Saturday, June 25, 2011

Souvenir Shopping at the Metro in Lima

Now that I have sight seeing out of the way, I'm into hard-core souvenir shopping.

I went to the Metro at lunch. It is the local mega market. As I was wandering around lost, looking for the treats I'd decided on yesterday, a sweet, tiny little woman came up to me and starting talking to me. After a most valiant effort to make herself understood, I began to understand she was a beggar. I think she was from Cuzco, was looking for a job, or noticed that I had a job - I'm not sure which. After she patiently repeated herself 3 or 4 times (the most patience any local has shown in a conversation with me, outside of the office) I realized she was asking for money, S/.20 or S/.30. I don't normally give money to beggars, but she was clean and polite & very patient, so I gave her a few sole coins. Then I patiently, firmly, repeatedly told her goodbye.

At the cash register I asked for change for S/.100 (I wish the ATMs dispensed 20s instead of 100s.) I'm hoping to do some more shopping before I leave, and don't want to repeat my KFC experience. When the cashier handed me a S/.50, I tried to ask her for smaller bills. Well, I guess pequeña was the wrong word, because she firmly handed me the S/.50 and the local equivalent of a roll of quarters and made it clear the transaction was complete.

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