South America | Peru – peru seen through my eyes
i’ve been here for four months now. exactly four months.
and there are a few things i have to get used to… some easier then others. some i’m not really ready to get used to yet (don’t know if i ever will be..).
but there are things i’ll miss when i leave too. and most of the stuff is just part of my everyday life here.
close to nobody has hot water in their houses. this means showering in cold water. and doing the dishes in cold water. and washing your clothes in cold water. by hand. don’t know anybody who has a washing machine.
you can’t put toilet paper in the toilet, if you do, it gets stuck in the pipes. what’s more is that there’s hardly ever toilet paper available in the bathrooms, not even where i work. you just always have some with you in your pocket (if you’re not planning to get used to going around with wet panties..)
there is nothing strange with picking your nose in public.
the bus stop system doesn’t function. instead the buses stop at almost every corner. you just make a signal.
although the buses (sometimes they’re actually mini vans or something in between: combis, coasters e omnibuses) do have numbers it’s not very organized. there is nowhere you can look up the bus circuits. let alone the bus scheduals.. there’s a color-code. and there’s someone standing at the door (or leaning his head out the window) yelling out where the bus goes. and the main street are painted on the side of the bus.
you can’t drink tap water. not even the peruvians do it.
people will tell you if they think you’re fat or thin. even those who don’t know you. they’ll especially comment when you put on or lose weight.
but as 50% of peruvians are in the category ‘poor’ (30% live in extreme poverty) – the way of perceiving the body is somewhat different then in norway.
..and i am doomed to get more pityful looks accompanied with ‘you should eat more’. (even though my weigt corresponds well with my height)
people ask what you’re eaten today. and they want the detailed version.
if somebody sends you an interesting looking package from abroad chances are slim that you’ll ever get it. it will probably get lost on the way. or you’ll get the letter though it’s clear that the envelope has been opened and there is something missing. and with no explanation from the post service.
if you measure 160cm you feel tall(!)
peru is one of the countries with the ‘best’ laws in the world. they have a great constitution. it’s just that reality doesn’t have much to do with all those beautiful words.
i have been informed that in peru there is usually quite a gap between how they plan to do something and what actually gets done.
there’s a tv everywhere.
in the restaurants, the cafés, the stores, at the post office..
to be a taxi driver all you need is a sticker that says ‘taxi’. stick it on your front window and you’re ready to go.
you have to negotiate the price before you get into the taxi.
dogs wear sweaters. even the poor ones.
there is so much delicious fruit here!
and there are several different types of bananas – some for cooking and some for eating raw, some big and some small, some are green and others yellow.
the mango is the best but most difficult fruit to eat.
drivers are not afraid to use their horn. weather it’s in an emergency situation, or as a ‘look out, i’m crossing this intersection and not planning to slow down’, or ‘hey baby, you’re looking great’.
you also hear honking when the light doesn’t switch to green soon enough. and there are signs along the roads that read ‘silence!’
to signal that you want to make a turn or change files you stick your arm out the window if your lights don’t work. if you want to turn to the right, some other person will make the signal.
?pais de mentirosos!
it’s accepted to lie.
peruvian time… most people are so impunctual. and they don’t see any reason to excuse themselves, they just come late with a big smile.
there are more bugs around. and they’re indoors too. ants and spiders and fleas and things i don’t know what are.
lima is very polluted.
men make ssss-sounds after you on the street. and kissing sounds. and call out things to you – compliments and insults and something in between.
guys, teen-agers, creeps, men, boys, husbands, grandpas.. it doesn’t matter.
there are kids selling candy on the street. and kids begging.
and kids washing car windows as the drivers are waiting for the light to shift to green.
a meal can include both rice and pasta and potatoes, not just one of the three.
this is the trend:
the taller the richer
the whiter the richer
a peruvian who speaks english – man! that person must really be someone important and intelligent, who can do anything! for other people to look up to.
there are people who eat cats.
dancing is a big part of their culture.
salsa music in the morning, salsa music in the restaurant, salsa music on the bus, salsa music when the babies are taking their noon time nap… or the same romantic songs that are forever playing on the radio.
peruvians are good at making pirate copies. really good.