Organized chaos. This is how I would describe Lima, the capitol city of Peru. Millions of people and what feels like zero traffic regulation. It was funny watching my classmates cringe on our first bus ride as our driver came within inches form the tiny little car in front of us. Cars in peru come standard with horn cruise control, I think, but I’m glad for it because my gringo self would have been run over numerous times otherwise.
I made the observation while walking around the metropolitan city that there were few smokers. Most buildings and rooms had multiple “No Fumar” (no smoking) signs. When I traveled abroad in the past, smoking seemed a much larger part of the culture than it does in Peru. Maybe the high price of a pack of cigarettes keeps them less popular, or possibly there is a small cultural stigma against it. Either way, I am a fan.
A few of us grabbed some seviche, a plate full of various raw fish caught that morning soaked in lemon juice and covered in a spicy red sauce, on our last evening in Lima. While waiting for our table, we watched as a group of what looked like city employes getting out of a truck to begin road construction. I found it interesting how nonchalantly the men worked and spread gravel and tar on the road. My assumption was they were repairing a pot whole before they called it a day. The 6 of us were seated and ate our feast then made our way down stairs to the road again. To all of our surprise, within the hour the men had constructed a very large speed bump painted and in use. For some reason this was astonishing to all of us, why? Possibly because of the positive happy-go-lucky attitude and laughter the men had while working, or the lack of bureaucracy they needed to go through to complete their task. I am not familiar with road work but was impressed and thought I could learn something from their style of work.