perú

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