Thanks for adding me to the site. Quick background: I'm a 41 year old professional woman from the U.S., I spent a lot of time visiting Peru with my ex. He was an American citizen but we visited Peru and other SA locales nearly every month for the past 4 years.
I came to really love the beauty of Peru, the food, trips to the Amazon, the friendliness of people once you became close to them. HOWEVER, my ex and I didn't work out even after a lot of counseling and hard work, and while I'm not a saint, I just could not deal with how critical and negative he could be, whether in the U.S. or Peru. His little Napoleonesque mother was even worse. Then I began to realize that, at least in my experience, Peruvians have this odd culture of being exceptionally critical, even when the person speaking is a complete loser; but then they can turn around and be some of the friendliest, most helpful people I've ever met. It's like mass multiple personality disorder!
My conundrum is that I'd like to live in Peru for a few years, maybe pick up some work, enjoy the culture, use it as a jumping off point for travel (I'm not full of cash, I just budget carefully so I'll def need to supplement my income!) but...as many nice people as I have met, I really feel bad when people have a nasty attitude so much. I personally have witnessed criticism of the disabled that in the U.S. Would be dumb if a 12 year old said it. Television personalities are beaten down, gossip is like a religion. As far as personal attacks, I'm either a snobby white woman because I'm very tall with blonde hair and green eyes, large chest; or I'm gorda because I wear a big bra and wear a U.S. size 6 to 8. I'm not personally offended by this, as I am a middle aged Amazon gringa in this land of smaller people lol. It's mostly the fact that LITERALLY everyone is mean to others for EVERYTHING. While some people might say it's just the way or whatever, I feel like it creates a toxic feeling to an otherwise friendly culture. And again, I have truly never met so many people who are, I believe, at heart, friendly and helpful, but absolutely rude and mean on the surface.
My question: does this get better? Am I just sensitive? I've travelled quite a bit with my work and my military parents, and I cannot think of a culture/country that I'm so drawn to yet so afraid to engage with again because I just don't want all that negativity in my life. Maybe I had a horrible experience with unusual people? My former mother in law, as I was lying in the hospital recovering from a heart problem, told me if I walked more I would have been fine and I caused all my own health issues. But she wished me the best! Lol.
Any advice/perspective much appreciated!