Traveling and Foreign Culture

As many of you know, I am going to Peru on Saturday.  Today a friend of mine posted a picture of Facebook of a guinea pig, which reminded me of this trip.

One of the delicacies in Peru is cuy chactado.  This is fried guinea pig.  I had thought I might give this a try if offered to me, but now that I saw this cute, cuddly picture, I don’t know that I can bring myself to try this.

I wondered what other “delicacies” we might be exposed to on this trip.  Peruvians eat a lot of potatoes, tomatoes and various peanuts and chili peppers.  They also drink a beverage called Chicha Morada which is made from boiled purple corn sweetened with pineapple chunks and sugar.  I have also heard that they will eat alpaca.  Not so sure about that one.  A friend told me about a dish made with beef heart.  Really don’t think I will be trying that.  I am willing to be adventurous but some of these may be too adventurous for me!

There are other considerations too when traveling to a foreign country.  How do you greet others in the country?  Do you shake hands, bow or hug?  In one country one way would be acceptable while another way could be offensive.

Hotels can be very different as well.  Some international hotels don’t use air conditioning the way that we do in the United States.  You need to know if you will need an electric adapter and/or a converter.  Many countries outside of the US will have 220V instead of 110V.  Local regulations may not allow irons, coffee makers or alarm clocks in the room so you’ll want to be prepared.

Knowing a bit of the language where you are going is very important.  Yes, many people around the world speak English, however, I have found if you at least try to speak their language, they “cut you some slack” more often.  Sometimes you will be forced to use their language and this could cause problems for you.  In Spain we needed to order dinner at a restaurant where no one spoke English so I ordered “pollo” which I knew was chicken.  Our friends ordered by picture and got a slab of squid.

These are all good things to check out before you travel to another country.  I better get some of my questions answered today!

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by elchorrofan on January 17, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    Ha, when I was in Spain I also new only that pollo is a chicken so I ordered it. However, what I didn’t know was that you need to correctly pronounce the word pollo as there is a similar bad word. Cheers!

    Reply

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