Posted by: Ali | August 21, 2009

Shopping, Peruvian-style

Okay.  Ana Maria just took me to the market.  Now there are obviously several different markets in Lima.  This particular one was for clothing, because she needed to buy a new school uniform for her 3-year-old son, who apparently is growing very quickly.  Did you know that you can buy school uniforms at the market?  Well you can.

Let me tell you what an experience it was!  First of all, the streets were closed in a ten-block area.  So just foot traffic, but man, it was busy!  And Ana Maria said that we picked a good day because it was so empty.  There was a whole bunch of people standing on the sidewalks holding a bunch of merchandise and yelling out their brand names.  They also did that for restaurants, people holding the menus and yelling out their specials.  There were some other people selling the use of their cell phones, and street vendors walking around with trays of ice cream, or strawberries, or lollipops, or Peruvian baked goods.

Then I started looking at the goods in the stores, which were tiny little booths packed in tight, sometimes stacked three on top of each other.  Ana Maria was looking at an Abercrombie & Fitch shirt that the salesman said she could have for only 10 soles.  So like three dollars.  That’s when she pointed out that they were knock-offs, but good ones!  Apparently all of the clothing was manufactured in the very same market – the top floors of all the buildings were garment factories, and on occasion you could see people walking down the street carrying a huge pile of jeans, or whatever.  Ana Maria said that they were going to the retailers to sell.

Some of the nice stores in other parts of Lima also buy wholesale from the market, which is kinda cool too.  And because there were no cars allowed, you could hire a porter with a cart to carry your stuff around.  And of course, if you ran out of money, there were a whole bunch of dudes in yellow vests who were there to exchange money from dollars and Euros.

Take a look!


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