Maps aren’t enormously popular in Peru. The skill of map reading isn’t something that has trickled its way down into the general public. I don’t know…maybe it’s not all that popular in the US either.
I suppose, when I stop and think about it, I’m of a little bit different variety than most people (understatement of the year some of you are saying). What I mean is that I have a friend who pretty much gets nervous if he has to go more than 20 or 30 miles away from the place where he was born. He’s like Tom Bombadil in The Lord of the Rings (that’s a totally bizarre connection, so don’t fret if you can’t figure out what I’m saying), the dude was happy living near the Barrow wights, and there was no reason for him to go trotting off to Mordor.
Reading maps is a skill you pick up if you ever decide to jump into your car and go cross-country. I suppose many people never use a map for anything more than figuring out how to navigate the local mall (people get lost in malls…I’m not one of those people).
The thing is…it’s like the scientific method…you have to TRUST the map even though it’s not a completely accurate representation of reality (well…it IS an accurate representation, but it’s rendered in a two dimensional document…get what I’m saying?). Most people get convinced that Boise “just CAN’T be in THAT direction!” so they head off in the completely wrong direction and get stopped at the border to Canada (where they are given a full cavity search and then told not to return…or at least not to return unless they’ve had a bath).
Well, so there aren’t any maps in Lima because there’s no DEMAND for maps. But what there IS a demand for is PHONE numbers and luckily, the telephone book as a series of MAPS in it!
So if you need a map in Lima, dig up a phone book! They even have neat mini versions that you can carry around. This is useful for the days you spend looking for apartments in Peru (which is awesome!). You know…it just occurred to me that it might be fun to go looking for apartments in Peru again the next time I’m there. You never enjoy looking for apartments (because you’re stressed out about finding a place to live) but if you went while already HAVING a place to live, I think it might be fun. I’m going to do that the next time I’m in Lima! Why don’t people ever think to do fun stuff like that when they’re on vacation?