PERU has qualified for the soccer World Cup in Russia for the first time in 36 years.
As it turns out, Peru plays Australia in its third game at the World Cup later this month.
There's nothing for it then but to purchase a Peruvian soccer jersey ready to wear when back home when the match takes place.
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It's South America, so there is no surprise Peru is soccer mad.
I hear the story of a woman who was having day surgery the same day Peru was playing a qualifying match.
She asked for special reassurance the surgeon would be concentrating on what he was doing.
While coming out of anaesthesia and still groggy, she could see no nurses around but could hear cheers and vocal encouragement coming from down the hall where the staff had obviously gathered to watch the game.
Many would put their money against Australia when that game is played. I'm somewhat torn now, having become of a fan of Peru the country but also a loyal Aussie.
Perhaps it's best I won't be here while the World Cup is on. One can only imagine the disruption to flights, taxis and day-to-day services while the games are on.
Life may be on the line if a Peruvian player is injured playing the Socceroos. Surely that sort of thing would prompt a "vacate immediately" notice from Smart Traveller.
It doesn't appear the national soccer team has a name so I quietly, very quietly, suggest the Peru Potatoes.
It gathers no response so I end that brainstorming session, for safety's sake.
- Ashley Walmsley travelled to Peru with assistance from the Crawford Fund and with financial support from DFAT Council on Australia Latin America Relations.