Are Gringos Welcomed?

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Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby Contra-quistador » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:52 am

Gringo defined: often disparaging; a foreigner in Spain or Latin America especially when of English or American origin; broadly : a non-Hispanic person; alteration of "griego" Greek, stranger, from Latin Graecus Greek. First Known Use: 1849
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gringo

To preface, many Latin Americans are in part white European, or Mestizos, however it was the white European that has imposed it's genes on the indigenous, taking whatever they chose, enslaving and pillaging in the name of the queen/king/God... Roman Catholicism(?). Historically, given this despise, it is no wonder that "gringos" may not welcomed, but their money is (for the love of money...), gringo tax as a form of retribution, perhaps could even be described as “racism.”

Was there a day where gringo just threw their cash around with an air of arrogance? (my experience is that the young Europeans are now earning this reputation.) "It’s a time honored sport to try and take advantage of the fat, rich, stupid American customer.” http://www.escapefromamerica.com/2009/0 ... ringo-tax/


… and yes, sometimes I pay it shrugging my shoulders chaulking it up as being part of an unwelcomed guest tax…meek?


I realize that we, being fortunate to come from a first world country, we have much to offer. Are gringos welcomed, or just our cash? Has anyone here ever faced continued overt discrimination? Does anyone not feel welcomed? I have yet to visit, but is Miraflores evolving into Gringotown?

… just adding some coals to the fire here… any comments?


“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.” Plato
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby Kelly » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:43 am

Everyone's story is different, but after 8 years of living here I can count on one hand the number of times someone has tried to take advantage of me, as far as trying to overcharge me. The vast majority of people I've met have treated me extremely kindly.

The only people who've ever had an "anti-gringo" attitude with me (and it's only behind my back) are a few members of my husband's extended family who are jealous that we have more than them and think we don't share enough.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby renodante » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:06 pm

It all depends of course. I'd have to have 10 hands to count the times it happened, but there have been plenty of times I've been charged fairly, people went out of their way to help me, etc

The U.S never interfered with Peru's politics in a major, overt way. So I don't really see an intense, knee-jerk anti americanism here. It's not uncommon, but it's not intense or really deep rooted in my experience. There's often a love-hate infatuation with gringos. I went to Chancay once to that weird fake castle tourist attraction and I guess that area has almost no gringo traffic going through it, because I was starred at constantly and a huge group of middle school kids surrounded me and were taking my picture and asking me to pose with them for photos. Felt like Justin Bieber or something for a day.

A lot of the time it's not always completely malicious with the over-charging. I've come to realize there is a widespread myth that us gringos are all filthy rich with an unlimited cash flow so charging us an extra 5 soles for a taxi ride means nothing to us, many think. "What's the big deal? he probably lives in a mansion back in the U.S."

I've never really felt unwelcomed, as long as you don't act like a jerk or make yourself stick out even more than you already do, you're usually treated fine. People pick up on your attitude quickly and if you're chill and show you have nothing to prove and are comfortable wherever you are at the time, people around you relax too. I've been to cumbia/pachanga parties in the jungle, in dangerous parts of lima, and as long as you act like you're supposed to be there and seem unphased you're left alone. Not saying something isn't being said behind your back but I've never been given dirty looks or messed with. I'm a bit bigger than your average guy here and have trained in MMA etc so that doesn't hurt either.

I didn't know "gringo" was even used in Spain. I've seen Spanish people call themselves gringos when visiting here in fact.

I have yet to visit, but is Miraflores evolving into Gringotown?


Miraflores is mostly local yuppies, a sprinkling of old money, some successful artists, actors etc, and yes, tons of foreigners staying both long and short term. Any kind of gringo discrimination is even less in Miraflores (at least it's shown less) as far as giving you attitude problems. But expect to be overcharged at almost any opportunity when in Miraflores. Try taking a taxi from Larcomar to a place even 5 blocks away and you'll see a perfect example of it.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby sbaustin » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:29 pm

Kelly wrote:Everyone's story is different, but after 8 years of living here I can count on one hand the number of times someone has tried to take advantage of me, as far as trying to overcharge me. The vast majority of people I've met have treated me extremely kindly.

The only people who've ever had an "anti-gringo" attitude with me (and it's only behind my back) are a few members of my husband's extended family who are jealous that we have more than them and think we don't share enough.


Kelly, you must never take taxis otherwise you wouldn't have enough hands to count on.

I would say I have the exact opposite experience. My wife's family is awesome and I couldn't write anything negative about them. As far as commercial transactions (markets, taxis, etc), probably 25-50% of the time they try to overcharge. I"m not sure this is taking advantage, nor do I really consider it all that bad (buyers should be informed), but it does happen frequently.

People have almost always been nice and inviting in Peru to me .
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby Philipc4u59 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:40 pm

I have only been here 6 months; it is about 99% that I find they try to exploit my "gringo-ness".
I know what the fare should be, before I encounter solo; I play their "game" for a while, then tell them -GO!!!
Even if they finally agree to what is a fair price; "take a hike"...

My Peruvian wife has never had a car in Lima; her brother is a taxi driver - so I know the fares.
I will even give 10 soles for an 8 sole trip; if there is unexpected delays/traffic.
I realize this is a difficult way to make a living; I respect that they are trying to make an honest living.

The other day, I told my wife to hide; I engaged a vendor selling a food item for 2.50 soles (last customer).
I ordered 3 exact items; I was charged 9 soles - 3 soles each.
No big deal; but I will go hungry before I purchase at this street vendor again - SO WHO REALLY LOSES?

One of my biggest peeves is lousy merchandise; my wife tells me "You can't take things back...".
I bought a pair of slippers that the seems broke within one week; now the dog has them - 15 soles wasted...
Any thoughts about complaining about the quality of items & seeking a REFUND???

Philip
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby Kelly » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:57 pm

I don't take taxis often anymore (since we now own a small fleet of them ourselves!) but my husband used to always make me stand separate from him when he flagged down a taxi. Until the day he realized on my own, I was getting the same - or better - fares than he did. I sometimes wonder if that's because I usually had the kids with me, but for whatever reason, I've just not had problems with taxis. If somebody tries to overcharge me, I say no, I don't see that as a problem.

One of the few times was exactly what Reno said - leaving LarcoMar, in the rain and jumping in the taxi before negotiating the price - then he tried to tell me 17 soles to get to our house in Surquillo. I said screw you, stop here, and got out.

About 2 weeks ago, we were at Plaza Hogar, shopping for a table. The first salesperson told us 280 soles, and I said it was way too much, so we went on to other stores. Couldn't find anything we liked, and as we circled back, I saw another sales person in the same store; this time without my husband - I asked the price - Got the same table for 190. Who knows why, I usually have that kind of luck with stuff here.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby renodante » Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:16 pm

I kid you not a larcomar taxista quoted 10 soles to go...wait for it, Tanta restaurant, on the corner of 28 de julio and reducto.

That's like what, 6 blocks? Not even.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby chi chi » Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:24 pm

Contra-quistador wrote:Gringo defined: often disparaging; a foreigner in Spain or Latin America especially when of English or American origin; broadly


In Colombia, Mexico, Cuba, San Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Venezuela and several other Latin American countries, only people from the US are called gringos.

If you go to Chile, Argentina, Brasil, Uruguay then you won't stand in the crowd because most people there look like gringos. Nobody their will think that you are a foreigner.

Contra-quistador wrote:"It’s a time honored sport to try and take advantage of the fat, rich, stupid American customer.”


I often noticed that at first people are rude but when they think that I am American but when they find out I am European they become friendly...and the price of goods and services goes down significantly. I think that Americans are charged more because in many parts of the world, people find that Americans have a debt to pay to them for various reasons. It not only in Latin America but in Europe, Americans are often overcharged as well. (I wouldn't called it a gringo tax but a BUSH tax.)

Kelly wrote: my husband used to always make me stand separate from him when he flagged down a taxi. Until the day he realized on my own, I was getting the same - or better - fares than he did.


I experienced the same. My gf mostly get charged more than I do.
I think the way you talk and behave influences the price too.

I have a thick Brasilean accent(although I speak little Portuguese) and many people say that I 'look' Brasilean.
That for sure helps. When I live in Tarapoto, people in the neighboorhood nicknamed my 'El Brasilero''.
''Don't mess with El Brasilero''.

renodante wrote:I kid you not a larcomar taxista quoted 10 soles to go...wait for it, Tanta restaurant, on the corner of 28 de julio and reducto.

That's like what, 6 blocks? Not even.


Why didn't you take the bus. It only cost you 0.50 centavos. Or walk, it's free. Six blocks is only a 5-10 minutes walk.

I don't understand why so many gringos only take taxis. Every 15 seconds there is a bus going into any direction of Lima. I went yesterday from the airport to Villa El Salvador and it costed me only 2 lukas. By taxi, that would have costed 45 soles.
Taxis are very expensive in Peru.

Kelly wrote: a few members of my husband's extended family who are jealous that we have more than them and think we don't share enough.


Not all Peruvians are like that. When I moved several years ago home, I had a nice big dining table with 6 chairs. I didn't fit in my new smaller home. I decided to give it to my gf her mother as a present as she needed a bigger table. She refused to take it as a present but insisted that she paid for it.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby renodante » Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:43 pm

Why didn't you take the bus. It only cost you 0.50 centavos. Or walk, it's free. Six blocks is only a 5-10 minutes walk.

I don't understand why so many gringos only take taxis. Every 15 seconds there is a bus going into any direction of Lima. I went yesterday from the airport to Villa El Salvador and it costed me only 2 lukas. By taxi, that would have costed 45 soles.
Taxis are very expensive in Peru.


i walked. i didn't pay that
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby Lloyd007 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:06 pm

Larcomar taxi's are the worse....!! Don't bother with those, ever!
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby Contra-quistador » Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:19 am

Thanks for the feedback... what I wonder (as I too believe the heart of Latin Americans is larger than "gringos") where this "get over on one" behavior stems from?... perhaps it is a combination of retribution and a haggling nature. Who wouldn't take more money for a product or service, if someone was willing to pay for it!?

And, as far as being welcomed, I would not be with those where I am not welcomed... yet, from my experience, even friends would take advantage of you... this is where I get a disconnect from a caring behavior. Then again, this could be a genetic, or learned behavior... hard to say, but as it is with the topic of taxation, I doubt the gringo tax will ever go away.
“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.” Plato
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby renodante » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:25 pm

yet, from my experience, even friends would take advantage of you.


me too, my theory is, like i said, often they think we have an unlimited cash flow supply so no harm no foul squeezing whatever can be gotten from us, it's not like we'll even notice (they think)
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby chi chi » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:20 pm

Lloyd007 wrote:Larcomar taxi's are the worse....!! Don't bother with those, ever!


It's normal that taxis in Miraflores charge more. Especially to gringos. Only the richest tourists can afford to hang out and stay in Miraflores. Taxi drivers know that so they adjust their fares.

Same with the airport. The tourist that just arrived is approached by taxi touts that are aware that the tourist doesn't know the fares. The further you walk from the airport arrivals gate, the lower the price.

If the rate just at the arrivals gate is 50 soles, it drops to 40 soles just before the terminal door, in front of the terminal, 30 soles, on the parking lot 20 soles and on the avenue outside the airport perimeter it drops to 10 soles. But there you can also take the bus there for 1 solito.

Why taking a taxi anyway? There's a bus leaving every 10 seconds to anywhere in Lima and it cost you between 0.50 and 2 solitos. Taxis in Lima are very, very expensive.

The only times, I take a taxi is when I have to take bulky items home like a fridge, cooker,...
But I never paid more that 5 soles for that.
Last edited by chi chi on Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby Kelly » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:23 pm

chi chi wrote:Why taking a taxi anyway? There's a bus leaving every 10 seconds to anywhere in Lima and it cost you between 0.50 and 2 solitos. Taxis in Lima are very, very expensive.


Because taking a bus isn't really a good alternative for a lot of people. Those who don't speak Spanish, don't know which bus to take, have a lot of luggage to carry, have small children or handicapped persons traveling with them... it all can be too much for taking a bus.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby chi chi » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:33 pm

Kelly wrote:
chi chi wrote:Why taking a taxi anyway? There's a bus leaving every 10 seconds to anywhere in Lima and it cost you between 0.50 and 2 solitos. Taxis in Lima are very, very expensive.


Because taking a bus isn't really a good alternative for a lot of people. Those who don't speak Spanish, don't know which bus to take, have a lot of luggage to carry, have small children or handicapped persons traveling with them... it all can be too much for taking a bus.


If you don't speak Spanish and don't know how to get to a place then a taxi will become VERY expensive. You will be 'taken for a ride'. A better option is to ask the staff at a hotel/hostel how to get somewhere by bus.

For handicapped people it's not easy to take the regular buses but the Linea 1 (electric train) and Metropolitana an example for making public transport accesable to handicapped and other less mobile people. Much better than most metros in the US and Europe.

If you have a lot of luggage to carry then you can take a taxi for once but some gringos think that taking a taxi is the only transport option to travel around Lima on a daily basis.

Lima taxis are some of the most expensive in the world. An average taxi ride equals to a days wage for most Peruvians.
Let's say that a taxi ride costs 15 soles in Lima, the same ride will cost you 15 EUROS in Brussels. 15 soles is the daily wage for a Peruvian for working 8 hours. 15 euros is the HOURLY wage for someone working in Belgium. So, the Peruvian works 8 hours to pay for the ride, the Belgian 1 hour.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby Kelly » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:44 pm

chi chi wrote:If you don't speak Spanish and don't know how to get to a place then a taxi will become VERY expensive. You will be 'taken for a ride'. A better option is to ask the staff at a hotel/hostel how to get somewhere by bus.


Not much help for someone at the airport, which is the part of your post I responded to.

For handicapped people it's not easy to take the regular buses but the Linea 1 (electric train) and Metropolitana an example for making public transport accesable to handicapped and other less mobile people. Much better than most metros in the US and Europe.


Again, neither the Metro or the train go anywhere near the airport.

If you have a lot of luggage to carry then you can take a taxi for once but some gringos think that taking a taxi is the only transport option to travel around Lima on a daily basis


Unlikely that people would be carrying a bunch of luggage around with them everywhere they go in Lima - so again, ... talking about services from the airport.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby renodante » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:25 pm

Only the richest tourists can afford to hang out and stay in Miraflores.


Practically every hostel in the city is located in Miraflores, including dirt cheap hippy commune style spots. But it doesn't matter, for most people, American=rich automatically. The fact you're in another country just for the lulz for many people means you're Paris Hilton, whether you're staying at the Hilton or the Hippy's Armpit Hostel.


Lima taxis are some of the most expensive in the world.


?!?!?!??!!?! what in the.....what?
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby chi chi » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:46 pm

renodante wrote:Practically every hostel in the city is located in Miraflores, including dirt cheap hippy commune style spots.


You probably have never been outside Miraflores. If you count all hostels in Lima then only a small percentage of the total amount is located in Miralflores. There are 1000's of hostels in Lima.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby renodante » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:57 am

You probably have never been outside Miraflores.


I've been to almost every district in this city and yes, there are hostels. but in no district are they as concentrated as in miraflores. You can't walk 2 blocks here without seeing one. point is not just rich travelers stay in miraflores.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby amigorick » Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:47 pm

Well, in Iquitos I think that the answers is yes (unless you're DEA - joking). This is a city where a lot of downtown legit business is tourist oriented as most visitors to the jungle lodges spend at least a few nights here, a necessity due to flight schedules and boat departures.

But as in most if Peru, if you're a local gingo you need to be educated. I think we've all had to hide in the shadows to wait until family or friends have hammered down a price for a motorcar ride. Now that I know the prices I ask up front the price and if they want 8 soles for a 2 soles fare I just walk to the next driver. Hopefully he'll learn a lesson. Seems that only the younger drivers try to pull this. Older drivers here are alot more fair. Same in los mercados. I always try to search out the more mature sellers. I remember once I was shopping for aji dulce in el mercado central and the vender wanted to charge me 1 sol each! The older lady next to me gave him the stink eye and said, "No tiene vergüenza a robar este gingo? Usted es un miedr…". I smile to myself every time I think of that.

Ok, that said, human nature, as least in this epoch of our evolution is to make all the money we can at anyone's expense. Sorry to say but it's the same all over the world. So, yes, I think gingo's are very welcome here but our role is to be educated and not pay un sol mas que un peruano.

My 2 centimos …
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby falconagain » Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:17 pm

amigorick wrote:Well, in Iquitos I think that the answers is yes (unless you're DEA - joking). This is a city where a lot of downtown legit business is tourist oriented as most visitors to the jungle lodges spend at least a few nights here, a necessity due to flight schedules and boat departures.

But as in most if Peru, if you're a local gingo you need to be educated. I think we've all had to hide in the shadows to wait until family or friends have hammered down a price for a motorcar ride. Now that I know the prices I ask up front the price and if they want 8 soles for a 2 soles fare I just walk to the next driver. Hopefully he'll learn a lesson. Seems that only the younger drivers try to pull this. Older drivers here are alot more fair. Same in los mercados. I always try to search out the more mature sellers. I remember once I was shopping for aji dulce in el mercado central and the vender wanted to charge me 1 sol each! The older lady next to me gave him the stink eye and said, "No tiene vergüenza a robar este gingo? Usted es un miedr…". I smile to myself every time I think of that.

Ok, that said, human nature, as least in this epoch of our evolution is to make all the money we can at anyone's expense. Sorry to say but it's the same all over the world. So, yes, I think gingo's are very welcome here but our role is to be educated and not pay un sol mas que un peruano.

My 2 centimos …


Actually people should learn how to properly price their products for everybody, Peru is a country that
has only a 6% of its territory that can be used for farmland. Year after year, the amount of land is
diminished and the water supply is also diminishing. Vegetables and Fruits should rise its prices otherwise the whole country will have a huge problem.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby SilverbackPeru » Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:31 pm

I think us gringos are accepted and generally welcomed here in Peru, ok there might be the problem where the odd person is wanting a friendship with a gringo for their own personal gain but all in all i find Peruvians are extremely warm, laid back and friendly people.

I think that apart from say the more popular areas of Lima most Peruvians won't get to meet too many foreigners so they tend to be welcoming as its always interesting to meet people from some where different.

OK i think i might add a few coals to the fire as well with this question! There does tend to be race problems in Peru against the general andean population by certain percentages of the white european decended Peruvians, weither this is down to just plain racism or maybe class divides is another question or maybe another thread, but does this problem create resentment towards gringos from Andean Peruvians? Unfortunatly racism is everywhere but i would say most gringos come from places where racism is all but mostly gone apart from the odd un-educated moron.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby SilverbackPeru » Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:36 pm

i don't want to turn this thread into a whole race class conversation, i just wonder if gringos suffer due to those problems.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby Contra-quistador » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:06 pm

I tend to agree that Latin Americans are a warm & welcoming folk, as most gringo cultures are, and perhaps it is only in the last 50 years or so, that South America has gotten the imperialist/capitalist taste of consuming (tourism does not help)... let us hope it does not affect their family value that I respect. Although this string IS based on a generalization, let us not forget that "for the love of money is the roots of all evil" ... as cheating is not cool!
“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.” Plato
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby falconagain » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:25 pm

One very good reference of how gringos could be treated in Peru is the movie Madeinusa
(2005) directed by Claudia Llosa.

It is a fictional story, still there are many real stories in Peru like this one. For further
reference you can read the books by Jose Maria Arguedas. The gist of the movie is
that Gringos (either Peruvian or Foreign) are looked as a target to take the blame
for the personal miseries and sins that these kind of people have committed. While
not everybody thinks like that in Peru, a good percentage of the population shares
this mentality.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby chi chi » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:33 am

If you respect the people, their customs and culture then you are welcomed anywhere in the world.

In Lima, I encountered a few undisirables but like any big city in the world, there are odd types.

I noticed that people in the provinces are more friendlier than in Lima. People in La Selva are great and very welcoming towards gringos.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby minos » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:55 pm

! this issue of taxis. I remember as a teenager, I had this same problem, until I developed my own system.


I will write about this because I see it as a shock to many expats:


1) I'll tell you one thing: In his lines there taxis urbanization known, occupy a row on a street and always the same, are advantageous because: provide security as they are always the same, just charge it because they are interested in trying well to those who will see it every day. You can use them to make 2 or 3 races in a row, always with the right price, of course. In other words, is what you are looking for. So get in their development where these lines are taxis that have been created by the popular talent, are not registered or anything. Tell them you considered part of the complex, who are friends and stuff, so they know you are aware, and not see it as strange (please, if there is a row of cars that sell drugs, that's not The idea on which I write)
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby timothy » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:03 pm

Kelly wrote:
chi chi wrote:Why taking a taxi anyway? There's a bus leaving every 10 seconds to anywhere in Lima and it cost you between 0.50 and 2 solitos. Taxis in Lima are very, very expensive.


Because taking a bus isn't really a good alternative for a lot of people. Those who don't speak Spanish, don't know which bus to take, have a lot of luggage to carry, have small children or handicapped persons traveling with them... it all can be too much for taking a bus.



The only time in my life that I was successfully pick-pocket(ed)... is there such a word??? ... was on a bus in Lima. The bus was full, standing room only, and I was squeezed in between the masses. I had my wallet in my front jean's pocket, pretty snug fit. When I hopped off the bus and walked 10 feet, I did my security pat down and found that the wallet was gone. Whoever did the deed was damned good !

I try to avoid busses. Too many of them crash.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby fanning » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:02 pm

minos wrote:....

Wow .. I am not a native English speaker, but I didn't know that Google translate was doing such a bad job.
Why post on an English written blog, if you don't talk a word English ??
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby minos » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:10 pm

You're right, I do not know the English and translate it, but you learn something along the way, so I try to give back a little.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby caliguy » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:22 pm

fanning wrote:
minos wrote:....

Wow .. I am not a native English speaker, but I didn't know that Google translate was doing such a bad job.
Why post on an English written blog, if you don't talk a word English ??


lol Fanning! i am sure its all in the way it was worded. i have google translated many web pages that were in spanish, and have found that the more professional sites that i translate to english, made more sense :D
every place has it's own spirit. you just need to tune into it.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby richorozco » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:08 pm

timothy wrote:

The only time in my life that I was successfully pick-pocket(ed)... is there such a word??? ... was on a bus in Lima. The bus was full, standing room only, and I was squeezed in between the masses. I had my wallet in my front jean's pocket, pretty snug fit. When I hopped off the bus and walked 10 feet, I did my security pat down and found that the wallet was gone. Whoever did the deed was damned good !


Timothy,

When were you pick pocketed? What year? I heard that there were great pick pockets many, many years ago but they all went to Spain, Italy & Japan.

I'm curious because I took the Metro a few times and I was paranoid .... I can't imagine what a bus/micro/convi would be like.....

Amazing how they got to your front pocket .... I assume it was some sort of loose khakis or dress pants?
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby Sergio Bernales » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:08 pm

It's interesting you mention this, because I expected something similar when I first arrived in Peru. The main reason was that I had just spent six months in Ecuador doing voluntary work and despite the fact I felt I was contributing something to the country, I experienced a really aggressive anti-Gringo attitude. It felt like almost everyone either didn't want me there, or was trying to rip me off. And yet I've experienced nothing remotely similar in Peru.

In Ecuador I was constantly hassled for money by strangers, street vendors and even children - the shoe shine boys would slap black shoe polish on a pair of brown suede shoes without permission and then demand a dollar despite having ruined my shoes. I was often given outrageous bills in restaurants by waiters, charged different rates to those first quoted me in hotels. If I got in a taxi in Quito (they all have meters), nine times out of ten a driver would pick a ridiculously long route, or when we arrived, he'd claim not to have change of say, $5 for a $2 fare. In Peru, I know the taxi fares and usually pay the going rate, or if it's a longer trip like the airport, at most I pay a few soles more. On the rare occasion a taxi driver asks for double the going rate, it's not a problem as there's always another behind him. Weirdly, I've found that the nicer the taxi, especially the new blue white and yellow ones, the less likely the driver is to ask too much.

In Ecuador, if I arrived in a new place, I would almost always be approached by a stranger who would either demand money, or invite me to their brother/cousin/friend's hotel/restaurant/shop where on the few occasions I was stupid enough to go, I was ripped off. In the few years I've been in Peru, this has happened to me once. If a stranger approaches me in a new town, it's usually to ask me if I'm lost and offer to give me directions, or to ask me where I'm from and what I think of Peru.

Why did I have such a different experience in Ecuador? I have no idea. On the outside, both countries seem to have similar history and people, but the difference in warmth, hospitality and friendliness is astonishing. Even in Bolivia which is a lot poorer than Ecuador and has a long and violent history of exploitation both by the mainly Criollo elite and foreign powers, I found people polite, friendly and welcoming to foreigners. Why the difference? Was I unlucky?
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby neo2012 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:02 pm

I have lived here for a year now and can say my wife's family and friends have all been very welcoming, and I have met a few friendly Peruanians as well. That being said, to think there is no problem with being treated differently is confusing, at best for me. My wife has told me many times to not come with her when asking for a price, in many different districts in Lima...as well as when we are trying to take a taxi, I stand away from her while she asks the price. Basically, if a native Peruanian says there is a problem with this, I believe them.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby Kelly » Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:38 pm

neo2012 wrote: My wife has told me many times to not come with her when asking for a price, in many different districts in Lima...as well as when we are trying to take a taxi, I stand away from her while she asks the price. Basically, if a native Peruanian says there is a problem with this, I believe them.



My husband used to tell me this all the time too, until he realized I often got better prices than him.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby caliguy » Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:00 pm

neo2012 wrote:I have lived here for a year now and can say my wife's family and friends have all been very welcoming, and I have met a few friendly Peruanians as well. That being said, to think there is no problem with being treated differently is confusing, at best for me. My wife has told me many times to not come with her when asking for a price, in many different districts in Lima...as well as when we are trying to take a taxi, I stand away from her while she asks the price. Basically, if a native Peruanian says there is a problem with this, I believe them.

hahaha, you are not alone. that is exactly the way my wife is :D
every place has it's own spirit. you just need to tune into it.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby alchemist » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:38 pm

Kelly wrote:
neo2012 wrote: My wife has told me many times to not come with her when asking for a price, in many different districts in Lima...as well as when we are trying to take a taxi, I stand away from her while she asks the price. Basically, if a native Peruanian says there is a problem with this, I believe them.



My husband used to tell me this all the time too, until he realized I often got better prices than him.


Same for me Kelly.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby Kelly » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:50 pm

I've seen a few polls - I think El Comercio does one every year or so - on what Peruvians think of Peruvians. And one of the things they always show is that Peruvians don't trust each other, and believe that other Peruvians will cheat them.

It's not a big leap to think that most Peruvians believe that other Peruvians will cheat a foreigner as soon as look at them. But in my experience, it's just not true. In 9 years, there've been a few folks who've tried to overcharge me, tried to cheat me in some way, but the majority of strangers go out of their way to be helpful and friendly.

Of course, everyone's experience is different, I can just speak about my own.
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Re: Are Gringos Welcomed?

Postby Hitoruna » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:09 am

Speaking as a peruvian i greatly like gringos for some reasons. For example, they are free of some of the mental blocks some peruvians have, and i find that refreshing. Dnt take me wrong, my best friends in Peru are peruvians but not any peruvian but people with similar background. Peruvians we have some great characteristics but also some mental stupidities and it is refreshing to see a person without that.

I admire their do it yourself way of thinking. Ad to some point their naiveness... I mean some peruvians cheat because they think it is the " smart" thing to do which is stupid. That only breaks comfidence bonds and is the trait we should eliminate.

Some years ago my best party friend was a gringo. We use to go around town and it was great. We peruvians should learn from the positive traits of them

The only thing is , dont ever try to argue bout food with us, hehehe i mean sorry but the difference is overwhelming... We are better than french in that respect hehe :P lol

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