Karencita de Perú

Sometimes It Feels Like Home – A Veces Se Siente Como Estar En Casa

Posted on: May 11, 2010

There are many things about Lima that are very different from Vancouver… but not everything!   Sometimes when I walk down the street and see something familiar I can almost imagine I am back in Canada, that is if I block out the traffic, the noise and the crowds of people in the streets!!

Scotiabank has a very prominent presence here in Lima. It seems like there is one on practically every block.  This is great for me as I can us the ATM to take money out of my account in Canada in either US dollars or Peruvian nuevo soles without incurring any service charges.  I have only done this once so far and the exchange rate seemed pretty reasonable.

There are also some retail stores in common.  If I need new shoes there is Bata and Payless.

If I’m looking to do a little exercise, there is Gold’s Gym.  Or, if I need electronics maybe I can find what I’m looking for at Radio Shack.

If I feel the need for a good old North American meal I can choose from Tony Roma’s, Chili’s and T.G.I. Friday’s.  For those of you who like Tony Roma’s, it doesn’t exist in the lower mainland anymore.  The restaurant in Coquitlam is now closed so you will have to come visit me in Lima for some ribs and onion loaf… yes, I checked the menu and the actually have onion loaf here!  There are currently two Tony Roma’s in Lima with two more coming soon!

If I have a craving for pizza I can choose from Domino’s, which is a block and a half from our house, Pizza Hut or Papa John’s.  We ordered from Papa John’s last week.  I had always wanted to try Papa John’s in Canada but never had the chance.  I have to say, it is pretty normal… not the greatest pizza in the world.  However, we did get our pizza for free!!  They have a guarantee that the pizza will arrive in 30 minutes or it is free.  Our pizza took 45 minutes to arrive.  So, after making a phone call and a bit of fuss, they finally gave it to us for free.  We were happy… free stuff is always good.

There are lots of other fast food restaurants here… Burger King, McDonald’s and KFC are everywhere.  I haven’t tried them yet, but am curious to know if they are the same.  Neither of us eat much fast food so I don’t know when I’ll have a chance to try it.  I might have to make a point of it  just for purposes of comparison!

And finally, most comforting of all is Starbucks!  I have been very good and have only been to Starbucks once since arriving.  The prices at Starbucks here are equivalent to the prices in Canada, which comparatively speaking makes it VERY expensive for the average Peruvian.  A grande skinny vanilla latte is 10 soles (approx. $4 CAD).  You can get an entire meal here that includes a starter, main course, beverage and dessert for 7 or 8 soles.  Kind of crazy, eh?

Next time I’ll tell you about some of the uniquely Peruvian things that are very common here.

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