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Lucille's Adventures in Peru Av. Fatima 820, #703, Trujillo, Peru --- www.perumission.org --- "Not all those who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings

Hmmm, where to buy Christmas lights?

PERU | Wednesday, 16 December 2009 | Views [372]

Vendor I bought my lights from.

Vendor I bought my lights from.

Christmas time . . . just say those 2 words and everyone can conjure up memories of family, friends and traditions.  As December 25 draws nigh, we enjoy festivities, anticipation of celebrations, homecomings, and much more.  This year, I will be having Christmas in Peru.  My first Christmas not at home and it, like all my life in Peru, has proven to be an adventure already. 


Because I was not able to go home for Christmas, I went home for Thanksgiving.  As I was shopping around Trujillo in November, I noticed lots of Christmas decorations.  And I thought to myself, “Well that will be fun.  I will come back after Thanksgiving and buy some things and decorate my apartment.”  Who knew that the first week of December all decorations would be gone and what was left would be 60% off??  Good for me that it was on sale, but not much to chose from.  I did find a few things and was able to start to decorate.  Then a friend came over and I was discussing how I didn’t know that in Peru I needed to buy things so early.  He informed me that where I needed to go was Zona Franca.  This is an area of town that they would call a Mercado and has a lot of shops and stands.  It is was one of the most interesting Christmas shopping experiences I have ever had. 


The picture with this story is of the market where I bought garland, Christmas lights, and ribbon.  It was interesting to say the least; as always it was crowded and there is no such thing as personal space so you are up close and personal (i.e., touching bodies you stand so close) as you shop and also interrupting each other to find out prices and haggle for the fair price.  But I was right there with the best of them shopping for my Christmas lights.  I had taken one of the guy interns with me as this is not the safest of areas to shop, but he also got a good dose of Peruvian shopping in the market.  At one point, I look back (he is standing away from the fray) and ask his opinion on cost or the amount of lights and he has not one, but two homeless looking women rubbing on his arm begging for money or for him to buy something from them.  He is just ignoring them hoping they will go away and I will hurry and finish and he could get out of there!  Also, it is VERY popular here to have lights that blink (various options—on and off, racing, in groups, etc.) and play music.  So, finding some that I could turn off the music and chose an option of just “on” was a feat in and of itself; but I managed.  All the while almost breaking a sweat because it is hot and I forgot and wore jeans . . . too hot for jeans.  Note to self, next time Christmas shopping in Zona Franca proper wears is something light and breezy.


I have pictures of my apartment decorated for Christmas in my photo album Life in Peru.  It was really fun shopping and then coming home to decorate.  Thank goodness for my roommates who helped figure out what to do with garland and ribbon I bought.  The garland was too short for the balcony outside of our living room, but perfect for part of the staircase handrail you see from the living room.  And the ribbon was a great touch to the garland.  Finally, they had tried to set up our hand me down artificial tree and were unsuccessful while I was gone, but we managed together to figure out how to salvage it and it actually looks pretty good!  I am pleased if I say so myself.  So, after an adventure of braving the crowds and heat in Zona Franca, the beggars clawing at us for money, and haggling over the price of Christmas lights and what is better, colors or blanca, I am the proud owner of some white lights that can be turned to just on, Christmas ribbon, garland, and other decorations, and an alumni of another adventure in Peru!


Estoy lista--Feliz Navidad!! (I am ready—Merry Christmas!)

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