Peru, Love it or Leave it!

I honestly love Peru, I think it’s one of the greatest countries on the planet. Sure, there are things here and there that get on my nerves and make me a little bit grumpy, but for the most part Peru is a place that I want to be.

I tend to take a pro-Peru stance on all issues, and for that reason, some people get a little bit grumpy with me from time to time.  They claim that I’m looking at things with rose-tinted glasses, or simply not being realistic.
Well, I suppose that’s true, but in all honesty the things that Peru gets wrong simply don’t make me as angry as the things most of the rest of the nations of the world get wrong.
The thing that I love most about Peru is that you’re just allowed to BE when you’re there.  In the US, there is a constant oppression of judgment that you have to live under.  It’s totally bizarre and completely unreported, but the fact is a lot of Americans are TERRIFIED to simply be themselves.  However, they’re absolutely convinced that’s not the case.  In fact, they’re so convinced that if you even mentioned this too them they’d laugh in your face and walk away before you could even finish making your point.
Not a day goes by that I don’t begin to explore a completely reasonable idea just to see where it will take me, only to have some psycho jump all over me simply for daring to approach a thought with a new perspective.  If you’re living in a place that doesn’t have an honest discourse about things, you’re in some pretty serious trouble buster!  Even back in college I used to want to throw things out there only to have the whole room explode like a nuclear reaction.  It’s amazing how quickly a group of people in the US will misinterpret what you’re trying to say, denounce you, and tell you to be silent.  The reason for this is that THEY ALREADY KNOW how everything should be, and they feel like they’re being good little productive citizens if they toe the line.
I honestly think this is the case in the US and it makes me sick to my stomach.
However, in Peru, people will engage you in discussion.  Peruvians are always eager to listen to you and aren’t pre-disposed to judge.  You could maybe make the argument that they’re pre-disposed to judge positively, but I don’t feel like exploring the ramifications of that thought right now.  Ideas that are new aren’t immediately dismissed out of hand, but are instead picked up and examined.
Sure, things like infrastructure and traffic are not all that agreeable in Peru, but those are pretty small things compared to the ability to think in a free environment.  The fact is, Peru has freedom that America lacks.
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1 Comment

  1. 09/27/2016

    Hey Ben, I like your take on Peruvians will engage you in discussion. In my 18 month experience living here I have had countless opportunities with every social class of person to engage in conversation. Mostly regarding the food, but…. around election season politics comes up more often. To the credit of the culture (whether Latin-American or uniquely Peruvian I do not claim to know) they are very open to discuss and while always not in agreement with anothers persective, there is much more "agreeing to disagree" here than say, the US. Being left alone to just be and fend for oneself is truly a benefit of this country and probably one to the stronger reasons to stay. I love the USA, after 16 years of uniformed service it's hard not to have drank the coolaid. I still cry at the national anthem but fear the USA of tolerance and acceptance is still a bit more idealistic than realistic. Just try and run for an elected office in the US and my point is well illustrated. Hope to formally meet you this "summer" when you come back.

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