I stumbled across a bit of a snitty article the other day titled 10 Things Peru Gets Wrong, and even though this guy followed up a few days later with an article titled 10 Things Peru Gets Right, I still found myself mildly annoyed (and I’m probably going to be even more annoyed when the author of those two articles leaves me a nasty comment, or sends me a nasty email even though I’m providing him with extra exposure here).
I’ve been spending most of my time in the US for the last couple years, and to be honest, it’s starting to get at my nerves. In contrast, I was quite happy living in Peru. The main difference is that in the US, people are always smiling at you, and then whispering about you behind their hand (in the form of “10 things you’re doing wrong” articles…among other things).
There are a lot of reasons that Peruvians wouldn’t write a “10 things wrong with your country” article. The first one is that doing such a thing requires free time that most Peruvians don’t have (because they’re too busy working low-paying jobs in deplorable conditions to waste time reading how some entitled American thinks whose biggest fear is splashing Pumkin flavored latte on his iPhone thinks they should improve their country). So, on behalf of those impoverished people, I guess I’ll have to be the entitled American who offers this response.
The sad fact is that America is almost unlivable. The amazing thing about the world is that there ARE places you can live where people don’t destroy you for NO REASON on a daily basis.
For example, in the US people live in fear of having embarrassing images that they took while they were at a party appear online and forever ruin their chances of landing a job.
You don’t have to worry about that kind of BS in Peru. I know this because there’s a lot of embarrassing stuff about me on the internet, and I got a lot of jobs in Peru and internet “background checks” never came up.
In Peru, people simply aren’t as prone to finding a reason to see you as utterly worthless as they are in the US. In fact, being perceived as worthless is just a matter of time in America. That’s how people want to perceive you in the US. I suppose it helps them to feel better about themselves.
Almost invariably, when I hang out with Peruvians, I find them to be genuinely excited and curious to get to know me better. I’m so cynical that I see them almost as “innocent” because they aren’t spending all their time laying malicious traps to make me look bad. But then I step back and I realize that it’s MY attitude that is PSYCHOTIC not THEIRS (which is why I understand that I shouldn’t be writing critical top 10 lists).
Peruvians just aren’t inclined to judge, which is strange because there is a significant religious influence in Peru. However, even their approach to religion is different than in the US (and, of course, religious influence is different depending on what part of the states you live in). In Peru, I don’t recall these little “church factions” that go out and recruit members, and HATE members of other congregations (even though they theoretically should all be united in their love of god). I don’t know, maybe Americans are born with a overdeveloped power grab instinct that slips in to every…single…interaction of their lives.
Anyway, every time I read some random smug blogger writing a top ten list about how OTHER people need to do things better, it makes me long for the simple life in Peru. It’s just great to live around people who don’t hold stupid grudges or spend every free moment trying to think of a new reason why they’re better than you.
That indicates superiority in itself.