Catch 22 and World Cup Snacking


So we decide to take a break from apartment hunting and grab a few snacks before we watch the Dutch play Costa Rica. In the store we decided on a large bottle of a dark beer called “Cusquena” which we had tried before and enjoyed.

Everything went fine until we decided to pay. We got into a long discussion in Spanish about why we weren’t allowed to purchase a large bottle of Cusquena. First we thought that maybe Christina needed to show ID, then we thought that perhaps we needed to pay extra so that we were covering the recycling cost of the bottle (as in Ontario) and then when you return the bottle you get the deposit back.

Oh no, the words that were tripping us up were that they were only selling the contents of the bottle of beer. So in order to purchase one, you actually have to bring a large empty bottle that you drank earlier. When we explained that we were obviously from out of town and didn’t have large empty bottles of beer to trade in yet, we just received a shrug.

So off we went to get two small bottles of beer instead (different rules for those apparently) and everything went much more smoothly. Yet to be discovered is how to get one’s first large empty bottle of beer. Perhaps they are graduation gifts?

Also, check out the name on the front of the chips (which are spiced, sliced and fried plantains). Inka chips! Nothing like using your historical culture to flog a few chips eh?

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. Romey says:

    Dad tried to buy a beer for lunch today at a motorway stop / restaurant. They told him that he would have to order a hot meal to go with it. The hot meal line was sooo long and he just wanted cold meat dish. Poor Dad had to drink non alcohol beer. BTW -amazed that in the land of potatoes you were eating plantain chips. How contrary!

  2. Romey says:

    Ps – the restaurant was of course in France

  3. Leah says:

    Oh life’s little ironies. I’m glad you made it safe and sound and that you got to watch the game munching on Inkas and swigging (if small bottles can even be swug) Cusquena! I’m so glad i got to be a part of this transition to South America! Bisous

    • Christina says:

      Turns out there is also “Inka Cola” – a pop drink that is a noxious-looking fluorescent yellow colour brighter than Mountain Dew that I haven’t yet dared to try.

  4. Madison says:

    It’s like this in Chile too. It took me about 3 months of incoherent arguing with shop owners to figure it out. It’s like being in a secret society. Once you have your first empty big bottle (mine was a gift from a friend in the know) it’s all smooth sailing!

  5. Christina says:

    We had a fun experience in a different grocery store where Stephen pretended innocence and tried his luck again (hoping that this cashier wouldn’t notice) – but of course we were again told that we could only by the smaller size. The best part was the 2 older ladies in front of us who immediate took our side and tried arguing with the cashier on our behalf. But she was immovable in spite of the Peruvian intervention. As we left the 2 ladies were still all worked up on our behalf and commenting out loud “Que barbaridad!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *