NEARING 24 hours without brushing my teeth is perhaps a new record.
At this point, my breath could strip paint, which I'm hoping those I'm interacting with don't assume this as typical of Australian dental hygiene.
Apologies for any Aussies who may be tainted by my Colgate-less mouth and have been refused accommodation or a taxi ride because of their nationality.
The first full day in the Peru is spent tapping away on the keyboard while waiting for the missing piece of luggage to arrive.
It arrives late in the afternoon with little time left for exploring Lima but the intent is there so out I go to suss out some sustenance.
- The Spud Diaries – Entry 1 – Getting There
- The Spud Diaries – Entry 2 – Still Getting There
- The Spud Diaries – Entry 3 – In Flight
- The Spud Diaries – Entry 4 – Lost in Transit
Will I go for something typically Peruvian? Perhaps some South American delicacy steeped in historical significance?
Of course not. An A-frame blackboard advertising spaghetti bolognaise catches my attention so that's where I land.
It's a franchise-looking eatery called "Viva". What follows is a confusing ordering process in very, very broken Spanish, pointing, shaking heads (some in indicating no, others in frustration) and eventually settling on a menu item.
The patient staff member brings out my meal and encourages me to also purchase a piece of bread for an extra Peruvian sol.
The spag bog (a term I purposefully include in here to annoy a NSW journalist colleague who has previously declared it a "very Qld phrase" as opposed to his preference of "spag bol") is delicious.
It includes chunks of beef around the edge and a spice mix that seems fresher than the usual sauce-from-a-jar consumed at home.
Importantly, it comes with a side of what could be best described as soft sweetpotato chips, increasing my Peruvian potato consumption by one.
These too are very nice but their softness makes them different to the sweetpotato chips (or "papas fritas") that used to be available from KFC and other places.
They aren't over salted and are served in a brown paper bag, which would please many hipster millennials I know.
On initial observations, food is fairly cheap for what you get. This meal cost about $9 Australian.
With the meal allowance allocated, I should probably be ordering dessert with every meal.
- Ashley Walmsley travelled to Peru with assistance from the Crawford Fund and with financial support from DFAT Council on Australia Latin America Relations.