A New Country, Hopefully a Better One

Street in Cusco

matt 120pxAfter just two days in Peru, I can already say I like it better than Bolivia. I could’ve said that after just a few hours here, in fact. It always seems odd to me that things can be so different on either side of an arbitrary political line. Crossing that line from Bolivia to Peru, the differences that stand out the most are peoples’ demeanor and the food. Peruvians seem a lot more friendly than Bolivians. Smiles, hellos, and small-talk rather than blank stares and grim faces. To be balanced though, I must admit that Peruvians seem a bit more opportunistic when it comes to taking advantage of tourists, as we’ve been lied to/ripped off a few times already. Its kind of like India, Nepal, or Cambodia, where people are friendly, but will try to take advantage of you. While that sounds bad, I’ll take it over people who are rude and try to take advantage of me, like in Vietnam. Yet neither is preferable to friendly and honest people, like in Malaysia, China, Korea, or Japan. Back to Peru-Bolivia differences, the food is soooo much better this side of the border. Since arriving, I’ve had: a set lunch with trout, Chinese food, and a set dinner with alpaca steak (easily the best meal I’ve had in weeks). Friendly people, good food, and the scenery is still impressive. Good signs and a promising start to Peru.

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