Wish you were here? This is a list that I have been slowly been compiling. Enjoy a little taste of the life in Lima!!
1. Advertising – I am pretty sure that Brad Pitt and Hannah Montana do not come to Lima to get their hair cut, and I am very sure that Mark Zuckerberg did not go to school here, but according to billboards and advertisements, the stars regularly frequent businesses in Peru. I wonder if Reese Witherspoon gets royalties from promoting the VisiónYa glasses store here?
2. It is common to refer to someone as “fat”(gordita) or “thin”(flaquita). Used with boys, girls, men, and women, it is common as a term of endearment (“Come here, skinny.”) or as a descriptor (“Have you seen Paulo, the short fatty?”).
3. Dating among young people is done differently here. Going out in groups is fine, but going out with one person of the opposite sex is not done. So how do young people “get their mac on”? They make out in the public parks. On any given night, the parks in Lima are full of young people attached at the lips.
4. Many buildings in Peru have rebar sticking out of the roofs or partially-unfinished paint jobs. A former YAV said that this is because the families are hopeful that, when the money comes in, they can continue to add floors to their house for future generations to live in. However, a tour guide in Cuzco informed me that it is because Peruvians pay fewer taxes on unfinished properties than completed ones. Gotta take advantage of those loopholes!
5. invitame – if you see someone eating or drinking something and you want some, you literally ask them to “invite you” to share. This is commonly done between friends or acquaintances, but I have seen people use this with complete strangers.
6. “fua” – this is an onomatopoeia for “the sound of a person taking a shot of alcohol”.
7. Hot water heaters are pretty rare here. IF you get hot water, usually it comes from the shower head! An electric heater in the shower head heats the water. Just try not to touch any of the exposed wires…
8. Elms, oaks, maples… bor-ing! All that green and brown. Here, lots of trees bloom! It is beautiful!
9. We all know the scene. A group of girls are at a wedding, dancing. What’s in their hands? You got it…their shoes. Most American women can’t leave high-heels on for a night. However, in Lima, the women LIVE in them, literally carrying babies on and off of public busses in 5-inch-tall party shoes. You go, chicas!
12. Peruvians do not ever walk around barefoot in their own homes. This partially due to the dirt, as Lima is full of smog and dust that turns the bottom of your feet black, even if you swept earlier in the day. It is also due to the belief that you will get sick, as the floors are “cold” (even in the summer).
I hope you’ve enjoyed this morsel of Peruvian culture!! For better and for worse, Shane and I have really fallen in love with Peru. Our experiences have been and continue to be amazing. We are so blessed that we have been able to explore, serve, and grow with our Peruvian sisters and brothers in Christ. And with three months ’till we return to the States, my goals have been to make the most of each day, to connect deeply with the friends that I have made, to pray, and to continue to give unstintingly of myself to the glory of Christ.