Why Peru? From a Peruvian perspective.

Answers to your qestions about moving to, and living in, Peru,
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curlyguy18
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Why Peru? From a Peruvian perspective.

Postby curlyguy18 » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:10 am

So I have been in London for a month and I can see why so many Peruvians want to leave Peru and come to a developed nation like the UK or the US or Japan. There are more opportunities for employment, even if it means working at Mc Donald's, compared to the UK and Japan, Peru seems like a very 3rd world, not modern and nearly uncivilized country, there is better public transportation here, and the list goes on.

Sure, life is different here and coming here doesn't mean life is gonna be easier, but perhaps a bit more comfortable. So I can now see and understand why many Latinos want to immigrate.

Now, I have also met plenty of people from North America and Europe who would prefer to live in Peru! I think it strikes me as crazy why some people would choose a country like Peru over a more modern, more civilized country. So, if you're one of those who likes Peru better, why is that?

Junior.


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Postby sbaustin » Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:49 am

I think for many it boils down to a loved one (like me) or family in addition to money/buying power. For most extranjeros in Peru, materialist-creature-comforts aren't enough to keep them in their own countries. I don't miss any of the stuff I had in the USA.

As far as liking Peru better, that isn't the case.. I don't like Peru better than my home country, but I'm just as happy here as I would be there.

You will have an interesting perspective when you return back to Peru having lived abroad for a year I think is your program. I know that my girlfriend after working abroad, although she liked it, really missed Peru.
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Postby naturegirl » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:06 am

curly, do you think you could email my husband?! He's one of the few people I've met who doesn't think like you, but I wish he did. I've been trying to convince him of the same thing, but honestly, I think it boils down to fear, not knowing the customs, culture, language of a different country can be daunting. Plus, he's not going to have a job waiting for him like I will, he'll just be a house husband.

But still, in the long run, I'm sure it will work out. It has to. Because although Peru has given me a lot, it's taken it's toll, and it's time to go.

I will have to admit, when I left Peru, I did start to miss one thing: being able to communicate, not being able to speak and being illiterate is no fun, but again with time, all things work out.

I think the moral of the story is that the grass is always greener on the other side.

There's a thread on LIP about why Lima is a good place to live, maybe you could get an idea from it.
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Postby tupacperu » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:38 am

Personally, I love living in Peru and after a year or more in the USA, my wife Prefers her country, She manages the money and we live a much more healthy lifestyle in Peru. We were paying for a 2 bedroom apartment in the USA for $1700 per month, now we pay $600.00 for a bigger apartment 1 block from Larco Mar. we go out to dinner more often in Peru. In the USA it was about once every 2 weeks.

The funny thing is that many of My wife's Peruvina relatives that live in NJ brag about their great life in the USA (many work minimum wage). Upon our arrival in the USA, my wife contacted her relatives and ask to visit, many shameful did not respond or return her calls. We traveled to some of the cities personally (to buy peruvian food products). Truth is there were many people living in the same apartment and many location were in the ghetto, no place to raise kids or a place considered safe.

We have a favorite Colombian Restaurant in North Philly that we frequent when there. The neighborhoods are pretty much a ghetto. Mnay immigrants live there in broken down apartments. My wife could not imagine, that these images were not what is reported about life in the USA (TV).

To me minimum wage is relative. $6.00 per hour is a lot in Peru, but is consider poverty level in the USA.

We happen to be fortunate to earn a US salary while in Peru. Life in Peru for a Peruvian is very different than many Americans in Peru. This I admit.


My Wife's family does lack opportunity in Peru. But some of the condition that Peruvian live in in the USA are about the same as Peru (many are worse).

There are some Peruvian who manage to advance, but a great many of them live in the same conditions in both countries, (Poverty)
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Postby A_M » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:54 am

1. Climate

2. For someone who has saved money in another currency, it´s great to come down here and take a little break.

3. Developed countries aren´t everything. Personally, coming from Canada, I am horrified by suburbia and the way people live within it...now in peru, you tend to have shantytowns as opposed to suburbs, which from most perspectives would be worse, but I find it intriguing. At least it´s different, as familiarity breeds contempt.
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Postby Kelly » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:54 am

I came to Peru for my husband (to be, at that time), but we've stayed because I know we can live a lot better here than we can there. I'd be happy never going back, but I know I have to in the next couple of years - I think it would be a disservice to my stepsons not to give them the opportunity to go to a US university if they desire.
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Postby tupacperu » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:55 am

My wife felt as your husband, she felt very out of place. She loved Los Angeles, but with 8% state income tax, I did not want to go there.

we are talking about maintaining an apartment in Miami, so that we can go back and visit (months). Currently, we travel every 3 months to Miami to buy the thingsa we lack in Peru.

For us a life mortgage free is our goal. We will use Peru as headquarters and travel to the USA for vacations (Brazil, Colombia etc...).

The Architects have completed the plans for our beach house in Pimentel beach. Got a quote of $300 per sq meter (about $65,000) 217sq meters.

we can pay cash or take a mortgage for 5 years. This will free us up to use mortgage/rent money to travel the world. I could not get this or even close to a beach for this amount of money in the USA.

Your husbands fears are justified, I have dealth with this with my wife.
The US culture shock was too much for her coming from the provinces.
The adjustment was rough and people in the US can be cruel when you do not have a mastery of english (men being macho - lol, it can take a toll on his ego and the marriage). Somehow if you do not speak english in the USA, you are considered a lesser person. I have experienced this many times while my wife was in the USA. In LA is is less, but the cost is more.

She is also attending a university in Lima (studying to be a translator : english and portuguese.). We plan to return to the USA in 5 years, so that my wife can obtain a BA degree in the USA (or on-line university is an option). Like is rough in the US when you lack proficient english. I am spanish fluent (conversation), but business conversations I tend to get lost. so learning a language is a on-going process.






naturegirl wrote:curly, do you think you could email my husband?! He's one of the few people I've met who doesn't think like you, but I wish he did. I've been trying to convince him of the same thing, but honestly, I think it boils down to fear, not knowing the customs, culture, language of a different country can be daunting. Plus, he's not going to have a job waiting for him like I will, he'll just be a house husband.

But still, in the long run, I'm sure it will work out. It has to. Because although Peru has given me a lot, it's taken it's toll, and it's time to go.

I will have to admit, when I left Peru, I did start to miss one thing: being able to communicate, not being able to speak and being illiterate is no fun, but again with time, all things work out.

I think the moral of the story is that the grass is always greener on the other side.

There's a thread on LIP about why Lima is a good place to live, maybe you could get an idea from it.
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Postby Polite » Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:47 pm

Hi Curly,

I came to the U.S. in 1989 during a very a very difficult time for our country. I left because I felt unsafe and lacking opportunities. My decision to immigrate to the States was done at the last minute because I had a cousin who already lived there. I came prepare mentally as I new that without the language I had to be prepare to work anywhere. I have to admit that I did like the comfort and the opportunities this country offered to me and I'm grateful for that, but after a while I miss Peru some much. I miss its people, the family environment, the respect to the elder and the caring for each other. My lifestyle here has become so stressful. Everyone works so hard to just pay their house and their bills. For example, I live the east bay and pay for my mortgage about 3,500 per month, not including property taxes and Home Owner's Association. Besides you need to pay everything such as utilities, car insurance, day care, groceries, and clothing and some entertainment. I feel that I work to live. My standard of living is not good. I can't do much without going broke.
I'm considering going back to Peru for at least two years and have my kids the opportunity to learn about our culture and see life from a different perspective and see if I can do something to live there permanently. My husband is American and is open to the idea.

Many of my friends left Peru during the time of the terrorism and went to different countries and all of them are ready to go back to Peru. We all at the end miss our country its people and its customs. Miss my food!!
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Postby craig » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:23 pm

While everyone else is focused on the immediate present (if not the past) reality I see the future prospects as being more important. To me the choice is between the following.

1) A degenerating country living off wealth accumulated in the past that is in the process of self-destruction by an orgy of increasingly socialist totalitarianism.

2) A growing country with prospects for future improvement and prosperity where, if we are very lucky, some small degree of individual liberty might be preserved.

I hope I am not being too optimistic because I am at a loss for any less bad place to which to flee.

Craig
Last edited by craig on Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Lists of Pros and Cons

Postby american_in_lima » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:32 pm

I have an ongoing discussion with one of my friends here who is a contributor in ExpatPeru about Peru. I love it, my friend has had enough.

When I received my Peruvian citizenship, I had this overwhelming sense of joy, pride and satisfaction that I am now "American/Peruvian".

Here is why I love Peru compared to the US (Not necessarily in order)

1. Fresh Food and variety of produce - I cook a lot, food markets are great for the at home chef. Restaurants are great. Fresh seafood, vegetables, produce. My brother who is a trained professional chef in NYC, loved the variety of produce here.

2. The climate - Variety of climates at any time of year.
3. Income - I have been able to earn a living from the US, but spend the money here. If you can do that, you are golden.

4. Housing Affordability - At 34 years of age, I paid $60,000 cash for a 130 square meter apartment in Miraflores. No mortgage. I sleep better at night now.

$60,000 in the states, would have been the deposit required. Then I would have been a slave for the next 30 years to Bank of America, Wells Fargo or Citibank.

5. The People - I find the people to be very nice here when you give a smile. Not all are like that, but compared to other places in the states, people seem more genuine here.

6. Living in a developing country - I love the fact that I get to live through this change in Lima seeing it catch up to the rest of the world in terms of technology, restaurants and mentality. I know that Lima is not all of Peru, but in my world, that's what I know and where I live.

7. Quality of life - I noticed that I walk slower here. I like that. I come from a field that is high stress, high demand. It's nice to be able to work all day, and then walk a slower pace!

8. Anything can be repaired - In the US, with a hole in the soul of your shoe, you get new shoes. Here, you get it repaired. I have learned a lot about not wasting things.

9. Closeness to the rest of Latin America. Lima to Bogota, Cartagena, Sao Paolo, etc is very economical.

10. The Women - As a single guy, I know I shouldn't say this on this forum, but the women are terrific here. Not the gold diggers obviously. I might offend some in the forum, but in my opinion, Peruvian women are warmer and more loving than the typical American wife. Obviously, this is a huge stereotype as my American mother who has been married to my father for 42 years, is the warmest and most "cariñosa" person that I know. She is 70 years old and has the energy, smile and charisma of a 30 year old. In my experience, I do prefer a Latin girl over the American girl.

11. Sense of family - It's nice to be able to hang out on weekends with your family. I like that.

12. Politics - Seems like there now is political stability. We will see how the next elections turn out.

13. Medical care - With Private health, I would rather be here than in the states. I have 4 cousins that are doctors in the US and they admit being too worried about lawsuits, insurance bureacracy that it has taken a toll on their treatment of the patient. I had a major operation here on my knee, and the doctors were great. I find them to actually "care" about their patient. I have been invited on more than one occassion to their homes and family parties. I never had that kind of relationship with my doctors in Miami nor New York City.

14. This place is ripe for business opportunity. I love that aspect of it.

I am sure that missing some of the things that I like, but those are some of the major ones.



Things I don't like (Not necessarily in order)

1. Police Corruption - Last December, I got pulled over twice in the same day by the same police group. Once in the morning, once at night. Sounds terrible, but I have learned the system. Because I live in Miraflores, I have four police officers that I give a Christmas "tip" to every year. I stay out of trouble, but it sure helps when you need them. For example, last year, a combi hit my car while I was in my lane. Having friends on the force, makes situations like that a lot easier.

2. Unreliability/Excuses - "I will be there at 10 a.m" No show. That drives me crazy still after three years. Some have more stories than the Bible with why they couldn't come. At least call, no?

3. Cultural Diversity - Coming from NYC, I miss that here in Lima.

4. Tramites - Everything here needs a stamp for another stamp. Oh, then you need to "legalize" it. I understand the reasons why, but those tramites kill me sometimes.

5. Poverty - Tough to see 3 year olds begging for money on the street. After three years here, I have sort of grown numb, but still not a cool thing to see. At the same time, I know that for my menu to cost S/. 5 , basic economic course will tell you that you need that level of poverty. It's a catch 22 to be honest.

6. Clothing - Would be nice to see more variety in men's clothing. I bought a jacket at Saga that was on sale.. On a Friday night, went out , but first needed to stop by the BCP to get some cash out. While waiting in line, 3 other guys had my jacket on!

7. Gas Prices - Expensive

8. Anti-business - Having two offices in Miraflores, this place is anti-business. The government says they are not, but everything is a tax here when you run a business. Once you learn the ropes, it gets better, but the first year of two, it's easy to make costly mistakes with Sunat.

9. The problem with saying "I don't know". It seems like its hard for a Peruvian to tell you that they don't know something especially when doing tramites at either migraciones, the bank, etc.

10. Lima (gray skies - gloomy winter weather for 6 months) - Reminds me of my days when I studied at Oxford. Gloomy weather.


Thoughts welcomed.

George
Regards,

George
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Postby cajun jamie » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:58 pm

The above post pretty much sums me up.

I'd have to add: "coming to a place many are afraid of (a foreign country with a different language" and working from the ground up to success.
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Postby american_in_lima » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:09 pm

Cajun Jamie: glad to hear I got it right. One thing, on the negative that people will mention here, that doesn't really bother me is the traffic/driving. I find NYC more difficult and I am from there.
Regards,

George
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Postby cajun jamie » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:36 pm

american_in_lima wrote:Cajun Jamie: glad to hear I got it right. One thing, on the negative that people will mention here, that doesn't really bother me is the traffic/driving. I find NYC more difficult and I am from there.


Not to digress, but on that note, 10 years ago I drove for the first time in Lima. We were leaving a Peña at 5am and I was the most sober. I commanded the wheel and after a short while laughed and said, "this is easy!" My wife replied, "OK, you're doing good. Now, try getting off the sidewalk and drive on the road."

I have now been living and driving here full time for 2 years. It's normal. It really is. Cars and Combis are predictable and I find driving relaxing here.
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Postby american_in_lima » Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:59 pm

I too have been driving here for two years. Jamie is exactly right. The best way to describe it is "organized chaos"pretty similar to a lot of things in Peru. Once you learn the behavior of the Peruvian driver, it's pretty easy. Also, atleast in Lima, cars seem to drive slower.

I don't have to de-ice my car, parralel park in the snow, worry about black ice, etc.
Regards,

George
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Postby naturegirl » Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:08 pm

Kelly wrote: I'd be happy never going back, but I know I have to in the next couple of years - I think it would be a disservice to my stepsons not to give them the opportunity to go to a US university if they desire.


Ditto for me. we'll be in ASia for a while, but will have to go back to the US or romania when we the kids, when we have them, are older. Education reasons.
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Re: Lists of Pros and Cons

Postby naturegirl » Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:13 pm

american_in_lima wrote:I have an ongoing discussion with one of my friends here who is a contributor in ExpatPeru about Peru. I love it, my friend has had enough. Thoughts welcomed.


Since that's me you're talking about, I would add two things to the things I don't like : 1. unrespectful men who shout, whistle or say things. 2. Traffic

But, being a man, you don't have to deal with the first, :)
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Postby Esteban » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:12 pm

Being here only a month, I have to say that its starting to become a little difficult for me. Granted the weather is getting me down...boy I miss the sun. I knew that I would be alienated for a while until I become fluent in the language but there is something else that has been affecting me. Ultimately I see the peruvian culture as paranoid and lacks a sense of community. Maybe it just where I live but I walk down the street and all I see is walls, iron fences, electric fences, iron spikes, shared glass on top of walls, and taxi's that have no respect for life in general. It constantly sends a negative message to me which is "stay away...your not wanted." I know there is crime, hell there is more crime from where I came from in the states but we didn't let it take over our lives and allow ourselves to become isolated in our own homes. I see a society that is burnt out on being hassled or harassed and have seeked refuge in their home and families.

From what I have noticed, Peruvians are good wholesome people in general and are just trying to make it. One thing that I love is that there is a sense of respect that is given to everyone, not like the states. The most beatiful thing is the sense of family, its so strong that you just cannot help to love it.

As someone else mentioned, the fresh produce is awesome and a cheap meal can almost be found everywhere.

I find myself eating healthier here, there is no fast food drive through on every corner. But on the flip side, the pollution has been affecting me.

About the only thing that scares me are the taxi's. Its the idea that I am getting into an automobile (some not safe for the road) with a complete stranger who will most likely put your life in danger 5 times before you reach your destination. On top of that, you don't know this person or their intentions. It just seems so crazy to me.

We were hoping to stay for a few years but that doesn't seem like its going to happen because we don't see much opportunity for work. Down here, its not what you know but rather who you know. I'm sorry but I do not see equal opportunity in Peru.

I hope I don't affend anyone, remember that these comments are coming from an individual that has only been here a month...I am sure they are going to change.

Wish me luck on my adaptation,

Esteban
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Postby cajun jamie » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:26 pm

Esteban,
I know exactly what you mean. Well, I hope I can put your angst aside just a bit.

One secret about Lima and Peru is one day you wake up and realize the true beauty is what lies beneath the surface, beneath the dust and behind the walls.

After a while, you won't see the dust or smell the air. You won't see the fences, broken glass, electric lines or unfinished houses.

After a while you will feel the pulse of this city. The houses were built, mainly when things were at their worst. The walls kept people out, put today also keep noise out.

There has to come a point in time, when you must either choose to fight it, or let go. I suggest, cautiously let go.

Peru is the opposite of what you see is what you get. In fact, Peru is, if you scratch beneath the surface, you will find treasure.

Look, if Peru were easy, everyone and their brother would swarm here and it would become the next Cancun or Jamaica or whatnot.

Peru has a thick skin, covering a warm body.

Once you find your way to adapt, learn the language, adopt the culture, you will be infected. In a good way.

Peru is a paradise for me, and many others. You just need to "adjust" your perception a bit and you will see what I mean.

saludos,

jb
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Postby Kelly » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:38 pm

Esteban -
Something Jamie touched on... the walls and security that you see around houses aren't because of fear of regular street crime. The majority of it was built in response to the problems with terrorism - there was a real problem with kidnapping, car bombs and the like. People were afraid, and there didn't seem to be much the gov't could do to help them. Now, I think after so much time it's just gotten to where people are accustomed to them, and it's become habitual to build with walls and gates and security.

That said, living in Peru is the first time in my adult life that I've ever really felt safe in my home alone - I leave the back door and windows open all night while I sleep. (well, when it's warmer ;)) Not something I would do back in Florida, even in my relatively safe neighborhood.

That's one of the other things I love here.
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Postby craig » Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:25 pm

Kelly wrote:Something Jamie touched on... the walls and security that you see around houses aren't because of fear of regular street crime. The majority of it was built in response to the problems with terrorism - there was a real problem with kidnapping, car bombs and the like. People were afraid, and there didn't seem to be much the gov't could do to help them. Now, I think after so much time it's just gotten to where people are accustomed to them, and it's become habitual to build with walls and gates and security.

Historically, you are only partly right.

There have always been high walls with broken glass. Even long before the recent terrorism at a time when there really was relatively little serious crime. It is a long standing cultural thing. Ugly walls surrounding a beautiful private court yard (rather than a house planted in an open lawn) are milenia old latin culture.

That being said, this aspect of Peru was exagerated by recent history. For example, houses I lived in as a child had high walls, broken glass and bars. But during the troubled times they were modified to add more bars, fences, gates, new and higher walls, more spikes and electric fences etc. just as you recount. But it was a development of degree not of kind.

Craig
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Postby Kelly » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:20 am

Thanks for that info. :) Since I wasn't here then, i can only go off what my husband tells me, and I think sometimes he tries to make things look a little better than they really are. But definitely true.. the inner courtyard is a popular Spanish design.
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Postby Esteban » Sat Sep 12, 2009 3:59 am

I agree that I come to feel safer in my new home. I kind of see it this way. In the states I would go around and lock all the doors before we go to bed so we could sleep safely. Here it is the same way, its just you have one door and its on your property line. The cool thing here, that I have noticed, the outside of the house becomes the inside...leaving doors and windows open with a sense of comfort.

But its that sense of community that is lacking. In the states we would take walks with the kids and run into neighbors and start up a conversation. Everyone interconnected and somewhat looked out for each other. Here you rely on family and friends and trust no one. For example, I walk my kids to school in the mornings. The other day, my wife and a family member said that I should consider changing my route in case I am being observed...what the heck. How am I suppose to feel when I hear a comment like that. I see people with their gaurd so high that I question whether they take a moment to appreciate the things around them. I see myself changing, not smiling or interacting with others so not to draw attention to myself...as so many posters say not to do. I see myself becoming one of the many drones that walk the streets. There is a thick skin complex about everone but when you do experience the softer side...it makes the whole experience even sweeter.

Jamie, I know what you mean about the pulse...I see it, its just going to take me a while to build relationships and feel part of it.

Esteban
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Postby curlyguy18 » Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:23 am

Thank you for your comments. It still beats me why some people prefer to live in Lima, but as the saying goes, different strokes for different folks. I am not really missing Lima that much, but then again I have only been here for a month. We'll see how I feel towards the end of my 1-year term here in London.
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Postby tupacperu » Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:42 am

You got that more than right. I could not have said it any better. Our exact sentiments (my family - Peru)

american_in_lima wrote:Cajun Jamie: glad to hear I got it right. One thing, on the negative that people will mention here, that doesn't really bother me is the traffic/driving. I find NYC more difficult and I am from there.
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Postby tupacperu » Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:57 am

Yes, but here in Peru your family or neighbors (neighborhoods with homes) are your community. The provinces are quite different than Lima.
If you live in an apartment it is rather isolated, but if you live in a residential area, homes or apartment within a house, things are different.

I have live in Peru for 5 years , apartment after apartment and pretty much people keep to themselves, but after moving to Miraflores in a second floor of a house (renovated for an apartment), seems that everyday I meet a new neighbor.

I had a friend visit an he was interested in meeting a mate. My wife's family set up a party and invited family, friends and neighbors, my wife explained that that would be the best way, rather than walk up cold turkey (formal introductions).

Yes, learning the language is an important part of fitting in. But there are peruvians I have come accroos who make an effort to try a little english.

Versus the US which looks down on any other language but english.

As far as traffic in LIma, I prefer Taxis because of car theft and crime.
Yes, alot of them seem unsafe, but on the other hand, they could be the one who crash into your brand new car, so Catch 22.





Esteban wrote:Being here only a month, I have to say that its starting to become a little difficult for me. Granted the weather is getting me down...boy I miss the sun. I knew that I would be alienated for a while until I become fluent in the language but there is something else that has been affecting me. Ultimately I see the peruvian culture as paranoid and lacks a sense of community. Maybe it just where I live but I walk down the street and all I see is walls, iron fences, electric fences, iron spikes, shared glass on top of walls, and taxi's that have no respect for life in general. It constantly sends a negative message to me which is "stay away...your not wanted." I know there is crime, hell there is more crime from where I came from in the states but we didn't let it take over our lives and allow ourselves to become isolated in our own homes. I see a society that is burnt out on being hassled or harassed and have seeked refuge in their home and families.

From what I have noticed, Peruvians are good wholesome people in general and are just trying to make it. One thing that I love is that there is a sense of respect that is given to everyone, not like the states. The most beatiful thing is the sense of family, its so strong that you just cannot help to love it.

As someone else mentioned, the fresh produce is awesome and a cheap meal can almost be found everywhere.

I find myself eating healthier here, there is no fast food drive through on every corner. But on the flip side, the pollution has been affecting me.

About the only thing that scares me are the taxi's. Its the idea that I am getting into an automobile (some not safe for the road) with a complete stranger who will most likely put your life in danger 5 times before you reach your destination. On top of that, you don't know this person or their intentions. It just seems so crazy to me.

We were hoping to stay for a few years but that doesn't seem like its going to happen because we don't see much opportunity for work. Down here, its not what you know but rather who you know. I'm sorry but I do not see equal opportunity in Peru.

I hope I don't affend anyone, remember that these comments are coming from an individual that has only been here a month...I am sure they are going to change.

Wish me luck on my adaptation,

Esteban
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Postby tupacperu » Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:01 am

Personally, prefer to live near the northern beaches. My wife likes LIma, so we are compromising. Maintain an apartment in Lima and our beach home outside of Chiclayo (Pimentel) for the summer. But eventually when the beach house is done, she will want to stay in Pimentel . I tire of the gloomy days in Lima, We take off sometimes for the north and nothing but warm weather and sun.


curlyguy18 wrote:Thank you for your comments. It still beats me why some people prefer to live in Lima, but as the saying goes, different strokes for different folks. I am not really missing Lima that much, but then again I have only been here for a month. We'll see how I feel towards the end of my 1-year term here in London.
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Postby american_in_lima » Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:01 am

Esteban wrote:I agree that I come to feel safer in my new home. I kind of see it this way. In the states I would go around and lock all the doors before we go to bed so we could sleep safely. Here it is the same way, its just you have one door and its on your property line. The cool thing here, that I have noticed, the outside of the house becomes the inside...leaving doors and windows open with a sense of comfort.

But its that sense of community that is lacking. In the states we would take walks with the kids and run into neighbors and start up a conversation. Everyone interconnected and somewhat looked out for each other. Here you rely on family and friends and trust no one. For example, I walk my kids to school in the mornings. The other day, my wife and a family member said that I should consider changing my route in case I am being observed...what the F*#@. How am I suppose to feel when I hear a comment like that. I see people with their gaurd so high that I question whether they take a moment to appreciate the things around them. I see myself changing, not smiling or interacting with others so not to draw attention to myself...as so many posters say not to do. I see myself becoming one of the many drones that walk the streets. There is a thick skin complex about everone but when you do experience the softer side...it makes the whole experience even sweeter.

Jamie, I know what you mean about the pulse...I see it, its just going to take me a while to build relationships and feel part of it.

Esteban
[/quote]


Esteban: Your comments are very interesting. Coming from a major world city (NYC),my adjustment to Lima was almost a no issue. Having lived now in five countries (I consider living there when you have an electricity bill to pay -lol), I can give you some advice on this.Here are some tips that I have learned along the way.

1. You can't expect to have the same types of contacts, friends and relationships in a couple of months compared to home where you have had 20 or 30 years in the same area to develop those relationships.Just be patient and you will see that things sort od take care of themselves.

2. Be yourself - Life is too short to be who you are not. I disgree with any advice that tells you not to be friendly or smile. It's one thing to advertise how much you make, where you live, etc. In South America,that is a precaution. Just don't tell your taxi driver your life story.At the same time,smile lots. You will make friends quicker.

3.The dirty streets, run down buildings is just the exterior. Lima is better judged on it's interior. Just accept it as organized chaos. That way of life works here for 30 million people.

4. My car got robbed pretty bad here. At first I blamed Peru, but I realized this happens everywhere in the world, not just Lima. Crime is not a Lima problem. It's a world problem. One thing you don't see: School shootings at the grammar, high school and university level don't happen here like in the states.Just be street wise which is recommendable in any major city with 10 million people.

5. Give this country 6 months to a year. You will see that Lima will grow on you.

Closing, welcome to Peru. Enjoy the ride as life is too short. I hope that you find your experience in Lima as richening and wonderful as many of us in this forum have had the chance to experience!



George
Regards,

George
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Re: Why Peru? From a Peruvian perspective.

Postby tomsax » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:38 pm

curlyguy18 wrote:So I have been in London for a month and I can see why so many Peruvians want to leave Peru and come to a developed nation like the UK or the US or Japan. There are more opportunities for employment, even if it means working at Mc Donald's, compared to the UK and Japan, Peru seems like a very 3rd world, not modern and nearly uncivilized country, there is better public transportation here, and the list goes on.

Sure, life is different here and coming here doesn't mean life is gonna be easier, but perhaps a bit more comfortable. So I can now see and understand why many Latinos want to immigrate.

Now, I have also met plenty of people from North America and Europe who would prefer to live in Peru! I think it strikes me as crazy why some people would choose a country like Peru over a more modern, more civilized country. So, if you're one of those who likes Peru better, why is that?

Junior.


Thanks for the interesting perspective on my country! I think many North Americans and Europeans go to Peru to widen their perspective on the world. I first went there when I wanted to understand a developing country better and after I'd seen an amazing documentary about railway journeys in the Andes. It may be difficult to imagine how incredible the Peruvian landscape looks and how extraordinary the Peruvian culture is for someone who has lived all their life in the UK. It just blew my mind.

Most aren't planning on staying but some fall in love with a Peruvian and stay for that reason and some find a particular niche that wouldn't exist back home. Some I think enjoy being a foreigner in Peru. Being a foreigner can give you an identity that you felt you lacked back home and I've always felt I was well treated as a foreigner in Peru. Some like the fact that many Peruvian women find gringos attractive and think that they are a good catch financially. Some are trying to escape from something back home, whether they are fully concious of that or not. (That was true for me though I wouldn't have admitted it at the time). Some are just on a quest for adventure and actually want to escape from a society that is just too confortable and boring for that very reason.

I have to admit I am back in the UK because like you I think I can more easily have a confortable life here. This is important to me personnaly but I am also thinking of my wife and son.

And you have used the word "civilised"! Speaking as a self confessed politically correct namby bamby liberal - a long time ago the word was often used to defend colonial policy (they are uncivilised so we have right to colonise them) but later colonial policy became discredited and there is even now still a lot of guilt associated with the word.

But we should probably reclaim it.

Looking the word up in the dictionary a difinition is - civilised - having a high state of culture and development both social and technological. Well in some ways that is definitely true but it depends what you mean by "higher". And you have to ask if the reason that European culture is seen as "higher" in Peru is just because of the European colonial legacy in Peru and social divisions which meant that more afluent and successful tended to mean more European and less indigenous.

I personaly am not sure that our lifestyles in the UK are so much better than in Peru. We use more resources per person, produce more waste, pollute more and are destoying more of the planet as we do so. In this sense the most civilised community I have lived with is a small rural village community in rural Andahuaylas, Aprurimac. But that's only one way of being "higher" socially and probably not what you were thinking of.

I agree the UK is more organised and things in general work better. Hope you continue to enjoy London.
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Postby american_in_lima » Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:24 pm

One comment about the "system" working better in England or other countries other than Peru. My opinion is that the reason the "system" seems to work better in your home country is because you were raised within it. As an American who has lived in Spain, France, England, Mexico and now Peru, the best system was the US. Now that is only true for me, because that is where I was "trained". Familiarity with something also makes it a little easier.

My third year in Peru and to be honest, except for the steps and tramites, the system works just fine for me now that I have come to understand it.

Lastly, I created a topic on this before about the importance of language. Knowing Spanish makes the "system" much easier.Peru won't seem so backwards once you can actually understand and comprehend the language of the land where you live. That's my take on the "system". Familiarity and experience make the difference or atleast influence if the "system" works or not.
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Postby tomsax » Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:40 pm

Just read your post again and realise you might be talking about having met people in the UK who like the idea of living in Peru. Well there is the escape factor and Peru has quite a good image in the UK. As naturegirl says, people tend to think the grass is greener. And many of the things that you really appreciate in the UK we just take for granted and don't realise we'll miss them until we do.
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Postby Kelly » Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:44 pm

Esteban wrote:But its that sense of community that is lacking. In the states we would take walks with the kids and run into neighbors and start up a conversation. Everyone interconnected and somewhat looked out for each other. Here you rely on family and friends and trust no one. For example, I walk my kids to school in the mornings. The other day, my wife and a family member said that I should consider changing my route in case I am being observed...what the heck. How am I suppose to feel when I hear a comment like that.
Esteban


I see more of that now that I'm living in Miraflores. I've spent most of my 5+ years here in Surquillo, and I love it there. People seemed friendlier, I was known in all the bodegas and panaderias, and knew most of my neighbors and the 'guatchimen' who were out on the streets. I've only been in Miraflores about 4 months, and I just feel like I'm on another planet. (actually, I feel like I'm back in the US. :S )
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Postby markr » Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:06 pm

Quote Jnr.
"So I have been in London for a month"
The old saying about rose tinted spectacles springs to mind.
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Postby tupacperu » Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:23 am

Many of the systems and processes in Peru are not efficient because we are not aware of the steps in the process. That is why I find this forum helpful. If you know the process things go alot smoother, usually as a first timer you go through red-tape. The other part is knowing the language that is 80% of moving through the system. I have had 2 CEs working on the third. The first one took a while, the second was a breeze and the third I hope will be a lot easier. Moving through the maze of procedures in Peru can be frustrating. But when you know the ropes it gets a lot easier. Myself, I will search the EP forum or hire someone a lawyer etc... to guide me through the processes.
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Postby mahou123 » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:35 pm

IMO the quality of life is way better in Lima than in London. Although you will make more dollars per hour working at McDonalds in London, if that is what you´re trying to do.
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Postby curlyguy18 » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:47 am

Mahou,

I'm not sure about the quality of life being better in Lima. Would you care to explain why you think so?

Whilst it's true that people make more money in London, they also spend more since it's more expensive to live here than it is to live in Lima. But it still seems to me like the regular employee in London can afford to live a bit more comfortably (in his/her own room or with a roomate) and they can have more stuff. Also, it's easier and cheaper to travel around Europe than it is to travel around South America. Not very many latinos travel around their continent as many Europeans do around Europe.
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Postby mahou123 » Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:10 am

Curly,

Comparing apples to apples, for people in the same social position, I believe they have it more comfortable in Lima. Climate is better here (wait till December in London to see what I mean), better food is more readily available (fish, fruit), and nice areas like parks on Malecon Cisneros or urb. Santa Cruz in San Isidro are not crowded. Also I think service in restaurants, hotels and Wong supermarkets in Lima is as good as it gets.

As for traveling around, flying in South America is more expensive than in Europe, as this is a small market for aviation and distances are generally higher. Still, if you compare the cost of a weekend in Buenos Aires out of Lima to similar trip to Paris out of London, I think for comparable quality of accomodation/food the former will turn around cheaper despite higher airfares.

curlyguy18 wrote:
seems to me like the regular employee in London can afford to live a bit more comfortably (in his/her own room or with a roomate) and they can have more stuff.


Have more stuff, you´re probably right. But regular employee in Lima can actually own a house with no debt.

Having said this, London at the moment is something of a capital of the globalised world. It is arguably the best place for a young person to spend some time, so I hope you´re having a good time there!
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Postby Claudia1973 » Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:57 am

One word - values.

- Family is not a marketing term (divorce is 5% vs. USA's 55%) If you're a guy you do not automatically lose your children, 18 years of income, over half your stuff.

- Fewer political special interest groups that get preferential treatment like jobs and business contracts. Sure the rich still get special treatment but they have money and power - just the same in other countries.

- Peruvian women are not whores. My husband wants to raise a daughter that will not have 2-3 abortions, be divorced once or twice, and living with her lesbian lover by the time she is thirty years old. Fewer fake blonds and b00bs and liposuction.

- God is not a joke in Peru. The USA is mostly pagan country, and it is reflected in their lifestyles. Enuff said here.

- Small government means no $50 parking tickets that turn into $100 in ten days if you do not pay and if you have three you lose your driver's license; no camera's on almost every corner to get a $150 moving violation in the mail when you lent your car to a friend, among other things.

- The food is better for you. My husband dropped two sizes without changing his eating habits. Peru does not inject sugar, fat, and/or caffeine its food. It really is food, not "processed" food.
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Postby mahou123 » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:08 pm

Claudia1973 wrote:- Peruvian women are not whores.


Wow :shock: how about that for a stereotype!

They can also cook tasty Arroz con Pato.
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Postby naturegirl » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:17 pm

Claudia1973 wrote:- Family is not a marketing term (divorce is 5% vs. USA's 55%)

- Fewer political special interest groups that get preferential treatment like jobs and business contracts.

- Peruvian women are not whores. My husband wants to raise a daughter that will not have 2-3 abortions, be divorced once or twice, and living with her lesbian lover by the time she is thirty years old. Fewer fake blonds and b00bs and liposuction.

- God is not a joke in Peru. The USA is mostly pagan country, and it is reflected in their lifestyles. Enuff said here.

- Small government means no $50 parking tickets that turn into $100 in ten days if you do not pay and if you have three you lose your driver's license; no camera's on almost every corner to get a $150 moving violation in the mail when you lent your car to a friend, among other things.

- The food is better for you. My husband dropped two sizes without changing his eating habits. Peru does not inject sugar, fat, and/or caffeine its food. It really is food, not "processed" food.


I don't know about those figures. Ok, starting with divorce, fewer divorces, because it's harder to get divorced, so people simply are married to one person, and live with another and have kids with them, or never get married at all. Just ask some of the people on the board, who have had to wait YEARS for their boyfirned or girlfriend to get a divorce

Politics, I'm not even going to go there except to mention Fujimori who left Peru with millions of dollars in his suitcase and faxed his resignation from Japan. Oh and the current president was the same one that crippled Peru with inflation. He also fled Peru in fear of his life and camped out in Europe for a while. (At least he didn't fax his resignation though ;) )I mean, come on, you can't think that politics are better in Peru!

Abotu the abortions, I've never met so many women who have had them. I've got a friend, who's married to a Peruvian, they had an abortion, then a baby, then an abortion, then a baby. And they were married.

And the plastic surgery. . . I had two girls in my HS here who got a boob job and a nose job over spring break. . and if you go to MF, you'll see plenty of plastic fantastic people

Tickets, you're right, people just bribe the police, and drive like manics.

Religon? SuRE, people cross themselves when they pass a church, they go and cut people off in traffic, swear, or swipe their purse. I think it's more a habit or superstition than an actual belief. And if relgion is so important, why are there tons of babies having babies? or having abortions? or getting pregnant before marriage? I've read the Bible a couple of times and have yet to see where this is acceptable.

Food, I can't really argue with you there, although I do have plenty of friends who have dropped pounds, simply because they keep getting sick.
Last edited by naturegirl on Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby KenBE » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:51 pm

I was going to reply to Claudia but Naturegirl pretty much said everything I was going to say :)

Here is what I like about Peru:

- The food
- The nightlife
- The music
- Lots of fun and interesting places to visit
- Life is a lot cheaper
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Postby tomsax » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:11 pm

naturegirl wrote:
I don't know about those figures. Ok, starting with divorce, fewer divorces, because it's harder to get divorced, so people simply are married to one person, and live with another and have kids with them, or never get married at all. Just ask some of the people on the board, who have had to wait YEARS for their boyfirned or girlfriend to get a divorce

Politics, I'm not even going to go there except to mention Fujimori who left Peru with millions of dollars in his suitcase and faxed his resignation from Japan. I mean, come on, you can't think that politics are better in Peru!

Abotu the abortions, I've never met so many women who have had them. I've got a friend, who's married to a Peruvian, they had an abortion, then a baby, then an abortion, then a baby. And they were married.

And the plastic surgery. . . I had two girls in my HS here who got a boob job and a nose job over spring break. . and if you go to MF, you'll see plenty of plastic fantastic people

Tickets, you're right, people just bribe the police, and drive like manics.

Religon? SuRE, people cross themselves when they pass a church, they go and cut people off in traffic, swear, or swipe their purse. I think it's more a habit or superstition than an actual belief. And if relgion is so important, why are there tons of babies having babies? or having abortions? or getting pregnant before marriage? I've read the Bible a couple of times and have yet to see where this is acceptable.

Food, I can't really argue with you there, although I do have plenty of friends who have dropped pounds, simply because they keep getting sick.


Naturegirl, that was one great reply. Glad to see you are in fine form!
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Postby anuta » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:10 pm

Claudia1973 wrote:One word - values.

- Family is not a marketing term (divorce is 5% vs. USA's 55%) If you're a guy you do not automatically lose your children, 18 years of income, over half your stuff.


Claudia mruffolo, like I told you before, in Peru a man can definetely loose even more than half of his stuff, like just my bf did and only after 2 years of marriage. But you're so stuck in your ideas, it's incredible !

And like Naturegirl said, many Peruvians don't divorce, just have another family on the side, I've seen that many times.

Claudia1973 wrote:- Peruvian women are not whores. My husband wants to raise a daughter that will not have 2-3 abortions, be divorced once or twice, and living with her lesbian lover by the time she is thirty years old.


And who are whores ? What about prostitutes in Peru, they don't exist here? maybe you should stop lying to your husband. As for your future daughter, you will have no power over her sexual preferences, if she's a lesbian, there's nothing you can do. [/quote]

Claudia1973 wrote:- God is not a joke in Peru. The USA is mostly pagan country, and it is reflected in their lifestyles. Enuff said here.


Of course, God is a joke for many people. I remember how my bf's ex was saying lies in court after swearing on the bible.

Claudia1973 wrote:- The food is better for you. My husband dropped two sizes without changing his eating habits. Peru does not inject sugar, fat, and/or caffeine its food. It really is food, not "processed" food.


Plenty of super processed food in Peru. I'm chocked at what I see as lunches in my son's daycare. Chemical juices, chemical cookies with trans fat and those kiddies are 2 years old. They inject sugar everywhere, look at the refrescos you get in your menu place, super diluted juice with tons of sugar. But they like injecting MSG in their food. So many Peruvians are always sick and blame it on the crazy climat.
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Postby mammalu » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:19 pm

Naturegirl.... [[[[[[ applause ]]]]]]]]]
Stand with anybody that stands RIGHT. Stand with him while he is right and PART with him when he goes wrong." ! Abraham Lincoln
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Postby curlyguy18 » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:15 pm

Claudia1973 wrote:
- Peruvian women are not whores. My husband wants to raise a daughter that will not have 2-3 abortions, be divorced once or twice, and living with her lesbian lover by the time she is thirty years old. Fewer fake blonds and b00bs and liposuction.


I have to disagree. Some women in Peru are whores. I know plenty who sleep around and have had abortions. There maybe fewer of them but still there are plenty. I know many Peruvian lesbians as well.

- God is not a joke in Peru. The USA is mostly pagan country, and it is reflected in their lifestyles. Enuff said here.


Some people in Peru think of God as a joke. They may not be vocal about it, though.

- Small government means no $50 parking tickets that turn into $100 in ten days if you do not pay and if you have three you lose your driver's license; no camera's on almost every corner to get a $150 moving violation in the mail when you lent your car to a friend, among other things.


Well, somethin has to be done to improve the traffic in Peru and the way people drive. Maybe the same rules and fines should be applied in Lima.

-
- The food is better for you. My husband dropped two sizes without changing his eating habits. Peru does not inject sugar, fat, and/or caffeine its food. It really is food, not "processed" food.


True. Good food is cheaper in Lima.

I'm not trying to be an antagonist here. I guess it all comes down to being a personal preference on which country to live in.
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Postby Claudia1973 » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:16 pm

My husband and I observe a different Peru and speak generally, as neither country, or any country or person, is free from imperfection.

It was not my intention to insult or be insensitive to American women in Peru who are divorced, had abortions and/or homo sex. I could have calibrated my wording differently.

There are about 180 countries in the world. The USA or Peru is not perfect, but now Peru is home.
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Postby jude » Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:56 pm

It was not my intention to insult or be insensitive to American women in Peru who are divorced, had abortions and/or homo sex. I could have calibrated my wording differently.


That's completely disingenuous.

I don't fall into any of those categories (especially not American - the horror!), and found your initial post obnoxious. I'm clearly not alone in that sentiment, as naturegirl and others have so ably shown.

That aside, I think it's quite sad that you think being an homosexual is something bad or shameful, and put it on the same level as chosen behaviours. It's not, homosexuality is innate in a certain percentage of the population, and is also apparent among the animal kingdom. What's disgraceful is not love between people regardless of their genders, but rather any society that would criminalize, scorn, or discriminate against same sex couples.
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Postby cajun jamie » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:07 pm

naturegirl wrote:
Claudia1973 wrote:- Family is not a marketing term (divorce is 5% vs. USA's 55%)

- Fewer political special interest groups that get preferential treatment like jobs and business contracts.

- Peruvian women are not whores. My husband wants to raise a daughter that will not have 2-3 abortions, be divorced once or twice, and living with her lesbian lover by the time she is thirty years old. Fewer fake blonds and b00bs and liposuction.

- God is not a joke in Peru. The USA is mostly pagan country, and it is reflected in their lifestyles. Enuff said here.

- Small government means no $50 parking tickets that turn into $100 in ten days if you do not pay and if you have three you lose your driver's license; no camera's on almost every corner to get a $150 moving violation in the mail when you lent your car to a friend, among other things.

- The food is better for you. My husband dropped two sizes without changing his eating habits. Peru does not inject sugar, fat, and/or caffeine its food. It really is food, not "processed" food.


I don't know about those figures. Ok, starting with divorce, fewer divorces, because it's harder to get divorced, so people simply are married to one person, and live with another and have kids with them, or never get married at all. Just ask some of the people on the board, who have had to wait YEARS for their boyfirned or girlfriend to get a divorce

Politics, I'm not even going to go there except to mention Fujimori who left Peru with millions of dollars in his suitcase and faxed his resignation from Japan. Oh and the current president was the same one that crippled Peru with inflation. He also fled Peru in fear of his life and camped out in Europe for a while. (At least he didn't fax his resignation though ;) )I mean, come on, you can't think that politics are better in Peru!

Abotu the abortions, I've never met so many women who have had them. I've got a friend, who's married to a Peruvian, they had an abortion, then a baby, then an abortion, then a baby. And they were married.

And the plastic surgery. . . I had two girls in my HS here who got a boob job and a nose job over spring break. . and if you go to MF, you'll see plenty of plastic fantastic people

Tickets, you're right, people just bribe the police, and drive like manics.

Religon? SuRE, people cross themselves when they pass a church, they go and cut people off in traffic, swear, or swipe their purse. I think it's more a habit or superstition than an actual belief. And if relgion is so important, why are there tons of babies having babies? or having abortions? or getting pregnant before marriage? I've read the Bible a couple of times and have yet to see where this is acceptable.

Food, I can't really argue with you there, although I do have plenty of friends who have dropped pounds, simply because they keep getting sick.


NG,
Have you been drinking "Jamie Juice" again??? Nice!

Quite pithy and pretty darn good!

:)

The biggest problem I have in Peru are the Jews and Homosexuals.

(They always want to party! I have to actually work sometimes).
:)
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ibanker
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Postby ibanker » Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:54 am

Every place has its good and bad. Having said that; the USA is the Roman Empire of our lifetime and I am always happy to visit and do business there.
Alan Didak
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Postby Alan Didak » Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:35 pm

Excellent response from NG.

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