Expectations: Yesterday I mentioned how much I like the sense of community here but the downside was gossip. The other downside is there is a lot of unspoken expectations that I sometimes miss. Certainly as time goes on I feel like I miss them less and less although sometimes I don’t miss them but rather I disagree with them. For example on the weekend we are having a party for Nina and there seems to be an expectation that we invite every child in the extended family even if Nina nor I have met them and that we provide ridiculous amounts of lollies as well as party bags for the children. At this stage I have decided to just go along with so as not to offend but I don’t feel entirely comfortable with it
Punctuality: People are always late and nothing ever starts on time. In fact a lot of things don’t even have a start time they just start when people rock up. People often say they are going to come to something and then don’t. It seems it’s ruder to say you are not going to come than to say you are and then not show up. I guess there are different ways of doing things and it seems to work for Peruvians most of the time but for someone like me it is immensely frustrating.
“It’s not what you know but who you know”: I know this is something that happens in all the world but here it is certainly more deeply ingrained than I have ever experienced. In government organisations, the church as well as private organisations. I have talked about our personal experience of not getting jobs because of it and since then I have seen it happen to others often. I feel so frustrated by how much potential there is in Chulucanas but nothing ever seems to move forward as the best people are not been put into the positions. It also doesn’t move forward because people in positions of power don’t like change but that’s everywhere too.
Hierarchies: I find Peru to be quite hierarchical. There are lots of titles used eg if you are a doctor, they call you doctor like in Aus, but also if you are an engineer engineer, teacher, teacher, nurse, nurse etc and then it feels like people are treated accordingly. Lots of people still have maids and nannies and while there are some exceptions of course they are generally grossly unpaid. I also do not feel they are treated as they should be, it’s not as extreme as the way it is portrayed in “the help” but I never feel entirely comfortable with it.
No cinema and only pirate DVD’s: There is no cinema in Chulucanas and I miss going to the movies. But the worst thing is that there is nowhere to buy or rent DVD’s that aren’t pirate. Not even in Piura. I don’t feel great about getting pirate movies but it’s also just really frustrating as the movies are very rarely of good quality and so at some point we miss a part of the movie as it jumps.
Machismo: I have mentioned this various times so I don’t really need to go into again but I really do find it difficult to live with.
Variety of food: Peruvian people love their food and it is becoming pretty famous worldwide and there is a lot of it that I like a lot but there is not that much variety for a vegetarian even a pescatarian like me. I do miss Thai food, Indian food, Japanese food, Lebanese food, Italian food etc.
My family and friends are not here: This is definitely the thing that I find hardest about living here in Chulucanas. I do miss everyone so much. Having people around who you can talk to about everything, who really know you and still love you is certainly rare.