Souvenirs are overrated

I travel quite a bit and of course I have to bring home gifts from every trip I go on. Mamacita linda has even trained our 2-year old daughter to say “bring gifts” when she knows papi is ready to go on a trip. Most of the gifts I bring for our daughter get some use but the ones I get for mami usually end up collecting dust and taking up space:

  • The T-shirt I brought mami from Iceland 2 years ago? Worn once I think.
  • Necklace and earrings I bought in Cartagena? Never used.
  • The Big Ben souvenir mamacita asked me to bring from London? Stuffed in a file cabinet.
  • The cute pillow from Poland? Never used and haven’t seen it in forever.
  • The cute polar-bear hairclip I picked out at the souvenir store in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik? Mami looked at it once and said: “Cute, but you go to Canada and bring me back something made in the Philippenes??” Never been used.

I could go on. Clothes are always a bad idea. I buy something stylish and sexy and mamacita says “I can’t wear that here. It’s too cold in Cuzco to wear that.” I buy something comfy and mamacita says “Why do you buy me old lady clothes like that? Buy me something cute next time would you.”

Anyway, I’m writing this sitting in departure gate 19 of the Lima airport, waiting on a flight to Miami. I’m on my way to Kansas to pick up another new airplane from Cessna. The real reason I’m fussing and ranting about souvenirs right now is that souvenirs take up space in the airport where something useful could be, say something like FOOD!!! Airport food is never a great idea but in Lima the choices are really slim. For all the great food you can find in Peru the Lima airport is not a good place to go when you’re in a rush and haven’t eaten.

At the Lima airport there’s a food court with a McDonalds, Papa Johns and a few others. You can get a pretty good “pollo la brasa” at Manos Morenos but they give you like 6 french fries. There’s a Dunkin Donuts at the food court in the Lima airport and you can always tell the Cusquenos traveling home to Cuzco because you’ll see them carrying a dozen donuts through the Lima airport (there’s no Dunkin Donuts in Cuzco). I always feel like such a fool when other gringos in the airport stare at me walking through the airport with my Dunkin Donuts bag. They’re probably thinking something like “why would this fool come all the way down to Lima to buy a dozen donuts?”

At any rate, other than the food court there are few restaurants in the Lima airport. There are 2 restaurants in the international gate area, both ridiculously overpriced. Cheap Dutchman that I am I’ve never eaten at either of them. I just ponied up S/.26 (~$10) for a soda and sandwich at the 365 Deli by gate 19. Ten bucks for a sandwich that had like 2 slices of roast beef on it!

Peruvian food is great but forget Lima airport. The first thing I plan to do when I get to Wichita tomorrow is stuff my tummy with a big juicy steak 😉