10. i think walking five blocks is a short distance.
when asking directions in lima one will often be told that the desired destination is "lejíííííííísimo" (soooooo faaaaaar). inquire a bit further and the actual distance will be no more than 3-5 blocks.
9. i respect standing in line.
if there is a line, i will take my place at the back of it and patiently wait my turn. i don't wait so patiently when someone cuts in line, as so often happens here.
8. i only have one last name.
latin-americans generally have two last names, one from the father and one from the mother, but the upper tier of elite limeños will often have four, five or even six last names, each of which calls attention to the respectability/richn
7. i do not give money to beggars.
there is much poverty in lima, and i encounter people begging almost every time i leave my house. while this breaks my heart, i do not think my spare change is the best way to help them. i especially will not give money to children. babies and children are sometimes "employed" by beggars precisely because they bring in more money than adults, and i refuse to keep that child on the streets by reinforcing that sort of thinking.
6. i need about two feet of personal space.
peruvians need much less. when standing in line i often feel that the person behind me is "all up on my sack," to quote my husband. the same is true when walking toward someone on the sidewalk. my western mind says, "get out of the way as soon as possible." the peruvian mind seems to say, "walk as long as possible toward the person approaching you, only dodging them at the last moment by as little margin as possible. better yet, wait until they get out of your way."
5. i do not engage in gross (as in outlandish) displays of physical affection.
it is not uncommon to see couples engaging in what i would consider "heavy petting" in public parks and the like all around town. this may or may not stem from the fact that most of them live with their parents until they get married, and public areas are their only chance to engage in said activity.
4. i think the temperature in lima year-round is mild.
limeños, on the other hand, often refer to temperatures during the winter months as freezing (never colder than 60 degrees fahrenheit) and the summer months as insufferable (never hotter than 80 degrees fahrenheit).
3. i do not have a maid and i am not one.
in lima one generally falls into one of these two categories. we do not have a maid. i am not a maid. subcategories are: i do my own grocery shopping. i walk my own dog. i am the one to serve my guests drinks at my parties.
2. i do not like inca cola or chica morrada.
these are the top two non-alcoholic drinks of choice. inca cola is a neon yellow soft drink that tastes something like bubble gum and/or cream soda, and chica morrada is a kool-aidy, cough syrupy drink made from purple corn. when eating in a typical polleria - restaurant where they serve "pollo a la brasa" (delicious charcoal grilled chicken) - half of the restaurant will be drinking inca cola, the other half will be drinking chica morrada, and jj and i will be drinking coke.
1. i am blond.
in my year and a half spent in this city i have only ever met 2 other blonds outside of the expat community, and they were a mother/daughter pair. i will also lump into this category the fact that my skin is white - a white that my spanish teacher pointed out last week is "cien por ciento gringo" (100% gringo) - and i am taller than 5'5".
For my own (Hannah's) part, I'd have to say I agree with most of these. Of course I'm not a blond, and I will admit that I have someone come clean 4 hrs/week. Furthermore, the temperature in Pucallpa is not mild at any time of year! Nonetheless, it's amazing how similar an expat's experience is, in Lima or otherwise.
Amber says she's working on the top ten reasons she's become a limeña. If you're lucky, I'll think of a few ways I've become a Pucallpiña, or at least a Peruana. We'll just have to see how insightful I'm feeling this week.