THE FLIGHT FROM CUSCO TO LIMA DEPARTS AT 11:30AM AND YET I AM STILL WAITING IN THE HALL AT 11:45. Delays are common during travel. If according to Latin America time, this is not considered late yet. The Cusco airport is a small one, the good thing is that it is very easy to navigate. The bad thing is that I ran out of things to do after 5 minutes. Having a window seat on the flight is amazing. There were views of the mountains and then the desert and then (for a brief moment) the sea.
I was almost out of cash and hence I’ve decided to go to the mobile phone counter in the airport to settle my fees with my credit card, so that I have time to get cash if the card does not work. The bill ran up to S/405! Which is because they charge a minimum of USD15 per day for each day that I use the internet (which is every single day I was here in Peru!). I was confused because I thought it was a pay per day. I then found out that the minimum charge was printed tiny at the rules and regulation page. I felt tricked, but again, it was partially my fault too. Luckily I was able to pay with my credit card.
HAVING MINIMUM CASH IN YOUR POCKET CAN BE AN EASE OF MIND. At least there’s nothing much to lose if I get pick-pocketed. But in Peru, having a credit card (which only works half of the time), means that I am half broke too. I had to plan my accommodation and meals at places that would accept a credit card. I give higher preference to those who would accept the American Express and the Visa card (the only two that I have at hand).
I have so many experience here in Peru where the cards would simply not work. This is very random. At times it will work at a very small mini market but failed to work at a fast food franchise in a mall. When going shopping for last minute souvenirs today, I paid special attention to find a shop that advertises that they would accept cards. After all the choosing and bargaining, alas, my cards failed yet again. I can choose to walk away. But, it would be the pregnant owner, or the old lady employee, or the little girl working for her school fees, that would make me dish out my remaining cash. I now blame of soft heart for making me broke.
I figured everything out, kept the minimum cash required for my taxi fare back to the airport, and I was left with only USD3. From now onwards, I always pay with credit card at the restaurants before sitting down for my meals. I don’t even have enough cash to send my postcards, and so I went looking for a post office that would accept credit cards (obviously there were none). I was living the cash-less life so professionally, my book would be a bestseller – “Sobreviviente sin effectivos en Peru” (Surviving without cash in Peru).
I am so happy I am counting the days until I can go back to the normal civilised way of living. Of course I now have the skills to survive, but it is so much better just to be able to just chill.
Shopping for grenadillas in upscale supermarkets (using my credit card)
Fresh salad in Bircher Brenner
Nice vegan entree
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