Biggest Culture Shocks?

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BellbottomBlues
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Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby BellbottomBlues » Fri May 17, 2013 4:05 pm

Hi there,

I'm an American, lived all my life in the U.S. - rural as well as urban areas. Have travelled extensively around many parts of the world, so I consider myself open minded/enlightened.

My boyfriend/partner is Peruvian. We plan to live in the US, then live part of the year in Peru and return to the US, perhaps permanently relocating to Peru.

I am trying to prepare myself ahead of time for the potential cultural adjustments...My boyfriend tells me some of them, but as a Peruvian, he can't see it the same as an American would - so I am here to ask you all.

Our lifestyle in the US is middle class/suburban with professional jobs. We are both well educated. He is becoming bilingual. My spoken Spanish is very rusty, but my comprehension level is strong when I hear and read the language.

We will likely live in Lima, perhaps elsewhere after a time.

I would appreciate any and all comments as to what I should anticipate as the biggest adjustments. Also, any cultural adjustments as a couple?...we are an obvious mixed race couple. We sometimes get looks here in the US, but not too often.
Thank you....B


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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby FROADS » Fri May 17, 2013 10:18 pm

Not that it was the biggest culture shock i've experienced since I've visited before but the lack of driving culture and the aggressive way people drive is something that I still can't adapt to or comprehend. Even after living here for a full year. I can't understand why drivers are always in a such a rush and proceed to constantly cut you off or prevent you from passing for some stupid reason. I'm guessing it has to do with the Limean 'viveza' of putting your interest before others...

Other than that..there are some liberal aspects or carefree sense in the Limean lifestyle. Carefree because you can enjoy a beer outside of your home without worrying about a cop giving you a ticket for drinking in public. Or not having to worry about stopping your party before 11 or else face the cops and the complain of neighbors like it happens in the U.S. Most neighbors over here enjoy a nice party and don't mind if u have one.. There isn't that sense of rigidness that is prevalent in some aspects of american culture. Although there's an ambivalence to this because most limeans are conservative at heart, this is a country that is still not ready to accept weed legalization let alone gay marriage. The ironic thing about that is that while those things are illegal; prostitution isn't which is for the most part, in my opinion, more conducive to violence towards women and leeway to drugs and other vices.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby richorozco » Sat May 18, 2013 9:51 am

Here are a few:

1. Not able to wear jewelery freely. Forget the gold, diamonds, or expensive watch. You can wear those at home or at a private party.

2. As mentioned before, the driving. If you drive, you will be shocked.

3. Crossing the street. You do not stroll across. You run! To avoid being hit.

4. The Sun. The ozone layer is messed up over here. You will burn.

5. I am told that supposedly finding a job in your profession is not easy, unless you are a translator or linguist.

6. The dust, fumes, etc. A lot of people get allergies when coming from abroad. The allergies magically disappear when they leave Lima.

The pros outweigh the cons but you just have to have more common sense than when you live in the US. Don't trust too many people at first. It is nice to give the benefit of the doubt to people but unfortunately, Peru is a very poor country and there are so many cons, swindles, etc that go on.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby chi chi » Sat May 18, 2013 11:35 am

Where are you moving to in Peru?

There's a big difference between Lima and the provinces.

Life in Lima is stressfull, expensive and traffic is really bad. Crime is also high in Lima but if you just take the normal precautions like you take at home then you will be unlikely a target. Violent crime towards foreigners is very rare. Theft is rife. But if you walk around with a fistfull of dollars in your hand, let your camera dangling at your wrist or let your wallet stick out of your backpocket at a crowded bus then off course then you can equally hang a sign around your neck saying ''Please, rob me''.

Life is the provinces is very laid back. People in the provinces are friendlier too.

Looks? Yes, Peruvians look at gringos and they like gringos. Peruvians are friendlier towards gringos than towards each other.

Don't worry about your rusty spanish. You will learn to speak it very quickly when you are here.

I would say, go with the flow and you will fit in.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby BellbottomBlues » Mon May 20, 2013 11:28 am

Thank you, many of these comments mirror what he has been telling me.

On the flip side, he was issued so many traffic tickets when he first moved here to the U.S. He didn't realize we take our traffic rules so seriously, lol.
Also on this flip side, whenever we go somewhere and I drive, I sense I frustrate him since I don't drive aggressively enough for what he is accustomed to, lol.

We are middle aged, these habits developed over many years.

Interesting the comments about drinking in public, parties....etc.

It occurs to me from looking at this, that the US appears to be a highly litigious society compared to others.

I am pleased to hear that people don't think race will be an issue...

Thanks, BFG
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby BellbottomBlues » Mon May 20, 2013 11:35 am

RE: the comments about weed legalization and prostitution, etc.

I've been a student of Latin American culture for some time, not limited to Peru...I don't think I will ever fully understand what appears from the outside, to be utter hypocrisy, but I suspect the same could be said for certain aspects of my own culture, etc.

BBB
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby vivaperusurf » Mon May 20, 2013 3:44 pm

Well its nice that you will have some language skills, keep practicing if possible. I see communication as the biggest issue, and once you get used to spanish, things should fall into place nicely.

Probably wont be too much culture shock really...just maybe a little more chaotic in the big city than most us cities.

Will you be planning on working?
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby sbaustin » Mon May 20, 2013 4:08 pm

I'm not sure if you are male or female, but what might shock you may be a function of your gender. Through my journey here there was never a huge culture shock, nothing to really sway me on a grand scale, but just 100's of small annoyances and positives along the way. Sometimes the annoyances add up to a lot of homesickness but other than that, I'm sure you'll have a nice new experience.

That being said, I agree with vivaperusurf if you are not communicative in Spanish, that will be the hardest thing to be 100% reliant on your boyfriend for most external things. I only mention that as I know plenty of people from back home that say they know enough Spanish to get by but in reality it only means they can ask for a beer and the bathroom and were/are extremely uncomfortable in a spanish social setting without someone to help them.

Good luck on your travels.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby BellbottomBlues » Mon May 20, 2013 6:58 pm

I am female.

I am feeling encouraged by these comments, thank you for the feedback.

Another thing I forgot to note....I've attended a few parties here locally in the Peruvian community and I picked up on something...maybe unique to Peruvian in the US, but I sense that some of them view gringos as gullible......might be a mistake to underestimate us, LOL>

BBB
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby Hitoruna » Mon May 20, 2013 8:18 pm

Hello Bell

I really hope you have a great time in Peru.
about your comment, well I am sad to say that is not unique to peruvians in the US. In fact that is a sad characteristic of our country called "viveza criolla". It means many peruvians believe it is ok to use gullible people to get what they want.. which is stupid in the end because that creates a lack of trust in the society level.

Not all peruvian are like these of course and many of us are different but there are plenty of that. And yes foreigners are viewed as somewhat gullible (not only foreigners but also people from the country for example)

I now live in a society with 0 of this thing so I feel so relieved but just be aware of that (not to the point of paranoia of course :mrgreen:


BellbottomBlues wrote:I am female.

I am feeling encouraged by these comments, thank you for the feedback.

Another thing I forgot to note....I've attended a few parties here locally in the Peruvian community and I picked up on something...maybe unique to Peruvian in the US, but I sense that some of them view gringos as gullible......might be a mistake to underestimate us, LOL>

BBB
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby lyndelld » Tue May 21, 2013 9:23 am

I might get slammed for some of this...but it is my opinion. You know - Opinions are like a-holes,
everyone's got one and everyone's stinks.

I'm in Lima. For me the cultural differences would be:

The food is horrible. The Aji pepper when it is cooked smells like body odor. Quinoa also smells very bad when cooked. In some ways I'm picky, but I do like to know what is in my food. The water is not good, don't even think about drinking it before boiling it. It took several purchases before I found a drinking water I liked (San Mateo made by Coca Cola). One thing on the good side about food - I think that the beef here is very good. Just you're regular ground beef that you pick up at the Metro is better than what you get in the U.S. grocery store.

Trash everywhere. The outdoors is one big dumping ground

Noise. If someone is partying late at night, tough shxt. You have to deal with it on your own. I've purchased ear plugs. There is no such thing as a Justice of the peace. If you are walking on the street. You will get honked at - and most of the time for no reason.

The hurried pace. I've been shoved and stepped on by people in a hurry to get to the bus. I'm from Oklahoma and we are laid back. It's totally opposite.

Things already touched on. Traffic, pollution, ozone. My skin is sensitive, and most of the time I have a pollution burn.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby falconagain » Tue May 21, 2013 9:46 am

lyndelld wrote:I might get slammed for some of this...but it is my opinion. You know - Opinions are like a-holes,
everyone's got one and everyone's stinks.

I'm in Lima. For me the cultural differences would be:

The food is horrible. The Aji pepper when it is cooked smells like body odor. Quinoa also smells very bad when cooked. In some ways I'm picky, but I do like to know what is in my food. The water is not good, don't even think about drinking it before boiling it. It took several purchases before I found a drinking water I liked (San Mateo made by Coca Cola). One thing on the good side about food - I think that the beef here is very good. Just you're regular ground beef that you pick up at the Metro is better than what you get in the U.S. grocery store.

Trash everywhere. The outdoors is one big dumping ground

Noise. If someone is partying late at night, tough shxt. You have to deal with it on your own. I've purchased ear plugs. There is no such thing as a Justice of the peace. If you are walking on the street. You will get honked at - and most of the time for no reason.

The hurried pace. I've been shoved and stepped on by people in a hurry to get to the bus. I'm from Oklahoma and we are laid back. It's totally opposite.

Things already touched on. Traffic, pollution, ozone. My skin is sensitive, and most of the time I have a pollution burn.


And if after 20 years you still feel that way, you get two options, you either leave or die.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby Hitoruna » Wed May 22, 2013 12:02 am

sometimes the taste buds get ruined with so many Big Macs :roll: :lol:
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby gringo from uk » Wed May 22, 2013 8:45 am

Hi to all. The biggest culture shock for me was the noise, caused by honking cars and traffic jams.Polluted air.It is stressful to drive,because drivers are not very patient. I have to admit the drivers in Africa-Malawi are more friendly and educated. Peru is great place to live, just Lima is a huge mess and I do believe it is difficult to keep the migration under control.Migration to Lima is around 100 000 people a year last view years. People need`s a jobs to support they families and sometimes the training period for service provides is just 1-2 days
When I moved to Peru many things made my frustrated. After traveling in Peru, I may say ,the country Is not a bad place to live,just Lima is a mess and people generally in Lima are not very friendly.
In the other hand ,every capital city in the world is a bit mess and crazy
PS. I heard many stories about Peru, still the comment about bad food is something new:):)
Last edited by gringo from uk on Wed May 22, 2013 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby ariel » Wed May 22, 2013 9:07 am

To the OP: I knew this post was going to be a breeding ground for criticism against parts of the Peruvian culture, especially for the self-righteous. But don't mind those who sound like an overstrung banjo with their first world complaints; they need to loosen up a bit to enjoy life. Or leave.

But if you're like most of the expats here, you will learn to live with the "shock", just like how you've learned to live with the ever so perfect American culture (not!). And if it sometimes proves to be too much, just hold a pillow up against your face and scream your guts out. I've proven that to be a very effective "de-stresser".

Heads up: - They like to blow their horns, literally. So an earplug comes in handy at night.
- There's no HVAC in most buildings. And humidity can be too much for some.
- Clothing is expensive, so the first thing you need to learn is how to be a savvy shopper.
- You won't find half of the brands you've been accustomed to in the groceries and malls, so be prepared to settle for what's available. Or do some serious online shopping if you're prepared to pay premium $$ for the convenience.
- And most of all, don't think that people are supposed to defer to you for the color of your skin or your mother tongue. Case in point - Somewhere in Kenya.."Hey, do you speak English?", goes an American.."You bet your a$$ I do. Do you speak Swahili?", replies the Kenyan. It's pretty much the same here.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby ironchefchris » Wed May 22, 2013 11:44 am

I'm pretty laid back. One of the reasons I decided to become an ex-pat and live in Latin America was for the slower pace, 'horas cabańa,' whatever you want to call it. I like how mañana doesn't necessarily mean tomorrow, just not today. I like that "'ish" is automatically implied when making and keeping appointments, as in "I'll see you at 'two('ish')." What I don't understand is why this laid back attitude doesn't apply to driving. I learned to drive in New York City and have lived in other 'crazy traffic' cities, but traffic in those places is like taking a leisurely Sunday drive in the country compared to driving in Lima, and even in slower paced Arequipa where I currently live. My favorite was seeing a car in the far right lane lane cut across three lanes of traffic to make a left turn without using any type of signal that he was doing so, cutting of a police car with its lights flashing in the process. In the states that'll get you a reckless driving citation at a minimum. In Lima, the cop slowed down, yielded to the driver who cut him off, and continue on his way.

Why the discrepancy? Why is it so imperative that people (not just taxistas, though they tend to be the most aggressive for what I'm guessing are "time is money" reasons) drive as fast and aggressive as possible while living the live tranquilo in all other aspects of daily life?

BTW. This is only an observation of cultural differences and not a complaint. I don't personally (you couldn't pay me to) drive in Lima and when my taxi ride is a bit on the fast side I tend to take it lightly, try to enjoy the experience, and hold on a bit tighter than usual.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby ariel » Wed May 22, 2013 11:47 am

....And don't go to the "peñas" if you don't like getting picked out of the crowd just because you're a foreigner, and forced to dance in front of everybody for their viewing pleasure. But hey, sometimes there's a couple of beers as a compensation for the humiliation. So yeah..
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby richiecry » Wed May 22, 2013 12:56 pm

The food comment for me is strange. I am not living there yet (in September!!!!!!) but in the more than 20 times I have been there in the last 10 years, overall...the food was AMAZING. I think though, that if one doesn't like certain basics in their food (like Aji or onions or potatoes...), they will have problems with the food overall. I have to say I even love the fast food....my friends joke I only travel to Lima because of Bembos and chicharron. I will add to this after I have been living in Lima for a while :)
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby chi chi » Wed May 22, 2013 1:43 pm

lyndelld wrote:I might get slammed for some of this...but it is my opinion. You know - Opinions are like a-holes,
everyone's got one and everyone's stinks.

I'm in Lima. For me the cultural differences would be:

The food is horrible. The Aji pepper when it is cooked smells like body odor. Quinoa also smells very bad when cooked. In some ways I'm picky, but I do like to know what is in my food. The water is not good, don't even think about drinking it before boiling it. It took several purchases before I found a drinking water I liked (San Mateo made by Coca Cola). One thing on the good side about food - I think that the beef here is very good. Just you're regular ground beef that you pick up at the Metro is better than what you get in the U.S. grocery store.

Trash everywhere. The outdoors is one big dumping ground

Noise. If someone is partying late at night, tough shxt. You have to deal with it on your own. I've purchased ear plugs. There is no such thing as a Justice of the peace. If you are walking on the street. You will get honked at - and most of the time for no reason.

The hurried pace. I've been shoved and stepped on by people in a hurry to get to the bus. I'm from Oklahoma and we are laid back. It's totally opposite.

Things already touched on. Traffic, pollution, ozone. My skin is sensitive, and most of the time I have a pollution burn.


Even when facing those challenges, there must be things in Peru that you like. Otherwise, you wouldn't be living here.
I don't understand why you live in Lima. I have been to Oklahoma many times. Much nicer. If I can get a workvisa for the US then Oklahoma is one of my prefered cities to move to. Cost of living is cheaper than Lima too. And it's safer and cleaner as well. I love BrickTown. Oklahoma has good country music channels too and some good honky tonks.

Didn't you consider yet to move to the provinces. I live in Tarapoto. A very clean and safe city. People are very laid back too. People don't step on each other. Neither do they bump into each other on the street.
Very little trash on the street. And if there's trash, it get cleaned up quickly.
People like parties here as well. But they respect their neighboors and generally only have parties at the weekend and with a time limit.
My home is only 350 meters from a few nightclubs but even on a Saturday night, I don't hear anything.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby Seaimpin_Na_nDaoine » Wed May 22, 2013 9:15 pm

the guy that said the food is terrible needs to get his head examined or his tastes buds looked at lol :P

I agree with almost everyone that the pollution is a major problem but its hardly a cultural thing, its more a failing of the government to put in place proper legislation to tackle the problem, like a yearly test of emissions from privately owned and commercial vehicles. literally you will blow your nose in the evening and see black in the tissue and you will nearly choke when walking around the streets its truly horrendous.

people keep talking about the party's and I don't think that is cultural either I think the problem is the houses here do not have insulation or double glazed windows unlike Europe and the states so here you can here so much more inside your home from the outside than you would in the states etc...

but the honking is crazy and is almost certainly cultural, I mean it could be 2 o'clock in the morning and a car will pull up outside a house and honk like mad until the person comes out, like seriously just call them on your phone!

cutting the line in the bodega is another but its not exclusive to Peru they do that in all Spanish speaking countries including Spain you just need to shout out your order to the clerk in order to be served

thats all i got

peace
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby chi chi » Wed May 22, 2013 10:55 pm

Seaimpin_Na_nDaoine wrote:but the honking is crazy and is almost certainly cultural, I mean it could be 2 o'clock in the morning and a car will pull up outside a house and honk like mad until the person comes out, like seriously just call them on your phone!


Honking is done in many big cities. I think it's a way to relieve the stress.
I stayed in New York for a few months in flat at the 37th floor. It was hard to sleep.

I Colombia it's even worser. I remember sitting in a taxi standing in front of a railroad crossing whilst a mile long train was passing by. The taxi driver didn't stop blowing his horn till the train was gone and the barriers opened.

Remove all the nice chicas from Peru and there will be less horn blowing.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby BellbottomBlues » Fri May 24, 2013 1:52 pm

Thanks again for the comments...

Someone here mentioned "perfect" America. Far from it.

I have a background in Anthropology, so I'd likely be the last to claim that one culture is "better" than than another...our cultures are just different. It's the differences that often require adjustment.

As I mentioned, my boyfriend/fiancée is still adjusting to the more rigid traffic rules here...and I am adjusting to papas huancaina nearly every week LOL.

Interestingly enough, Latinos here in America seem to question our relationship more than your average American "gringo"...I think that's what prompted my initial post.

Thank you
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby sbaustin » Fri May 24, 2013 2:28 pm

What do you mean by question your relationship?
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby BellbottomBlues » Fri May 24, 2013 9:25 pm

My boyfriend is a permanent resident of the United States. We live near an area that has a large Peruvian (would they be considered expats?) community and some of the Peruvians are undocumented. We've been to social functions where some of them assume my boyfriend is with me for residency status. He doesn't need me for that and never did.

BBB
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby ariel » Fri May 24, 2013 9:34 pm

BellbottomBlues wrote:Someone here mentioned "perfect" America. Far from it.


That someone would be me, but if you read it again you'll quickly realize it was a tongue-in-cheek kind of deal.

Anyway, there's nothing to worry about. We all have cultural blind spots but you'll be just fine. Most of us are. So far.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby falconagain » Sat May 25, 2013 8:41 am

BellbottomBlues wrote:My boyfriend is a permanent resident of the United States. We live near an area that has a large Peruvian (would they be considered expats?) community and some of the Peruvians are undocumented. We've been to social functions where some of them assume my boyfriend is with me for residency status. He doesn't need me for that and never did.

BBB



There is plenty of stereotypes that are taken as truth by many people. For Peruvians specifically
in regards to the US, they say things like:

- Money is easily made in the US, you do not need a brain.
- Gringos are slow and easy to fool.
- If you marry an American in the US. It is because you needed a green card (actually, that one
is believed by most of Latin America, I have heard Colombians, Chileans, Brazilians, etc).
- Nothing will happen to you if you do not pay taxes, anyway they will add it to the debt of
your country.
- Many Peruvians assume that all Americans have a disposable income of 50% or more of their
salary. (Meaning that if they believe that you earn 40,000; then you will have at least 20,000
to blow in your vacations abroad, I have never understood how or why they have arrived to
this conclusion).
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby jude » Sat May 25, 2013 4:57 pm

Are you planning to work in Peru? If you're looking for a job, know that age discrimination is a huge problem there. Peruvian society is also considerably more sexist and chauvinistic than the US.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby jude » Sat May 25, 2013 5:01 pm

As for the food, I wouldn't go as far as the dude who hates it, but I do think you can tire of it. Basically, it's hard to find food that isn't Peruvian, or at least very Peruvian influenced. There are a couple of Mexican and Indian restaurants in Lima, but that's about it. There's a so-called Thai place, but the food they cook is nothing like what you'd find in Thailand, or even a semi-decent Thai restaurant in the states. So if you're used to eating lots of different ethnic cuisines then you'll need to bring a good cookbook or two.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby chi chi » Sat May 25, 2013 6:50 pm

jude wrote:it's hard to find food that isn't Peruvian, or at least very Peruvian influenced. There are a couple of Mexican and Indian restaurants in Lima, but that's about it.


??? In Lima, you stumble over the American joints.

KFC, Popeye's, TGIFridays, Chillis, Tony Romas, Miami Chicken, Hooters, Subway, Starbucks and of course the MAC which you pass every few blocks.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby Hitoruna » Sun May 26, 2013 7:54 pm

If you are gonna live in Peru I would recommend stop saying "America" and "americans". Practice "Estados Unidos" and "estadounidense"

for many of us "America" is the whole continent, including us. For example San Marcos University is promoted as the oldest university of America.

Just saying :wink:


BellbottomBlues wrote:Thanks again for the comments...

Someone here mentioned "perfect" America. Far from it.

I have a background in Anthropology, so I'd likely be the last to claim that one culture is "better" than than another...our cultures are just different. It's the differences that often require adjustment.

As I mentioned, my boyfriend/fiancée is still adjusting to the more rigid traffic rules here...and I am adjusting to papas huancaina nearly every week LOL.

Interestingly enough, Latinos here in America seem to question our relationship more than your average American "gringo"...I think that's what prompted my initial post.

Thank you
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby caliguy » Sun May 26, 2013 8:38 pm

Hitoruna wrote:If you are gonna live in Peru I would recommend stop saying "America" and "americans". Practice "Estados Unidos" and "estadounidense"


this is an expat forum, the words America and Americans are obviously used referring to those from the U.S.
As far as a Peruvian asking me where I am from, I say, "Estados Unidos". They always believe I am from Germany. I have never used the word America or American while talking about the U.S. to a Peruvian :D
every place has it's own spirit. you just need to tune into it.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby chi chi » Sun May 26, 2013 10:55 pm

Hitoruna wrote:If you are gonna live in Peru I would recommend stop saying "America" and "americans". Practice "Estados Unidos" and "estadounidense"
for many of us "America" is the whole continent, including us.
Just saying :wink:
[/quote]

Or simply. USA'ers are GRINGOS. GRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGO. When I lived in LA and Miami, my friends and I love to call the USA'ers....GRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGO.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby Hitoruna » Mon May 27, 2013 7:09 pm

if mondongo feels like rubber it is because you cook it bad or have met a bad cook.
Mondongo is very difficult to cook but when cooked well it is soft

on the other hand my neighbor once cooked it, and i was chewing it until i went to bed :roll:

btw, I look extremely well in dark clothing :mrgreen:
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby gerard » Mon May 27, 2013 8:45 pm

books in Spanish


!? What were you expecting them to be in?
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby SmartKitty » Mon May 27, 2013 11:12 pm

sbaustin wrote:Smartkitty,

Your post comes across pretty racist. "many short dark skinned people in dark clothing, black, brown colors don't suit them very well."? You may have not meant it that way, but to state that as some kind of cultural shock is extremely bizarre and in poor taste.

You see it racist? Maybe because you are one? I'm talking about shocking combination of colors and size: dark skin +dark clothes + short people, at the beginning is very strange just because anybody expects more variety (tall, short, medium) and definitely much more color, South America, tropical country, palm trees, bright colors... if you understand what I mean.

BTW, please, don't qualify my posting with your words, if you have a twisted mind, keep it to yourself, please. In my posting not a word related to the race.
My name is Fortunata Carhuapoma, pies de plomo. I'm a modest serrano girl in polleras and alpargatas.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby SmartKitty » Mon May 27, 2013 11:16 pm

Hitoruna wrote:if mondongo feels like rubber it is because you cook it bad or have met a bad cook.
Mondongo is very difficult to cook but when cooked well it is soft

on the other hand my neighbor once cooked it, and i was chewing it until i went to bed :roll:

Sorry, even if it's well cooked, it' tastes as a well cooked, soft rubber and it looks like one, nothing to eat there.
Hitoruna wrote: btw, I look extremely well in dark clothing :mrgreen:

It's your personal opinion. I have the right to have my own.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby SmartKitty » Mon May 27, 2013 11:38 pm

gerard wrote:
books in Spanish

!? What were you expecting them to be in?

I already explained in my post, no science, no good reading, even no classics, good printed information it's hard to find and it's expensive even for middle class. Good libraries for people? Tell me where? It's not good for kids' development, they learn to read in their own language, SPANISH.

Why are you so surprised me talking about SPANISH books in a Spanish speaking country? It's normal for us, foreigners, coming to a new country and noticing what local people is reading in their own language, what information is providing this country to the brains of their people.

I came to Peru when there it was no internet yet, I love Spanish language but I noticed the 1st day, no many books in Spanish in Peru. And I'm not talking even about professional work, research, at least arts, science good reading books for children. In professional work if we don't know other languages and we don't go to other countries, no information at all. Not good for Peru, not good for Peruvian people and ... shocking for newcomers.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby sbaustin » Mon May 27, 2013 11:48 pm

SmartKitty wrote:
BTW, please, don't qualify my posting with your words, if you have a twisted mind, keep it to yourself, please. In my posting not a word related to the race.


Keep what to my self? My opinion? That's quite a statement from you. My short Peruvian wife was wearing black today and I know for sure she would not appreciate your specific choice of wording. You are right you didn't mention race specifically, you only commented on what the "short dark skinned people" wear.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby SmartKitty » Tue May 28, 2013 12:00 am

sbaustin wrote:
SmartKitty wrote:
BTW, please, don't qualify my posting with your words, if you have a twisted mind, keep it to yourself, please. In my posting not a word related to the race.


Keep what to my self? My opinion? That's quite a statement from you. My short Peruvian wife was wearing black today and I know for sure she would not appreciate your specific choice of wording. You are right you didn't mention race specifically, you only commented on what the "short dark skinned people" wear.

:D You and your wife don't recognize the simple fact that the first impression arriving to Lima it's a short, dark skinned population in dark clothes? Are you blind or are you just looking for a virtual fight?

Keep to yourself ... your twisted interpretation of my writing, it's very impolite. You don't know me as I don't know you and a little advice, virtual impressions and virtual emotional interpretation usually is very wrong.
Buenas noches y saludos a su esposa. :)
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby sbaustin » Tue May 28, 2013 12:06 am

SmartKitty wrote:
sbaustin wrote:
SmartKitty wrote:
BTW, please, don't qualify my posting with your words, if you have a twisted mind, keep it to yourself, please. In my posting not a word related to the race.


Keep what to my self? My opinion? That's quite a statement from you. My short Peruvian wife was wearing black today and I know for sure she would not appreciate your specific choice of wording. You are right you didn't mention race specifically, you only commented on what the "short dark skinned people" wear.

:D You and your wife don't recognize the simple fact that the first impression arriving to Lima it's a short, dark skinned population in dark clothes? Are you blind or are you just looking for a virtual fight?

Keep to yourself ... your twisted interpretation of my writing, it's very impolite. You don't know me as I don't know you and a little advice, virtual impressions and virtual emotional interpretation usually is very wrong.
Buenas noches y saludos a su esposa. :)


I'm neither looking for a fight nor am I overly emotional about it. I would only suggest you stop telling people to refrain from posting opinions considering this is a public forum. You can have yours and everyone else theirs. Have a good night.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby Hitoruna » Tue May 28, 2013 12:46 am

SmartKitty wrote:
Hitoruna wrote:if mondongo feels like rubber it is because you cook it bad or have met a bad cook.
Mondongo is very difficult to cook but when cooked well it is soft

on the other hand my neighbor once cooked it, and i was chewing it until i went to bed :roll:

Sorry, even if it's well cooked, it' tastes as a well cooked, soft rubber and it looks like one, nothing to eat there.


as I said, you havent met a good cook. :wink:


Hitoruna wrote: btw, I look extremely well in dark clothing :mrgreen:

It's your personal opinion. I have the right to have my own.


Oh yeah? well keep it to yourself :wink:

:lol: :mrgreen:
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby SmartKitty » Tue May 28, 2013 7:38 am

Hitoruna wrote:
SmartKitty wrote:
Hitoruna wrote:if mondongo feels like rubber it is because you cook it bad or have met a bad cook.
Mondongo is very difficult to cook but when cooked well it is soft

on the other hand my neighbor once cooked it, and i was chewing it until i went to bed :roll:

Sorry, even if it's well cooked, it' tastes as a well cooked, soft rubber and it looks like one, nothing to eat there.

as I said, you havent met a good cook. :wink:
SmartKitty wrote: :D You don't understand me, you probably never ate a good steak.

Hitoruna wrote: btw, I look extremely well in dark clothing :mrgreen:

SmartKitty wrote:It's your personal opinion. I have the right to have my own.

Hitoruna wrote:Oh yeah? well keep it to yourself :wink:
:lol: :mrgreen:

Here is a couple of weird people. You don't know the difference about a FREE opinion on any subject like some mondongo or visual general (colors, clothing) impression on the environment which everybody allowed to express in a public forum and ... about personally attacking wrongly accusing a person being a racist or whatever just because you didn't like somebody's opinion.

BTW, you don't need to keep your opinion about a mondongo, you are FREE to have yours and to eat it as I am FREE to choose steak :lol:
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby sbaustin » Tue May 28, 2013 8:23 am

Nobody called you a racist. My exact words were "Your post comes across pretty racist." which was referring to the wording you used in your post. You then wrote that I shouldn't be allowed to express my opinion, that I'm perhaps twisted and a racist for pointing it out.

I really don't advocate that anyone should be censored even though your wording was rather in poor taste.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby BellbottomBlues » Tue May 28, 2013 9:30 am

It's a shame to me that in current society (everywhere) we can't extend the benefit of the doubt...

Surely, there are some terms for gender, race, ethnicity that most recognize as offensive.

Others are more subtle....and not always clearly interpreted by all in a particular conversation.

Does discussion have to be game where there's a penalty called for every possible slight? Doesn't it detract from the main points of the conversation?

Maybe I am mellowing as I get older....live and let live unless someone hits you over the head with it.

If someone here has an impression of a particular group of people - that is their impression. period.

I recently went to France. I am a North American/UnitedStatesian/Gringa whatever. It surprised me that in spite of racial similarities, I could easily pick the "North Americans" out from the French based on clothing styles.
Is it wrong to state that? I don't know, lol.

I appreciate all feedback here. It is equally valid in my eyes. I can take what I need and leave the rest for the nitpickers.

Thank you. BBB
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby BellbottomBlues » Tue May 28, 2013 10:13 am

If I did plan to do any work in Peru, it would hopefully be self-employment. My fiancee and I are both over 50, so both are subject to discrimination anywhere...I guess people discriminate based on their own personal bias, be it gender, age, skin color, etc.

but thanks for the heads up.

BBB
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby falconagain » Tue May 28, 2013 10:42 am

A description of common Peruvian fashion racist. ?????? :)
In every country People tend to dress in certain ways. In Peru unfortunately for the last 30
years at least. Blue jeans, tennis shoes and a dark colored shirt together with a dark colored
jacket has been the rule for a great sector of the population. While some people cannot afford
to buy additional clothes due to poverty, others are not justified but go with the flow.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby Alan » Tue May 28, 2013 11:47 am

Hi,

There was a post in this thread that I decided to delete because it made a couple negative generalizations about Peruvians that came across really poorly - possibly more so than the poster might have imagined. Now, given that that post is missing, some of the responses are a little out of place.

Hopefully we can get back on track. It´s a really great topic which will be of much use to others moving here.


Thanks.
Alan
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby Hitoruna » Tue May 28, 2013 8:21 pm

falconagain wrote:A description of common Peruvian fashion racist. ?????? :)
In every country People tend to dress in certain ways. In Peru unfortunately for the last 30
years at least. Blue jeans, tennis shoes and a dark colored shirt together with a dark colored
jacket has been the rule for a great sector of the population. While some people cannot afford
to buy additional clothes due to poverty, others are not justified but go with the flow.



It was not the description what was racist. :roll: It was her choice of words.

In fact, I agree with you. The fashion sense in Peru is terrible, and like you said (although I would point tshirts instead of dark shirts). However this is not so only for "dark short people" but for everyone. And this is not only for peruvians. Have you seen americans travelling around? with their flip flops, and tshirts... terrible. But this is so for whites, blacks and everyone else. race have nothing to do with that.
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby SmartKitty » Tue May 28, 2013 8:34 pm

Alan wrote:Hi,

There was a post in this thread that I decided to delete because it made a couple negative generalizations about Peruvians that came across really poorly - possibly more so than the poster might have imagined. Now, given that that post is missing, some of the responses are a little out of place.

Hopefully we can get back on track. It´s a really great topic which will be of much use to others moving here.


Thanks.
Alan
(mod)

It's OK. I guess I can still write about mondongo, cuy, crime, cheaters and not their colors? :D
Gosh, it won't be easy, I'm an artist and the first thing I notice is colors. :(
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Re: Biggest Culture Shocks?

Postby SmartKitty » Wed May 29, 2013 7:41 am

BellbottomBlues wrote:If I did plan to do any work in Peru, it would hopefully be self-employment. My fiancee and I are both over 50, so both are subject to discrimination anywhere...I guess people discriminate based on their own personal bias, be it gender, age, skin color, etc.

but thanks for the heads up.

BBB

BBB, the most important is your peace of mind and how do you feel yourself in your home and your family. If it's a mixed marriage you will learn that in Peru exist the most weird discrimination. Peruvians discriminate themselves by different level of mixing (skin color), you will hear something like "oh, she married a Polish descendant, it's a good race" like talking about dogs. God save you if you get in the place where you live surrounded by mestizo people only, you will feel on your own skin what is it being discriminated just because you are white. Try to live in the middle class or upper class neighborhood and interact with all kind (color) of people and you will find good friends. Just don't go to live in the places where you are the only one gringa, and I hope your Peruvian husband doesn't change coming back to his country. Unfortunately it happens very often.
My name is Fortunata Carhuapoma, pies de plomo. I'm a modest serrano girl in polleras and alpargatas.

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