Postcards from Peru, part 1

Having been here for oh so long now, I feel eminently qualified to speak on my (currently) adopted city. These are my pontifications on Lima.

Lima is a practical and resigned city. This is my assumption of how they think:

Need to construct a new building in earthquake central AKA Lima but don’t have trees or other earthquake safe materials? No worries. Just build with bricks. It’ll work for now and if it is destroyed in the future, oh well.


Need cheap mass transit but have little funding? Put in a core network of government run buses and let private business deal with the rest. (Mom, if I die in Lima, it’ll be in a traffic accident.)

Need power to a new house? OK, run a line from the street. Also useful for clotheslining unwary birds.

Need a cab? Buy a sticker that says taxi, slap on an available vehicle, and voila! Bonus points if you have seatbelts.

Need a place to live? Build a house, occupy it for six months, and the land you built on is yours. (This is why there are so many shanty towns in and around Lima. It’s like Laura Ingalls Wilder homesteading for the 21st century.)


Need a way to make money and have some rich tourists? Build a giant, beachfront mall and develop the surrounding area until some tourists (ahem, me) wonder when Waikiki was moved from Hawaii to Peru.

Need to handle the destruction from the last earthquake/bomb/general neglect? OK. Tear down those derelict, ancient colonial buildings and put up something new. Maybe a KFC.

Need to feel better after Peru loses a game and doesn’t advance in the world cup? Eh, the team played badly. (WHAT? Someone said their own team played badly? Bizarre.)

Need to get somewhere but the metro is full? Oh well. Wait for the next one. Have some delicious churros while passing the time. They haven’t killed me yet.

This entry was posted in Peru. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s