Living The Local Life In Lima

I arrived in Lima two days ago. An English girl, Tammy, who I had met in Huacachina had got the bus here the day before and although we had booked our beds separately, we were conveniently put into the same dorm. When I went to meet her, she was hanging out with another English girl, Jill, who I have met twice previously on this trip. After spending most of the past month with male travellers, it was nice to hang out with girls again.

The next day, Tammy and I walked around the centre. Although she was the one who had suggested going, she wore a money belt and in general, seemed a little paranoid about safety. With the exception of the main square, we were surrounded by Indigenous looking locals and were the only two tourists. Most tourists stick to Miraflores and the beach district, but I found the centre to be safe and more interesting than the middle class areas.

Of all the capital cities in developing countries I have been to, I would say Lima is the most liveable. It is a lot cleaner than Buenos Aires and the locals didn´t really take any notice of us. We walked around for a while, then took a tour of a San Francisco monastery which had a small catacombs.

Afterwards we went to the local market. It was open air but most of it was similar to others I have been to in South America. However, there was one busy street in which people stood in the middle and approached people as they walked by. They were selling incredibly strange things; there was no real theme. We saw people selling PVA glue, foil blankets, head umbrellas, forks. It was hard not to laugh. Then we went to a fountain park, which had lasers and one of the largest fountains in the world. There were more tourists here but the crowd was predominately made up of Peruvian couples and families.

Later that night we were talking to two friends of Jill’s who were from Brisbane. We started talking about the Motorcycle Diaries; one of the Brisbane girls said she´d seen some of it but it was obvious that she didn´t know what it was about when she referred to the main character as “that guy.” Someone asked her if she knew who he was and she replied she didn´t. We told her the film was about Che Guevara and explained why he was such an important figure in history.

“What´s his name?” she asked. “Jay Guevara?”

Yes, gentle reader, it´s true what they say about people from Queensland.

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2 comments

  1. An Offended Australian

    And yes, gentle writer, it’s true what they say about people from Melbourne – stuck up snobs!! I am highly offended by your ‘it’s true what they say about people from Queensland’ line as it is incredibly biased to single out a whole state of our beautiful country because of one stupid girl’s inability to recall the main protagonist in some film she probably only watched because she was on her way to South America. In fact your whole blog really hates on Australians….why is this so? I’ve read every one of the entries on this blog so far and have come to the conclusion not to be offended by your remarks about our nations people, but instead to feel sorry for you: the lonely Melbourne girl trying to find her way in the world, trying to ‘get away from Australians’ but instead end up getting loaded on cheap cocaine (that you remarked wasn’t even that good – compared to Melbourne?! Come on mate, really?!) and fucking every guy that makes any advancement towards you. You seemed to hang out with dudes the entire trip, and then get depressed cos they bail on you after you sleep with them. Why would you even write about that – it makes you look like a massive slut. I guess you have no idea about writing though judging on your lack-lustre, unstructured, ‘lame’, racist, ageist and mostly very boring rhetoric peppered with grammatical errors. Don’t give up your day job love – your blog fucking sucks.

    I hope the rest of your travels taught you to be more accepting of people and not be so biased – if South America can’t open your eyes to the real world around you, nothing will.

  2. pacifictheme

    I take it that you don’t know who Che Guevara is either? He is not just a ‘main protagonist in some film.’ Anyone with a basic understanding of modern history would know who he is but I found it especially surprising that someone who had spent a few months travelling around South America was ignorant of who he was – it’s like travelling around China and having no clue who Mao was or visiting South Africa but not knowing who Nelson Mandela is.

    Most of my comments about Australians are tongue in cheek (though I can see how they could easily be misinterpreted) but yes in this case, I did judge this girl. If that makes me a snobby person from Melbourne, then so be it. For the record, I don’t really buy into these sorts of stereotypes – obviously there are many people from Queensland who are lovely and intelligent.

    I admit that I do have mixed feelings about the Australians I’ve met overseas – for example, very few bothered to learn any Spanish or Portuguese. I wasn’t the only person who noticed this – even people from other countries made comments to this effect.

    There was only one guy who bailed on me, as you put it, but if you really want to know why I wrote about it, it’s because I wanted to write honestly about my experiences. Anyway, I’m not ashamed of the choices I have made.

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