I am sorry that it is once again a post about my stay in Peru but as it is currently all I am doing, it is constantly on my mind. As it has not been that long since I got here I thought I would write 10 things that stood out to me, that I find strange, that seem typically Peruvian or in some other way stood out.
1. It is winter here but during the day we have 25 degrees Celsius. Like I am so busy rubbing sun lotion on 24/7 cause it is so warm and it’s supposed to be winter. The only thing giving that away is that there is snow on the mountains. But that’s about it.
2. There are so many stray dogs and I want them all. It doesn’t matter where in Arequipa you walk around you can see them everywhere. In travel warnings you are advised to stay away from them because of rabies, but most of them seem friendly and don’t even come close to humans. But I made a friend a. The bus st before. That dog came up to me and sat next to me and kept stubbing me with his nose as to say ‘please give me attention.’ Sadly our bus came before I could give him attention.
3. The combi busses. Basically every the busses here are about the size of how a 9 seater in Europe or the US. However, here they have the drives row, and then 5 additional rows and the most I have been in with was 25. It sounds crammed and horrific, but it is not that bad. Also they always play music in the bus and being on there has quite a cool vibe, plus it makes you feel like you belong.
4. I stand out. I am 5’8″ (1.73m) which makes me about a head taller than the average Peruvian I have encountered here. I am white. Yes, there are other tourists but not that many that you would not stand out with white skin. I have gingery, curly hair. Also in a sea full of dark brown to black hair that stands out. Not being used to it, it is really weird that people look at you just when you walk through the streets. But it also has its perk. For example a little girl pointed at me the other day and said “Bonita señorita” which totally made my day.
5. As I have only been to Arequipa I can only talk about this city it everything here is remarkably clean. Honestly the streets are slippery because they are so clean and polished. Considering as well that there are stray dogs everywhere I find it incredible how well kept the city is.
6. If the houses here are not old colonial buildings and are impressive churches or official buildings, the houses are all so colourful. You name it orange, yellow, pink, red, light blue, purple, mint green, I have seen it all and it makes it all the more beautiful and colourful.
7. They don’t seem to have hallways inside. In the hostel and the home where I work, as well as in buildings that I walk past the stairwells and hallways are all out in the open. Granted it doesn’t rain here a lot especially at the moment so it makes sense, but for someone who is not used to it it definitely stands out.
8. Most of the cars here would probably not be allowed on the streets anywhere in Europe or North America. First of all because of emissions. Like seriously so many emissions and it smells like it. But secondly most of the cars are so old and would under no circumstances fall under safety regulations. Like the taxis don’t really have seat belts. Many are missing mirrors and so on. But oh well. You kinda get used to it.
9. One thing that I have noticed is that currently despite it being warm no one is really wearing shorts or short skirts or dresses. Considering that it is over 20 degrees it strikes me as odd. Considering that it is winter for them it seems fair. I have to say it is quite nice not having people nag me for wearing black jeans while it is really warm out cause everyone else does it to!
10. The advertising and menus of most restaurants even if they are like a good quality look like the advertising of fast food restaurants or takeaways like kebab shops or chippys. They all have big pictures of their foods and it just looks cheap and makes you a bit sceptical. But we have been to some and they are actually quite good!
Anyways I hope you enjoy this!
Lots of love,