Sunday, December 17, 2006

Imitation Products in Peru

Wood and Supplies

I bought a crude handsaw made in Brazil. There are a lot of imitation products here using American logos but slightly different names. The tools use the “Stanley” logo but are called “Standard”. Cameras have the “Canon” logo but are called “Cannon”. Leather boots have the “Harley Davidson” logo but are called “Barley Davidson”. Most of these imitation products are poor reproductions and questionable quality. You have to look twice if you are looking for authentic American brands

I am making some beds at a friend’s house. The two girls now share a narrow single bed. The two boys and the mother share a double bed. The father with tuberculosis sleeps in another room.

There is a lot of cheap wood sold along the roadside. I bought three, 16 foot long mahogany boards that are 10 inches wide for $1 each. A similar board in America would cost $25 for pine or $50 for mahogany. The bed frames I made are crude, but now everyone has their own single bed.

There are many good craftsmen here. They build good, simple, rough furniture from solid plank wood. A chest of drawers cost $75 and a china cabinet costs $150. If there was a good way to export it, there would be market for their style of furniture. The cement masons are also very good and work for about $2 an hour. They take their time and do a nice job of making a perfectly smooth finish.

There are actually a lot of good stores here. Most store fronts are 15 feet wide and crammed with goods. Some of it is junk but there are many nice stores selling American equipment. The hard part for me is finding the correct store. They all look the same from the outside. The main business area is 10 blocks by 6 blocks. That is 60 square blocks with 10 stores on each side of the street. So that is about 240 business.

It is like the Mall of America except the streets are filled with debris and trash. The road is packed with motor taxis and people. All moving like a school of fish. I am learning how to move with the crowd and stay of of the way of traffic.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lon, Thanks for all of your journal entries. Very interesting and enjoyable. See you in June at the Elite. Doug L., Michigan

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