PERUVIAN ODDITIES

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e-peruvian
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PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby e-peruvian » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:09 pm

We are always observing things about the peruvian culture that seem to be at odds with our Anglo way of thinking .Some recent observations are as follows:
What is a can opener? The vast majority of Peruvians use a knife to puncture a hole in a can. Very few use a can opener. I have showed a can opener to many Peruvians and they have never seen one. I then have to show them how to use it.I am talking about the little metal ones to put a hole in a can, not electric can openers. The other day I showed a 63 year old women how to use one and it was the first time for her. What an odd feeling instructing a person how to use a can opener.
How many Peruvians can you fit in a taxi? Recently I was supervising a group of teens. After we went the the movies we had to return home. They suggested that we take one taxi; there were 8 students and myself and I said we needed two taxis. They said they could all fit in one and flagged down a small Toyota station wagon. 3 girls then got in the back seat and 2 more girls sat on their laps. The taxi driver popped open the hatchback and 3 boys dove in. I sat in the front seat. 9 of us with no problem. I chuckle to myself every time I think about this.
What is customer service? I was paying my Moviestar bill and the lady in front of me asked that her receipt be stapled to her bill. The cashier gave the lady her bill , her receipt and a stapler to use. I guess it was too much trouble for the cashier to simply staple the items herself.
They are trained early to be late. I have a friend whose children attend colegio. School starts at 7:30 but nobody arrives until after 7:40. The learn at an early age here that starting times don’t mean anything and that it is ok to be late.
A friend puts her cans of tuna in the refrigerator.
Red means go. In my apartment I have a switch to turn the hot water heater on and off. In order to turn it on I have to flip the switch to red ; to turn it off I have to flip the switch to green. This is counterintuitive to me. I pointed out to the landlord that I thought the switch was wired backwards but she said it wasn’t and that red meant hot.
I rarely see people smoking and nerver see any cigarette butts littering the streets. This is great. Back in the States people are always smoking on the streets and they think that the earth is an ashtray and don't think anything of discarding their cigarette butts (litter) wherever they are at.
Knife sharpeners. This is actually a profession. These men wheel around their contraptions , a one-wheeled bicycle-like thing with a grinding stone , and charge 2 or 3 soles to sharpen a knife. A pocket sized knife sharpener will actually put a better edge on a knife but , once again , tradition and culture drive people to hire these men, which is good for them.


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Guiri
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Re: PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby Guiri » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:24 pm

How long do you live here?? Two weeks ?? :lol:
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captcosmic
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Re: PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby captcosmic » Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:56 am

Me, I have always wondered about the missing toilet seats. I was at a nice ceviche restaurant the other day and the mens toilet did not have a seat. It was a nice place where some one just cant walk off the street and steal the seat. Why in the name of decency doesn't the owner pony up and buy a new seat? He has to go in there and use it once in a while. I can understand kind of maybe in more public places but for crap sakes, I can't understand this. :P
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Re: PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby ironchefchris » Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:19 am

e-peruvian wrote:They are trained early to be late.

Poetic, but you didn't think that naturally comes easy, did you? It can take years of training to get it down just right, which is probably the reason to start the kids early in colegio. 8)
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Re: PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby teamoperu » Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:04 am

A can opener? Why would they waste money to pay for that, they rarely use canned food, they mostly use way better fresh products than canned foodstuffs. And a knife works just fine on a can of tuna – we gringos are so spoiled! I can of little more useless than a can opener in Peru... beside, I have people who do that for me. :D
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Re: PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby argidd » Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:54 am

Where the heck in Peru do you live? As a Peruvian, I feel insulted, to be honest.
Regards,

Argidd
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Re: PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby KenBE » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:07 am

I have seen many of these "oddities" as well in Peru, although I would say they probably mostly apply to poor and lower middle class Peruvians. I am sure the "pitucos" in Miraflores do use can openers and have toilet seats. Poor Peruvians are just not used to having them, so they don't miss them either.
Last edited by KenBE on Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby Lloyd007 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:08 pm

At the front door of my place of work, a very 'pituca' opened the door to enter, looked behind her to see if anyone was coming (I was thinking she might wait 1.5 seconds for me to also get to the door, holding it open just a fraction of a moment), saw me and just let it swing close again. Why do so many people here not hold a door for a few moments if they have seen someone coming?

Now inside, once the elevator got to the ground floor, she waltzed in to the elevator like she ruled the world before even bothering to let the people inside, get out. I see this all the time. Can't understand it. I call it ''gente mediocre'' not just simply being rude but another level.

That happened this morning and always makes me wonder why parents don't teach decent manners to their kids. Everything begins at home.
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Re: PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby Alan » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:12 pm

e-peruvian wrote:
Knife sharpeners. This is actually a profession. These men wheel around their contraptions , a one-wheeled bicycle-like thing with a grinding stone , and charge 2 or 3 soles to sharpen a knife. A pocket sized knife sharpener will actually put a better edge on a knife but , once again , tradition and culture drive people to hire these men, which is good for them.



Knife sharpeners come in handy, especially if you have the habit of opening tins with a knife! It is hell on the tip of the knife and the top of the blade, and it´s dangerous to boot (at least for the uninitiated). ever had one of the tins slip out from under you? Wowza..

And speaking of openers.. I stand in awe of those (men, mostly) who pry open one bottle of beer using the top of another sealed bottle.... or the side of the plastic beer case, or just about any other hard, or semi-hard surface that is handy. I mean, those large bottles are sealed tight! Nearly explosive sometimes.

As for toilet seats, I find it rarer and rarer to find bathrooms that dont have one. I suppose much depends on the neighborhood. It comes with the territory and economic advancement.

Anyway.. I love all of these differences. Good or bad. It´s what makes travel fun. And when you get right down to it, the "oddities" here are us :)
-----
"Hay que distanciarnos hoy para luego abrazarnos más fuerte".
-Guiseppe Conte, primer ministro italiano.
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Re: PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby captcosmic » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:29 pm

argidd wrote:Where the heck in Peru do you live? As a Peruvian, I feel insulted, to be honest.


Which one of us? :)
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Re: PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby KenBE » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:33 pm

Alan wrote:Anyway.. I love all of these differences. Good or bad. It´s what makes travel fun. And when you get right down to it, the "oddities" here are us :)


I agree.
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Re: PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby ironchefchris » Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:10 pm

Alan wrote:Anyway.. I love all of these differences. Good or bad. It´s what makes travel fun. And when you get right down to it, the "oddities" here are us :)

I'm something of an oddity in my own country.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

- Hunter S. Thompson
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Re: PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby argidd » Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:14 pm

captcosmic wrote:
argidd wrote:Where the heck in Peru do you live? As a Peruvian, I feel insulted, to be honest.


Which one of us? :)


The OP
Regards,

Argidd
ironchefchris
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Re: PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby ironchefchris » Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:51 pm

Ladies and gentlemen
Harry's Harbour Bizarre is proud to present
Under the Big Top tonight
HUMAN ODDITIES!!!



Don't forget to visit our snack bar.
e-peruvian
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Re: PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby e-peruvian » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:40 pm

Dear Argidd:
I apologize to you. My observations were a little uppity. I was not sensitive to the Peruvian perception of my comments. Thank you for pointing this out. I will avoid making any such type of comments in the future and I certainly didn't intend to offend anyone. I am sorry.
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Re: PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby teamoperu » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:42 pm

Alan wrote:
e-peruvian wrote:
Knife sharpeners. This is actually a profession. These men wheel around their contraptions , a one-wheeled bicycle-like thing with a grinding stone , and charge 2 or 3 soles to sharpen a knife. A pocket sized knife sharpener will actually put a better edge on a knife but , once again , tradition and culture drive people to hire these men, which is good for them.



Knife sharpeners come in handy, especially if you have the habit of opening tins with a knife! It is hell on the tip of the knife and the top of the blade, and it´s dangerous to boot (at least for the uninitiated). ever had one of the tins slip out from under you? Wowza..

And speaking of openers.. I stand in awe of those (men, mostly) who pry open one bottle of beer using the top of another sealed bottle.... or the side of the plastic beer case, or just about any other hard, or semi-hard surface that is handy. I mean, those large bottles are sealed tight! Nearly explosive sometimes.

As for toilet seats, I find it rarer and rarer to find bathrooms that dont have one. I suppose much depends on the neighborhood. It comes with the territory and economic advancement.

Anyway.. I love all of these differences. Good or bad. It´s what makes travel fun. And when you get right down to it, the "oddities" here are us :)


LOL Some of us more odd than others, but all of us oddities in another country.
Me too, I love the differences, makes one question if we really do have it right back home.

With more toilet seats comes the eternal first world dilemma, to put the seat down or leave it up.
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captcosmic
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Re: PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby captcosmic » Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:34 pm

Agridd, I bet if you have lived in the states or maybe England or most anywhere, you have questioned, "why do they do that? It is just crazy the way they do ______________." Maybe the OP was a little uppity, but maybe, like the can opener reasoning, he can find method in his/her perception of the madness that surrounds him. Me, I would like to know why toilet seats are not used. Granted there are more now than before, but still in a good establishment they should have them. Maybe it is more hygienic without them?
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Re: PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby argidd » Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:31 am

captcosmic wrote:Agridd, I bet if you have lived in the states or maybe England or most anywhere, you have questioned, "why do they do that? It is just crazy the way they do ______________." Maybe the OP was a little uppity, but maybe, like the can opener reasoning, he can find method in his/her perception of the madness that surrounds him. Me, I would like to know why toilet seats are not used. Granted there are more now than before, but still in a good establishment they should have them. Maybe it is more hygienic without them?


I have lived in the US, my husband is English, and we have visited quite a few countries for both work and play. Yes, of course there are countries that are incredibly different and customs that sometimes blow your mind... it's all about how you present them.
For instance, our family in Europe sure bathes less than our family/us on the other side of the pond, but for that reason we do not portray them as or tell them they are uncivilized; which was what I got from the OP's post... maybe I am exaggerating, but that's how I perceived it, hence why I felt offended.

And about your toilet seat question... like most anything, it's because people steal them!
Regards,

Argidd
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Re: PERUVIAN ODDITIES

Postby emanaku » Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:37 pm

Hi e-peruvian,

if you look more closely, then you see the genius in things like the can opening with a knife and many other things (though not all, of course ;-) ).

We are building a house in the Sacred Valley. Up until shortly we had no electricity at the land. The only machines up until then used were a chainsaw and a cement mixer and temporarily a machine for compacting the floor inside the house. In a lot of more "civilized nations" the normal workers and engineers would have a hard time to build a house with these means - but I really love to see how everything with the house at the end is just fine ...

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