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Friday, August 23, 2013

A List of Things to Bring When Moving to Peru...

Or as I like to call it, "The List of Things I Would Love to Receive in a Care Package or When You Come Visit"

haha. I kid. Sort of.

Anyway, there are a lot of things that I have realized I take for granted in Canada and the US.  Things that are normal for us to just go to the store and buy that we think we should be able to get anywhere.  That is not the case in Peru.  There are a number of things that I am shocked I can't get here.

One of those things, Clorox wipes, which I am addicted to, were not available ANYWHERE for the first 3.5 months we were here and yesterday while buying toilet bowl cleaner I noticed that they had some at my grocery Store, Wong!  I was so excited, honestly you have no idea.

So that got me thinking about all the other things I miss from home.  Here are a few.  I may have to update and add every now and then haha.

  • Baking Soda. I know right?  How can there not be baking soda here?  how do they bake?  I have no idea, but I was so desperate for a while that bought unflavored Peruvian brand alka seltzer powder and used it.  It actually worked because its basically the same thing, just bicarbonate, but it got expensive!
  • Brown Sugar. Another one that is like, really?  You can get brown sugar, yes but it is raw cane sugar, not real "brown sugar"  I was told I could just mix molasses with sugar, but seems like a lot of work, so I just use regular sugar and I haven't had any major problems yet.
  • Chocolate chips. Not a huge deal, but smashing up a chocolate bar everytime I want to make cookies gets a little annoying.  I guess it burns some extra calories. Ya know the real kicker?  You can buy chocolate chip cookie/muffin mixes with chocolate chips in, but no bags of Chipits!  Frustrating.
  • Sour cream.  Now there is sour cream here, and its all fine and dandy, but it comes in a little glass jar and is like S.11 (like 4 dollars) So I can't just use it willey nilley for dips etc. Like I would at home.
  • Deodorant. Yes, they have deodorant, but most of it is the spray on kind.  I haven't actually seen just normal solid, stick deodorant like Secret or Lady Speedstick.   I don't think I can use the spray kind.  It frightens me so I made sure to stock up like crazy last time I was home.
  • Dill Pickles.  Another thing that they do have here, but not like nice big jars of big, juicy Pickles. They are small jars, of small pickles and are crazy expensive.  Sad.
  • Clamato.  This is a very Canadian thing I know, but I would kill for a Caesar once and a while.  If you are Canadian, you get it. 
  • Gravy. Another Canadian thing for the most part.  The french fries here are amazing and come with like every meal (Peru has 3800 kinds of potatoes and use them in everything) and I would give my left eye for some delicious gravy to dip those fries in.  And don't even get me started on Poutine. Good lord.
  • Beef Jerky.  Yup, no Beef Jerky here. Insane right?  I can't handle it.  (This is top on my list of things I would love to receive!) 
  • Dill Pickle and Ketchup chips.  A Canadian thing again.  I miss those PC brand Loads of Ketchup chips every day.  And Old Dutch Creamy Dill..... oh man... The funny thing is, I rarely even eat chips at home but man I crave them when I can't have them!
  • Cheez Whiz.  Another thing I almost never eat, but some days I crave a piece of toast with almost plastic processed cheese spread.
  • Cheerios. No Cheerios. Need I say more?
  • Liquid broth.  There are only the boullion cubes here.  I miss the convenience of a big tetra pack of chicken broth.
  • Canned kidney beans.  Once again, its the convenience factor.  I spent five hours soaking and then two hours cooking some kidney beans today and they were still a bit hard in the chili I made.  Just ask Josh.
  • English Magazines. I would love to go to the store and pick up a copy of In Touch or US Weekly to flip through while laying in bed. I have found one store with a few of those magazines in English but they are crazy expensive.
  • Heat.  Okay so It gets really cold and really damp here right now.  Seriously.  And our building is concrete and has no heat.  Yesterday was the first day in 3 weeks I have been warm because the sun was out.  It was still freezing in the apartment though.  I imagine in a couple months i will be complaining how terribly hot it is and that there is no A.C.  Oh and did I mention my little tiny heater that was my lifesaver decided to stop heating two nights ago.  Really?
  • What I think I miss the most (besides the obvious friends and family) is just being able to walk into any store and read a label, or ask a question or just know what something is from the name on the packaging.  Man I miss that!

Like I said, there are more things, but we will start here.  Don't get me wrong, I like it here, I just miss some touches of home.

*Oh and big news of the day, I checked my USCIS account today (thanks to my lovely bestest girl Nicole, check her awesome blog out here- Adventures of A Wild Sunflower) and it would appear that my Green Card, after over 2 years of going through the immigration process, has FINALLY been printed and sent!!  YAY!  Wish some of my friends and family at home shared my enthusiasm, since they know how hard this process has been but Josh, Nicole and I are super pumped. haha. So Glad it is over for a couple years!*


  1. In the first paragraph you wrote "Wong!" like you meant "Win!" (which you might not have meant) but I just laughed so hard!!! SUPER HAPPY about your green card, I wish I was there to celebrate... I was along when I got mine too! SUPER EXCITED FOR YOU!!! We'll celebrate soon, PROMISE!
    Also thanks for the shout of with my blog! Already started my traveling posts - I'm going to be awesome this trip, I swear it!

  2. Haha, our grocery store name in Wong!

  3. And thanks for all your coaching and support over the last 2 years! Miss you, and can't wait to see the pics of the finished house!