Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

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Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby lumansu » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:12 pm

Since I have arrived in Peru about 7 months ago I realized that during the first 3 or 4 months I was actually doing really well adapting to Peruvian Culture, so I was "that kind" of gringo at first.

Then the past few months I've turned into the other American gringo because I constantly complain to my girlfriend about the inefficient and sometimes idiotic Peruvian culture norms...."Like how Peruvians don't have the concept of waiting in line". In a way I keep finding myself comparing Peru to the USA and end up having nasty arguments with my girlfriend.

I'm having trouble controlling this problem. Anyone got any advice?? Because I do love my girlfriend and I wan't to keep living here.


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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby simperu2012 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:25 pm

I understand your frustration. Efficiency and "order" are perceived differently down here. Little things used to tick me off as well. Especially waiting in lines and the passive attitude of people here. But one thing my girlfriend told me is to accept the fact that I was a long way from home. 2:30pm meant 3:30pm or 4, I should expect to be cut in line, and my ambitious nature may be perceived as rude here. One thing that works for my girlfriend and I is conserving what cultural identity I do have left in our home. I like a cold beer, NFL football, and a relaxed and fun environment. We try our best to make our home and relationship comfortable for both of us, culturally speaking. So far, so good. I'd advise you to try and understand her culture, but do not, and I repeat, DO NOT renounce yours or begin to think that the problem is you. Remember that you can't change the world. You can only adapt and enjoy your life. Especially the time you share with your lady. Hope this helps.

Peace and Love.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby chi chi » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:57 pm

lumansu wrote:Since I have arrived in Peru about 7 months ago I realized that during the first 3 or 4 months I was actually doing really well adapting to Peruvian Culture, so I was "that kind" of gringo at first.

Then the past few months I've turned into the other American gringo because I constantly complain to my girlfriend about the inefficient and sometimes idiotic Peruvian culture norms...."Like how Peruvians don't have the concept of waiting in line". In a way I keep finding myself comparing Peru to the USA and end up having nasty arguments with my girlfriend.

I'm having trouble controlling this problem. Anyone got any advice?? Because I do love my girlfriend and I wan't to keep living here.


Just do what the Peruvians do and you will soon find what they do is much better. Waiting in line is stupid. I jump the line all the time myself. Only look at the positive things and forget the negative ones.
Peru is the best country to live in the world.
Peru goes up all the time and the US and Europe are doing down the drain.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby Hitoruna » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:56 am

People talk all the time about "cutting the line"
have things changed so much since I left?

I remember that when someone cut the line, we use to shout "oe oe la cola!" and if he didnt quit "conchudo!"

btw, getting angry about the idiocy of a new country is usual. The next phase is acceptance.
You love your gf, she is part of that "idiotic country" so for her sake learn to let it go (but shout "la cola la cola sometime)

btw, my father hates people not being on time and he is 100% peruvian
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby tomsax » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:26 am

Hitoruna wrote:I remember that when someone cut the line, we use to shout "oe oe la cola!" and if he didnt quit "conchudo!"



Complaining about Peruvian culture is very much part of Peruvian culture. You will fit right in. Chi chi is very much the gringo still trying too hard to be Peruvian, whereas you lumansu have already absorbred the culture without knowing it. Does that fill you with shock and horror? yes? even more Peruvian.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby windsportinperu » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:22 am

The tittle of the thread is the answer to the OP

If you hate something is because you are not "adjusted" to it.. and probably will never do it..

You hate it because you reject it.. If you try to adjust to something you can't accept, then you hate it even more. If you force to yourself to adjust and can't do it, then you just hate it even more..

You can only live in Peru as a tourist (weeks or months), but living in the country as a regular citizen is going to be a pain ..
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby sbaustin » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:32 am

All you need to do is stop complaining about it to your girlfriend and save it for when you are with your non Peruvian friends. At some point you will get over the hump and be able to kind of go with the flow. Many of us have peruvian significant others and I know I've gotten in trouble a few times of ill timed complaints about my new country even if my wife agreed with me.

Lastly, you might discuss with your girlfriend a few of the things you love about the country and culture at random times just to balance it out. If there is nothing you like or love, then you might need to rethink about your stay here.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby argidd » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:38 am

Some aspects of our culture are nerve wrecking, and not only to foreigners. People like Hitoruna, his dad, me, etc. really dislike people cutting the line, or not being on time. Generalising and then throwing it to your GF's face is definitely not going to do you (both) any good.

Try to embrace the things you like, and just laugh off the things you can't stand. If people are cutting off in front of you... it's annoying but... is it really worth getting upset at? Is the line a life or death situation? Probably not.

BTW, where do you hang out that people cut in line in front of you?
That has happened to me maybe once. And the person got a tap on the shoulder and an "excuse me, I was before you".

If in a few months you continue hating it, and it is unbearable, but you do love your GF, propose moving to the US.
Regards,

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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby lumansu » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:22 am

Thanks all for the really good advice. Its good to know that I haven't been the only one with this problem, especially because at times I felt that I was letting it ruin a perfectly good relationship. But I will try to use this advice and continue to accept the fact that I am living now (not just visiting) a culture and society that is far and away different from what I am used to in California.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby windsportinperu » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:40 am

From my experience it is not frequent that a peruvian cut the line. The only people that frequently do it are elder people and pregnant women, but for obvious reason.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby Sergio Bernales » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:23 pm

From what you've said, it sounds like you're just going through the normal process of adapting to a new lifestyle. Like grieving, I think that in order to live happily in a new country, you have to go through certain adjustment processes. Firstly you see your new country through rose-tinted spectacles and it's the greatest place on earth, then you go to the opposite spectrum and can only see its flaws and finally after swaying between the two extremes, you either learn to adapt, or go home.

You do have to learn to be more relaxed about these things in Peru, but there are little things you can do to improve your life. For example, for me, finding the right apartment was important, as I want neither a party animal above me, nor a constantly barking dog below. Out of five places I've lived, I've only liked two of them. Sometimes little things can make a big difference. There is traffic noise outside my apartment, which wouldn't normally be a problem, but because double glazing is rare in Peru, it's worse than it should be. A simple solution, I downloaded a white noise app to my phone that drowns out the horns of passing traffic.

I still get angry about excessive noise, the traffic and the way people drive, but they don't bother me as much as before. In fact, I've finally started driving in Peru and now that I'm doing it, a lot of the way people behave on the road makes sense. For example, having no dedicated pedestrian crossings at traffic lights encourages bad behaviour. As a pedestrian, I hated these people that would turn the corner and ignore the pedestrians, but now as a driver, you simply can't avoid it. Sometimes you need a little luck, or being pragmatic is also important. By the way, although I see the queue jumping thing, like Argidd, I don't view it as a problem. Almost always the other people waiting say something and send the queue jumper to the back and if they don't, I will. Maybe it depends where you are. I've certainly heard people say it's worse in some barrios.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby americorps » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:36 pm

windsportinperu wrote:From my experience it is not frequent that a peruvian cut the line. The only people that frequently do it are elder people and pregnant women, but for obvious reason.



and I wonder why Chi Chi Brags about doing it?
Last edited by americorps on Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby americorps » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:43 pm

most of us go through some level of the same thing.

Some of us, like Chi CHi, take the habits we consider most disrespectful and adopts them, others figure out how to find a balance of keeping our values and living with others who have different values.

I have been here 7 years. My second year was the hardest. The first was still sort of an adventure and in the second, when I started getting into a routine, I wanted to strangle half the people I met.

With time, you learn both to get used to it AND how to use it to your advantage AND how to get around it.

I do not let people cut lines, and If a taxi driver throws his trash in the street, I tell him to stop and I will go pick it up and make him wait. I have decided those are values I just wont tolerate.

If, however, I was here expecting things to change or wanting things to be different, I would be depressed.

I liken it to love. My partner is very youthful and likes to do child like things, like play video games and he likes to be silly. I LOVE that about him. However, that means when we have an adult situation, I am never sure if he will be mature or not. It is the flip side of the same coin.

If I love him, and I do, it has to be without condition. I have to love what I hate about him as much as I love what I love about him. So, with Peru. I roll my eyes, maybe complain to my gringo friends a little, then just laugh it off and remember how much I love Peru and let go of the things I can not change.

I advise you, however, to be very selective about complaining to your Peruvian friends. Many, no matter if they agree, do not appreciate insults about their country from foreigners and will respond with nationalistic pride. Nothing wrong with that (and for those who demand we compare this to other countries, we do that in other countries too). It is there country, they are Peruvians, they have developed their own culture.

Accept the things you can not change, change the things you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.

However, for me, complaining from time to time is a good release, so have at it.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby TShadow » Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:15 pm

I advise you, however, to be very selective about complaining to your Peruvian friends. Many, no matter if they agree, do not appreciate insults about their country from foreigners and will respond with nationalistic pride.


Having lived in many countries you can substitute Peruvian with any nationality. My Peruvian girl friend is most critical with her country, and also she is always punctually and hates it when people are late here. Very often she says that she'd prefer to live in Germany. Of course when I lose my patience here she becomes like above as quoted from americorps.

I really neither do I hate or love Peru. It's just another place where I actually live, Every country has positive and negative aspects. If you are a positive person you'll find your way around it. Sometimes when the pink glasses (of love) will become green, someone will find out that he/she just would be better off to return home. There might be many reasons for it, work, family, cost of living, etc.

Money in any case is an important aspect of every relation. If you want to be a family with your girl friend, you also should think about your future. Life as an Expat is not so easy, except if you're chi chi.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby ironchefchris » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:14 pm

argidd wrote:Try to embrace the things you like, and just laugh off the things you can't stand. If people are cutting off in front of you... it's annoying but... is it really worth getting upset at? Is the line a life or death situation? Probably not.

If in a few months you continue hating it, and it is unbearable, but you do love your GF, propose moving to the US.


Lot of other sound advice mentioned as well. Sometimes the line cutting bothers me as well, but to me it's not worth getting upset about. I'm never in that big of a hurry and it usually is an elderly person or someone who gets sent back to the end of the line. Happens to me at my local panaderia all the time. I think it's like driving on the roads- a vacant space will soon be filled without regard to who is next on line. I appreciate that the woman running the panaderia respects my place in the queue no matter who cuts in front of me. At least they have lines here. In my experience, Russians will bumrush without any regard for a line what so ever - especially when there is food involved. Different culture, different norms. I also liked the advice of holding on to whatever cultural norms are important to you as long as they don't disrespect local customs. Just because others throw trash on the street doesn't mean that I will start, even though I know the army of street cleaners will take care of it. But I've stopped getting upset because I see someone else do it.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby miaperu » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:19 pm

Remember there are 23 million of them and one of you, so I think the odds are slightly stacked against you. From my experience it is best to accept the fact while not deviating from your own personal standards and educate by example!
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby Alan » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:20 am

Some posts have been deleted due to trolling.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby windsportinperu » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:58 am

americorps wrote:
windsportinperu wrote:From my experience it is not frequent that a peruvian cut the line. The only people that frequently do it are elder people and pregnant women, but for obvious reason.



and I wonder why Chi Chi Brags about doing it?


The bad behaivour of a group of persons is something we shouldn't be proud..

On the contrary we should be ashamed of this and try to spread good values, for the benefit of the whole society.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby gringo from uk » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:03 am

lumansu wrote:Since I have arrived in Peru about 7 months ago I realized that during the first 3 or 4 months I was actually doing really well adapting to Peruvian Culture, so I was "that kind" of gringo at first.

Then the past few months I've turned into the other American gringo because I constantly complain to my girlfriend about the inefficient and sometimes idiotic Peruvian culture norms...."Like how Peruvians don't have the concept of waiting in line". In a way I keep finding myself comparing Peru to the USA and end up having nasty arguments with my girlfriend.

I'm having trouble controlling this problem. Anyone got any advice?? Because I do love my girlfriend and I wan't to keep living here.



Well , I do understand how you feel.Now I forward the advice to You and perhaps it helps a bit.
You have to accept the fact "Cultural differences exists". Not on time,wrongly given directions many others details - my friend ,cultural differences. I have been living in Lima 3 years,there is many things in the daily life I do not allow myself to get adapted,because they are wrong. Its not Peru,its just Lima.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby gringo from uk » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:07 am

gringo from uk wrote:
lumansu wrote:Since I have arrived in Peru about 7 months ago I realized that during the first 3 or 4 months I was actually doing really well adapting to Peruvian Culture, so I was "that kind" of gringo at first.

Then the past few months I've turned into the other American gringo because I constantly complain to my girlfriend about the inefficient and sometimes idiotic Peruvian culture norms...."Like how Peruvians don't have the concept of waiting in line". In a way I keep finding myself comparing Peru to the USA and end up having nasty arguments with my girlfriend.

I'm having trouble controlling this problem. Anyone got any advice?? Because I do love my girlfriend and I wan't to keep living here.



Well , I do understand how you feel.Now I forward the advice to You and perhaps it helps a bit.
You have to accept the fact "Cultural differences exists". Not on time,wrongly given directions many others details - my friend ,cultural differences. I have been living in Lima 3 years,there is many things in the daily life I do not allow myself to get adapted,because they are wrong. Its not Peru,its just Lima. Dont let Yourself get upset.The bitterness will grow in you and You dont feel happy with your life after some time.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby gringo from uk » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:12 am

ironchefchris wrote:
argidd wrote:Try to embrace the things you like, and just laugh off the things you can't stand. If people are cutting off in front of you... it's annoying but... is it really worth getting upset at? Is the line a life or death situation? Probably not.

If in a few months you continue hating it, and it is unbearable, but you do love your GF, propose moving to the US.


Lot of other sound advice mentioned as well. Sometimes the line cutting bothers me as well, but to me it's not worth getting upset about. I'm never in that big of a hurry and it usually is an elderly person or someone who gets sent back to the end of the line. Happens to me at my local panaderia all the time. I think it's like driving on the roads- a vacant space will soon be filled without regard to who is next on line. I appreciate that the woman running the panaderia respects my place in the queue no matter who cuts in front of me. At least they have lines here. In my experience, Russians will bumrush without any regard for a line what so ever - especially when there is food involved. Different culture, different norms. I also liked the advice of holding on to whatever cultural norms are important to you as long as they don't disrespect local customs. Just because others throw trash on the street doesn't mean that I will start, even though I know the army of street cleaners will take care of it. But I've stopped getting upset because I see someone else do it.



I do admire ironchefchris , he has great ability to smooth things up and take it easy. I gave the same advice today,what you gave to me some time ago:) you are very easy going:)
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby gringo from uk » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:13 am

gringo from uk wrote:
ironchefchris wrote:
argidd wrote:Try to embrace the things you like, and just laugh off the things you can't stand. If people are cutting off in front of you... it's annoying but... is it really worth getting upset at? Is the line a life or death situation? Probably not.

If in a few months you continue hating it, and it is unbearable, but you do love your GF, propose moving to the US.


Lot of other sound advice mentioned as well. Sometimes the line cutting bothers me as well, but to me it's not worth getting upset about. I'm never in that big of a hurry and it usually is an elderly person or someone who gets sent back to the end of the line. Happens to me at my local panaderia all the time. I think it's like driving on the roads- a vacant space will soon be filled without regard to who is next on line. I appreciate that the woman running the panaderia respects my place in the queue no matter who cuts in front of me. At least they have lines here. In my experience, Russians will bumrush without any regard for a line what so ever - especially when there is food involved. Different culture, different norms. I also liked the advice of holding on to whatever cultural norms are important to you as long as they don't disrespect local customs. Just because others throw trash on the street doesn't mean that I will start, even though I know the army of street cleaners will take care of it. But I've stopped getting upset because I see someone else do it.



I do admire ironchefchris , he has great ability to smooth things up and take it easy.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby chi chi » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:00 am

ironchefchris wrote:In my experience, Russians will bumrush without any regard for a line what so ever - especially when there is food involved.


:lol: :lol: :lol: Sounds like you stayed at those all-inclusive tourist resorts at the Canary Islands, Cuba or the Domenican Republic that have a buffet restaurant.
The Russians get mad at the food buffet but when the free bar opens then things get completely out of control.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby BellbottomBlues » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:16 am

[list=]
This reminds me of a funny situation - how about reverse cultural adjustment?

My Peruvian boyfriend has bragged so much about Peruvian food being the best in the world, that I just started to ignore him....until I realized he had a point.

The best food in America (in my opinion) is found in the independently owned ethnic eateries or prepared at home using farm ingredients - the rest of our food is subgrade since it comes prepared by corporations...

The more he taught me about preparing Peruvian food, the more I began to see his point and agree with him...so there you go - a Peruvian who turned me against my own culture, LOL

BBB

[/list]
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby ironchefchris » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:19 am

chi chi wrote:
ironchefchris wrote:In my experience, Russians will bumrush without any regard for a line what so ever - especially when there is food involved.


:lol: :lol: :lol: Sounds like you stayed at those all-inclusive tourist resorts at the Canary Islands, Cuba or the Domenican Republic that have a buffet restaurant.
The Russians get mad at the food buffet but when the free bar opens then things get completely out of control.


The only all inclusive resort I've ever been to was a family vacation trip to a dude ranch when I was 12. I have nothing against people who are looking for some fun and sun for their 6 days/7 nights, game show prize like packaged vacation, but I've always felt the more authentic travel experience was more enriching.

The experience with Russians I was referring to was when I worked at a fishing cannery in Alaska. One season college students from Russia and Belarus were there on a work program. Food costs went up by a third that season. They'd steal three or four loafs of white bread from the kitchen. They took as much as they possibly could as if it might be their last meal or the kitchen would have no food for tomorrow. We'd make bets on whether certain kids could possibly finish the volcano shaped mountains of food on their plates. One day at lunch, a kid took five sloppy joe sandwiches. He ate four and wrapped the fifth in napkins, sticking it in his coat pocket to save for later. At break time, they ignored the line for coffee, pastries and fruit (a rare treat in Alaska) and bum-rushed, shoving as much fruit as they could fit in their pockets, saying it was for their friend who was too lazy to get up and go to the table himself. Their work ethic was non-existent which caused much tension in a work environment that relied on team work. One kid just punched in and went to the lounge where he watched movies on VHS all day. They would take 45 minute showers and use all the hot water. Instead of using the very reasonably priced laundry service, which cost about $5 per month to wash, dry and fold, they would wash their clothes in the shower and hang their fishy smelling clothes all over the bunkhouse. After a few weeks, management separated the Russians, giving them their own bunkhouse. Not everyone was like that (just most) but things nearly got ugly between them and the US/Canadian workers, most of us well traveled and open to other cultures. I figured they acted the way they did due to their culture - those who wait in line in a society with few consumer goods and not much on the shelves of the grocery store go hungry while those who are aggressive tend to have fuller bellies. Why work when you get paid the same for punching in and not working? You can take the Russian out of their culture, but you can't take their culture out of the Russian. That was the one and only season Russians worked at that cannery. I can laugh about it now, but at the time it was as if the Cold War had never ended.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby chi chi » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:37 am

ironchefchris wrote: I have nothing against people who are looking for some fun and sun for their 6 days/7 nights, game show prize like packaged vacation, but I've always felt the more authentic travel experience was more enriching.


Everyone has different preferences and good that there are different ways to travel.
For my job, I had to travel a lot and stayed at 4 and 5 star luxury hotels and ate in nice restaurants.

But now, I am just as happy if I stay at a (clean) hostel and eat at a typical local restaurant. When I stayed at those luxury places, I felt lonely and the staff has often fake smiles and guests aren't there to meet other travellers.

When I stay at a hostel, I love to meet other guests.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby ironchefchris » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:23 pm

I remember traveling on the company dime. Nice hotels, nice restaurants. I too prefer staying in hostels now. I was based in Los Angeles for seven years, but whenever I return I stay at a hostel. Instead of staying in a Motel 6 and watching television, I'm interacting with travelers from all over the world. They appreciate the information I give on where to go and what to do that is not found in the guidebooks. Good times.
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Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby tupacperu » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:30 pm

lumansu wrote:Since I have arrived in Peru about 7 months ago I realized that during the first 3 or 4 months I was actually doing really well adapting to Peruvian Culture, so I was "that kind" of gringo at first.

Then the past few months I've turned into the other American gringo because I constantly complain to my girlfriend about the inefficient and sometimes idiotic Peruvian culture norms...."Like how Peruvians don't have the concept of waiting in line". In a way I keep finding myself comparing Peru to the USA and end up having nasty arguments with my girlfriend.

I'm having trouble controlling this problem. Anyone got any advice?? Because I do love my girlfriend and I wan't to keep living here.


When in China do like the Chinese.. same applies to Peru.
I just laugh at these things and how Peruvian get away with them.

I had an old woman jump in from of me in the super market (like the Ambassador of Ecuador in Vivanda.. about a year back).

I also had some Peruvians called out an order in a Bodega after I had already been there long before they arrived. Sometimes I will tell the owner in Spanish that I will take my business to a competitor or elsewhere. For older people (me being 59), I just grin and bear it.

In restaurants if they bypass me (usually the person that seats us is our waiter), I will leave a big tip. The next time I arrive they are fighting over me.
Once a waitress gave us very poor service. I gave her a big tip on the next visit got VIP Service.. :)

Question? Why are you blaming your girlfriend? :).

May cost a little more to get around but convenience usually cost.
falconagain
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Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: Adjusting to Peruvian Culture...and Hating It

Postby falconagain » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:20 pm

You should not be surprised about hating it. Many Peruvians that lived abroad have similar opinions
about Peruvian Culture. Gianmarco (Peruvian Singer) has been loudly complaining online about it.
Christian Meyer (maybe I got the last name wrong, Famous Peruvian Actor), had some strong words
about how uncivilized was Lima in particular during an interview with Jaime Baily.
There is even a recent song by Julio Andrade (Se la llevan facil), which is about the current cultural
decline of the arts by the Peruvian public. (The song was created as a marketing ploy but it had a
backlash) All the ignoramuses in the population started protesting and even insulting the singer
because they did not like to be criticized about their rampant bad taste in music, tv and public
events.

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