Peru – The Low Down Adventure
Holy f'n what the what? Did I really wake up at 5am for 10 days straight… 10 flights, 10 bus rides, 9 cab rides, 2 train rides, and 1 airport shuttle… almost missed my flight home to leave Peru empty-handed? Of course not. Hiram discovered Machu Picchu and I discovered a goldmine of office goods.
Some of my favorite moments from past sourcing trips are the rides from the airport to the hotel. Half awake, shakin’ off jet-lag and trying hard to visually soak everything in. Trying to quickly figure out obvious landmarks to navigate by, street signage, streets of interests and streets to avoid. Sometimes I spot a store that I wanna check. And Lima was good like that – didn’t know it at the time, but a shop I spotted that I knew I’d have to hit was only a few blocks from the hotel.
Checked-in, belly-full and fully charged to get my shop-on. Walked straight to the shop. I beelined it to the pencils. Nothing grabs me so I move on to the paper selection. And then it happened. I lost my shiz… aisles and aisles of notepads and notebooks and I want it ALL. Jumping up and down and running down the aisle running my hand across all the awesomeness. Finally settled down and then I start to stress – fell in love with two totally different notepads and couldn’t make a decision. What to do?
I couldn’t, wouldn’t budge for what seemed like forever. I couldn’t bear passin’ up the brown/orange notepads. I love the logo, I love the grid sheets. The sheets remind me of the paper I used in junior high for my math homework. I just kept looking at the cover of the notepad and rubbing the sheets of paper with my finger tips. I didn’t want this to be one of my big regrets in life – I didn’t want to look back and wish I had purchased these notepads for our Peru Kit (yes, not purchasing dope office goods would be a big regret in my life).
But the spiral-bound notebooks are equally dope. The super thick textured covers, the clean bright white sheets… the cover screams Peru. The diagonal lines remind me of the mountains, the cover’s texture like the rocky terrain… This thing is a brick. You can hurt somebody with it or possibly break your back from carting more than one around in your bag.
I could follow my gut and go with the brown/orange notepads or go with the spiral-bound notebooks that I have a feeling RAHstrs would dig. Hard choice, so… I opted for both. Dilemma worked out and now ready to grub. Clearly, stressin’ about paper goods works up a mean appetite. Headed down a side street in search of a lunch spot when we spotted another shop callin’ our name! Searching for gold in Lima was turning out to be one big smooth ride.
Marked my map and continued on to find a lunch spot. Didn’t have to go far before I scored another grubbin’ meal. Feelin’ energized and ready to hunt down more goods, I enter a tiny shop filled with so much goodness it’s mind-blowing. Visual overload of all things writing instruments, but why, why are they behind the counter? I wanna get close, I wanna test the pencils and pens, I wanna get all crazy behind the counter with all them goods! I approach one of the employees, Rosario, about their pencils and then a whole lotta pointing and nodding happens. We quickly bond via smiles, laughing and Rosario’s basic English skills. Five pencils in and Rosario waves me back behind the counter. BOOM! And now the shitz about to get real. I’m checking the pencil for Peruvian brands, I’m searching for something different. And there they are – red/blue combo pencils that remind me of my red mug full of red pencils and pens back home. Mystery Item it is – done!
What’s next? The Writing Instrument. One stood out – a drafting pencil with an emerald green paint job with a silver ferrule cap. Totally diggin’ the silver stamped “diesño profesional” and lovin’ the ‘enye’. What sealed the deal? The super cute “Hecho en Perú” logo on the pencil boxes.
Waking up at 5am for 10 days straight wasn’t hot, not how I like to do. But cartin’ lo-fi goods through the streets of Lima, kinda crazy and definitely how we do… we’re on the non-stop grind just rockin’ with it.