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7.05-7.07: Lima, Peru

Farewell South America, Nice to meet you India!

The next morning I headed out for the last leg of my South American journey, a three hour drive to Lima. We check into one of the cheap hostels we liked from the first few days of the trip and tried to relax a little. This was easier said than done because, unlike last time, our chill little hostel was overrun with a group of raucous British high school kids on some sort of field trip. What happened to the days where a field trip meant a day at the zoo? I never got to go to Peru for a class trip. They invaded the entire hostel. There were obnoxious adolescent kids oozing out of every crevasse. Sixteen of them and two of us, the odds of survival were not in our favor. The next day we decided to wave the white flag and check into a new hostel a few blocks away.

I spent most of the day blogging and getting stuff together for the trip to India. We headed into downtown Lima, an area we hadn't explored the first time we visited, to check out the sights and eat some dinner before our redeye to Newark New Jersey.
We admired the impressed gothic architecture and scoped out the Presidents house in the center of downtown.
He had requested that a giant big screen be erected outside of his mansion for the public to view the world cup games. They do love their futbol. We navigated the busy streets and swam through the sea of people and hunted for places to eat. We were pressed for time and chose the first sit-down restaurant that looked sanitary. We chose a roasted chicken joint and sat down. Mediocre food, horrendous service (I swear, the waiter must have been deaf, blind and stupid) and an overall disappointment.
As we sat back and reflected on our month in South America, we both agreed we were ready to leave. We were tired of unrefrigerated beverages, terrible customer service, and bland carbohydrate-rich foods. We were ready for India!

Here's a quick little summary of the rollercoaster ride of South America:


New stuff I did while in South America (besides everything)
-Ate alpaca meat
-Drank Chicha Morada
-Got assaulted
-Ate guinea pig
- White water rafter... Twice
-Ate salchichas
-Hiked Machu Picchu
-Smoked a Cuban cigar
-Ate intestines
-Sand boarded
-Drank Pisco
-Ate sour cactus
-Bathed in a natural hot spring
-Lived without electricity
-Dressed like a Peruvian
-Danced like a Peruvian
-Got a stomach parasite
-Flew on Taca Airlines

Weird stuff:
-South American use the SMALLEST napkins known to man. They are made for teeny tiny dwarf fingers. Might as well have handed me a single square of toilet paper and told me to go to town.

-All over Peru and Bolivia there are more photocopy places than I have ever seen in my life. There is probably a 2 to 1 ratio of people to photocopy stores in both Peru and Bolivia. What the hell are they copying!?

-In Arequipa there are about two, very long blocks where every single store sells only eye glasses....every one.

-You never get your drink at the beginning of the meal, usually it's in the middle, if you're lucky to get it at all.

-Very few drinks (beer, soda, fruit juice) are ever served cold and none of them are ever served with ice.

-If you order a cafe con leche, (coffee with milk) you are given a full cup of milk and a tiny pitcher of concentrated coffee to mix yourself.

-The keyboards here are in Spanish, something that hadn't even crossed my mind, complete with different symbols and strange key placement. Some keys I couldn't find at all. So, please forgive my typos and sporadic lack of punctuation, I don't have much to work with.

- The only milk they use for anything and everything is evaporated milk.

-When buses say "direct" they actually mean "very indirect"

-Everything is designed for smaller people (bus seats, doorways, tables,etc) because Peruvians are so much smaller than Americans.

-Everyone beeps their horns for no reason and every reason.

All in all South America was a wonderful experience and I am so thankful that I got to go, but now it's on to India!

At 10:30 I boarded my plane and was off!

Posted by emichele 08:16 Archived in Peru

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That section shouldn’t be called “Weird Stuff”, but “Different Stuff”. It’s South America, and sadly still a third world country. You should be more open to accept that just because things are different for you because you come from somewhere else, they are not bad, wrong, or whatever. It’s a matter of customs, cultural differences, etc. I’ve read a lot of the stuff you have written about Peru, and it really bothers me the way you put my country to the readers. It’s like a list of unpleasant things lived in Peru, instead of bringing out the positive ones. Ok, we have things that we have to improve. Perfect! But keep in mind that there is not such a thing as the perfect place, and everywhere you go, you are always gonna find things that you won’t like. So therefore you should try to write about the best experiences lived in certain place you’ve visited to motivate the readers to visit, too, because otherwise, what’s the point of this blog?! Going around the world writing about every city, town, etc flaws? I don’t think so… I’m sorry you had such an unpleasant experience in my country, but I know for sure that Peru is much more than that, and I really don’t know who have you talked to, because we are very kind, helpful people, especially with foreigners.

by valehaw

Thank you very much for your response and I really appreciate your constructive criticism, however, I feel like you have misconstrued some of my comments. First of all, I spent a month in Peru, which by no mean makes me an expert on the country. This blog is not a guide to Peru, it is simply my personal experiences, both negative and positive with comical commentary sprinkled in. The way people perceive the places they visit, are going to vastly vary from person to person, and I would only expect what is "weird" to me may be "normal" to others and vice versa and I feel like this difference of opinion is what spurs the humor in my blog. This particular blog was the culmination of my month in Peru and I wonder if this is the only one you've read. I had a wonderful time in Peru, I would highly recommend it to friends, and I plan to go again however, I remain honest in my experiences and my opinion of these experiences. This blog is not an objective view of the country it is my personal subjective view of the few experiences I was lucky to have while I was there. I take heed and appreciate your advice and i encourage you to read more of what I had to say about Peru because I really did enjoy myself.

PS- Some highlights of my trip are featured on 7.01, 6.09, 6.15, and 6.18, I invite you to please read them so you can get a better grasp my opinion on Peru.

by emichele

Valehaw: I think your a little sensitive about these blog entries. I began reading this blog at the very beginning and have found the author provides plenty of praise for Peru. I have spent a month in Peru myself and noticed many of the same problems she jokes about in her commentary. I think you may be mistaken in your assumption that her words are a guided attack. Also, I guess it depends on your definition of third world, but Peru doesn't really qualify in my book. The economy of Peru is the 42nd largest in the world. In a pool of almost 200 countries that puts them fairly high up on the totem poll. I suggest you read ALL of the author's material about Peru before you start getting so defensive. There are very positive portions that you have somehow completely missed. For the record: The napkins in Peru ARE comically small AND restaurants DO commonly forget to bring your drink until the bill arrives. Those are my personal opinions and observations, but it does not mean I hate Peru. On the contrary, I cant wait until I can return.

by worldtrvlr

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