Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Is Peru Too Laid Back?

Latin America is known for its laid back lifestyle, but this could be too much of a good thing. This lackadaisical attitude meaning that planning is thrown out the window and things are done in a slipshod manner. This goes for roads, bridges, buildings as well as the future, such as planning for retirement. However, you have to take things into stride and try to understand more about Peruvian culture.

In addition, it means that laws are shades of grey rather than black and white. Some people like this because it means they can overstay their visa easily and just pay $1 a day fine. Some who have overstayed their visa by many days have even bargained down the fine. Though this works against them as well as it causes fewer employers want to get their employees visas since they know that working on a tourist visa isn't that bad. This in turn causes laughable wages, zero benefits, and no chance for things to get better in the future.

One tip to remember is that speaking Spanish will help you greatly. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate to Peru, and it'll get you cheaper prices. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.

Things are bad for Peruvians as well, as bribery is commonplace. I'll never forget the day that I was on a combi that got pulled over by a police officer. The driver took 20 soles in his filthy hands and put it in the documents that he handed over. The policeman held it up, told the driver that he couldn't accept bribes and stuffed it in his shirt pocket. Classic. This is why Peru will not achieve first world status in my lifetime.



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