The BBC recently reported on the case of a street sweeper in Peru who, despite being dismissed for being drunk at work years ago, has recently won an appeal in the Peruvian High Court to be reinstated. You can read the story here.
Many people in Peru drink a homemade beer called chicha – it is a corn based recipe that comes in varying strengths and colours.
While walking through one of the tiny mud hut villages in the Sacred Valley between Moras and Moray putting together our Highlights of Peru holiday, my guide and I walked past a hut where chicha was on sale.
We went in, stepping back several centuries as we did so. Guinea pigs scampered over the floor past a stainless steel cauldron filled with a murky opaque liquid covered in thick foam. The corner was black with soot from cooking fires, the walls pockmarked by lazy flies, and the proprietor’s baby granddaughter gurgled happily in the corner below a shelf that was home to a skull belonging to one of her departed relatives.
I wondered vaguely about hygiene before accepting a drink the colour of wallpaper paste. It tasted a bit bland, but we spent a pleasant 20 minutes chatting to two local farmers whose sandals were made from old Michelin tyres, and who were enjoying their lunchtime pints.
It was a great experience that I wouldn’t have missed, but I was so ill I couldn’t eat for two days.
Curious facts and quotes
The reason pubs used to close in the afternoons in the UK was due to a law designed to discourage drunkenness among munitions workers during WW1.
‘Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder’.
‘Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer’.