Peru is a Great Place to Learn Spanish–Notes on Peruvians at Olympics

Learn Spanish in Peru
Hello Folks,
It’s time for my monthly sojourn into some reflections on Peru!  I’ve gone through my extensive photo catalog and made some selections for you.  The photos are not connected to the contents of this article exactly, but I’m including them because they add a slice of Peruvian life to this blog.

A lot has happened since the last time I wrote.  The Super Bowl ended and although the game was a snoozer, the ads set off a firestorm.  The one that had everybody talking on Monday morning was the coke ad that featured people singing “America the Beautiful” in a bunch of different languages.  I’ve long thought that one of the stupidest things about Americans is that they sometimes confuse willful ignorance with patriotism.  A large portion of the American public actually takes pride in the fact that they don’t know how to speak a foreign language!

Well, I decided to provoke people, and I put the following message on my Facebook wall:

Una cosa que no entiendo es porque los Estadosunidenses no entienden que la habilidad de hablar various idiomas es un GRAN VENTAJA en el mundo de negocios? No aman la plata los gringos o que?

I was hoping somebody would comment and say something like “what’s the matter, don’t you love America, why aren’t you writing in English?” so that I could reply with, “all I said was that being bilingual helps in the business world” but nobody wrote anything like that (I must have already blocked those friends).  Usually if some American criticizes you for being unpatriotic, you can counter by saying you’re just being a dedicated capitalist, and they shut up.  If they don’t shut up, accuse them of being a socialist, and that really gets them angry (although my guess is they went to a public school, and drove to work on roads the government paid for, and enjoyed the military protection of their freedoms…but whatever).

For those of you who are enlightened enough to actually want to learn a foreign language, Peru is a great place for learning Spanish.  In Peru, they speak a very “clean” Spanish. What do I mean by that?  I mean that for my ear, their pronunciations are very easy to grasp.  Other forms of Spanish throughout the world use a bit of slurring, or different pronunciations.  Peruvian Spanish sounds closest to what an English speaker sounds like if s/he starts reading Spanish words while affecting a Spanish accent.  That being said, there is plenty to learn in studying a foreign language, but I think the transition from Midwest English to Spanish is easier if you use Peruvian Spanish rather than Mexican or Argentinian Spanish (plus they don’t use the “vosotros” form, so that’s one less whole verb tense to learn).

No Parking (the guy ran out of room the first time and had to write it twice)

Peruvians at the Olympics

My friend Roberto Carcelen (from Peru) recently wrote me to say he was heading out to Sochi.  Roberto is a cross-country skiier, and unfortunately he recently had a fall where he broke a rib.  He’s still planning to compete, however, in what is developing as a pretty remarkable story.

Still, the only news that’s coming out of Sochi lately is how “horrible” the hotels are. From what I gather, Russia was rushing to get things done, and many of the hotels that were constructed to house the media have some details that yet need to be attended to.

However, I have to say that I think this developing story about how the hotels are bad is just a load of “soft” rich journalists and wealthy tourists being a bunch of crybabies (and it reflects badly on the US that this story is being circulated).  These stories make all Americans seem like a bunch of entitled wimps.  One story mentioned how the curtains were not hung correctly and there were no batteries in the remote control (here’s a story with some pictures…none of which looked particularly bad to me!

Poor baby…how would you ever survive?

Excuse me if I have a hard time scrounging up sympathy for a bunch of privileged people who get to go on the vacation of a lifetime and who are put out because they only have cold water in their hotel room.  I bet there are a lot of athletes competing at the games who come from countries where the majority of the population has never bathed in hot water.  Just buck up and enjoy the Olympics.

I’ve sent Roberto an email asking him to tell me how his accommodations are.  If Roberto says it’s bad, then I’ll believe it.  Otherwise I’m just going to consider anyone who reports on this to be a whiner.

Shoe Shine in Parque Kennedy (this photo has an extra wide margin at the top and bottom)

 Housing Market in Peru

Recently I saw somebody leave a post on the Expatriates in Peru Facebook group offering a house for rent for $7000 a month.  It was 340 square meters I believe, and very close to Roosevelt school.  It was amusing to read this post because half of the people on that group (probably more than half) weren’t dumb enough to spend $7000 a month on a house that size in that neighborhood.

The original poster eventually chimed in and told people that she “was catering to foreigners” (which more or less means “ripping off” foreigners) and that she’d already had some offers (which I will believe when I see the emails for those offers).  It seems to me that a fairer price for the size of the house and the district it was in would be around $1500 a month.

People tend to say things like “well, if she can get that much, then good for her,” but I disagree.  You shouldn’t charge 5 times the rent and hope you catch a dumb, rich foreigner who doesn’t know any better.  There might be consequences when that person finds out.

Surf Truck in Miraflores

New Book Release

Lastly, my new book has just been released by Perseid (about a month ago now actually).  It’s been doing really well so far, which is nice.  I received this wonderful review from the Dean of DeVry University.  I still have a couple review copies left, so if anyone is interested in reviewing it, please write me (

Hey…if you want to buy it, that’s awesome, but if that’s too much to ask, it would help if you hit “yes” after the question “Was this review helpful to you?” at the bottom of each review.  The more traffic these reviews get, the better.

Also, you could “like” my Amazon Author page which you can find here.  Anyway you spread the word helps a ton!

That’s all for now folks!  I’ll try to stop back to the “Streets of Lima” in a month or so…maybe earlier if Roberto gets back to me about those Sochi questions!  Cheers!  Here’s the book cover, you can click it to go to the Amazon page!

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