How To Cross The Street Without Getting Killed in Peru

First of all, I think this is a pretty awesome picture, although it doesn’t look quite as good on my computer as it does on my camera’s view screen.  On my camera, the green is a little more vibrant, but I suppose I could touch that up in photoshop.  This is just a random image I grabbed as I was walking down the street.  I was using my DSLR, which is why you get an actually cool image and not a blurry piece of shit like you would with a cell phone camera.  I really should have my DSLR with me at all times actually, although I start getting nervous when people look at me like they’re going to cut my head off just to take it.

Anyway, buses like these are your main concern when walking around in Lima, Peru.  The reason being, these things are as likely to run you down as look at you.  I’m finding myself more and more annoyed with this lately because I’m walking around with my pregnant wife and my two year old daughter.  Back in the old days, cars that nudged me as they went by already threw me into a blinding rage.  If a car nudges my daughter in her stroller, I’m liable to kill the guy.

Cultural differences aside, what do you you guys think?  If a car bumps into a baby in a stroller doesn’t the driver deserve to die?  I think so.  I don’t care if it’s not part of the national culture to give a crap about pedestrians.  It’s really out of control here in Peru.  I thought it was funny occasionally when I was in my twenties, but seriously, somebody’s going to get killed.  Learn to drive with a little bit of respect for your fellow human beings out there.

Half the problem are the entitled Pitucos who just think they’re better than everyone else and should be allowed to run down the impoverished people of the world.  Then again, the other half of the problem is the uneducated poor who are driving these combis for 17 hours a day for S/. 10 and who have never been trained in how to drive any sort of vehicle.  I have a little more contempt for the entitled Pitucos because they should know better.

The other day, I suggested to my friends that I’m going to start carrying a big fluorescent green sign that says “PARE” (STOP) in big flashing white letters to protect me as I cross the street.  I think you could sell signs like this that folded up like personal fans for easy storage in your jacket pocket when they’re not in use.

Lima could be greatly improved by simply teaching the local driving contingent to respect pedestrians.  Better yet, designate entire areas of the city as “no vehicle traffic” (everything from Ovalo de Gutierrez to Ovalo de Miraflores for starters).

For those of you who haven’t already, make sure you do me a favor a pick up my books Beyond Birkie Fever and The Bone Sword over at the Rhemalda Bookshop!  If you happen to write a review somewhere, please let me know!

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