Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Almost eight months

That's the time put together that I've spent living in Lima now.

And actually, the number itself seems a little too, well, pathetically small to encompass all that I've seen and learned and felt here. Although I suppose, as any pregnant woman will tell you, anything and everything can change in eight months.

But in the everyday of it all, I sometimes begins to feel a little more like nothing's changed.

So here's a bit of an update for you and a reminder for me.

Things in Lima that used to bother me but now don't :

Huge spoons and thin napkins. Why are the spoons here so much larger, you ask? It is a mystery. Why are spoons in the states so small?

The increased amount of service people...everywhere. Like on campus, there is constantly workers sweeping the paths. Which at first seemed like overkill. But now I say, "Hey, there are lots of people in Lima who need jobs! Why not keep the walk so clean you could eat off it?"

Constantly greeting and saying goodbye to people with a kiss.
The kiss part didn't bother me, just the constant part. Talk to someone for two minutes and you're expected to saludar and despedir them. Now I don't mind. In fact, the little hand wave American thing's a little awkward.

The dirt. I think it must still be above-average dirty in this city, because I remember thinking it was so at the beginning. I haven't thought about it in awhile.

Things that used to bother me a lot, and now only do a little:

Throwing toilet paper in the waste basket. I occasionally felt slight panic in restrooms in the states. No trash in here! Where will I...? Oh.

Professors showing up 20 minutes late for class every day. Only really bothers me when they keep you 10 minutes late afterward.

Models on billboards looking nothing like most Peruvians. I remember this being one of the most shocking things in my first couple weeks: almost exclusively white people in advertisements, almost exclusively nonwhite in the streets below. Now that I've filled in a little of the background info, I don't really think about it on a daily basis. Still a bit sad though. (I could extend this to a lot of the signs of Western culture influence here.)

Cobradores yelling at me to got on the streets to get in their micros. I'm going to change my mind about where I'm going, but hey it's just their job.

Things that still bother me:

The lack of apologies. If you cause my coffee maker to be broken, or eat all my cookies without asking, or show up 20 minutes late, I do expect you to acknowledge your culpability.

The lack of line etiquette. I've already discussed this. I'm just too much of a wimp for Peruvian lines, although I have gotten better.

The lack of rain. Oh how I long for a good rainstorm!

The lack of heaters in the cold! Is there anyone living in Lima who wouldn't like heating, I ask?

Those are the things that are occurring to me at this moment. But I think/hope/pray that I've learned many more, and that I've not quite finished.


  1. I love this list. Reminds me of how I felt... and probably would feel if I was still there... I agree on all points! I'd add something about discrimination (of all kinds... peruvian to peruvian, white to peruvian, and peruvian to white). But I think the list is still full without it. :) Hope you're doing well. Missing being there with ya.

  2. The line-jumping thing would make me crazy! As it is stateside, I get all righteously indignant about those individuals who don't observe proper queue etiquette.