Peruvians are extremely resourceful. There is a lot to learn from this culture about saving every last ounce, and keeping things as simple as possible.
Take our custom of the colossal 24oz to-go cup for example. You grab your order of chicken nuggets, and Icedream cone, with a soda sized fit for a king. But the joke is on you, because the fast food place is one step ahead of your uncontainable appetite, and has filled your goblet with ice. So with just a taste of sweet tangy satisfaction, you are left with the responsibility of carting around a jumbo cup of ice until you find somewhere to toss it. In which case your conscious sets in and tells you to skip the three trashcans and thus begin a frantic search for a recycling bin.
So what is the solution? Let me introduce this small, thin, clear plastic bag tied with a straw.
On my way to the beach this afternoon, I stopped at a citrus stand. You will find these stands along the sidewalks. Luckily, these stands are the most plentiful of the street carts so if the first stand you stop by does not have the exact ratio of fruit blend you prefer, you simply say ‘gracias’ and walk to the next one.
After la Señora spun the peel off of the orange, grapefruit and sweet lime, she asked if I would like it ‘for here or to go’.
Considering I did not feel I had the time to slowly sip aside her stand, I asked for it ‘para llevar’. Without delay, as she pressed the last drop of juice from the fruit, she whipped out a bag, poured the concoction, popped in a straw, tied a knot and handed it to me with a smile.
Thus I was served this delicious refreshment to accompany my micro ride to Huanchaco. And what do I do with the bag when I am done? I simply tuck it in my back pocket and stroll along happily without the hassle of carting around a cumbersome cup of ice.