Dispatch from a world away

After two months of classes, we’re getting pretty comfortable. We still get the occasional, “You’re not from here,” but it’s all good. Students are fairly cold and distant, but just like anywhere, once you get to know people, they open up. One professor even said that the students are more afraid of us than we are of them

We just finished midterm week, which was an utter joy. Because it is such a big university, you enter the exam with your ID card, and the test lector checks off your mug shot on his roll sheet.

Being a student is pretty much the same on campus. Our history professor made that clear the other day when he announced, “This isn’t a democracy, it’s a university.”

It really wasn’t his fault. The classes last two hours, and a majority of the students whine for a break every 15 minutes.

After this announcement, the professor asked us to pronounce “Lackawana,” the name of an American Civil War ship that we sold to Per£ in the nineteenth century. In order to say it like Ariel and I did, he held his nose and repeated. Now Lackawana is a very popular word around here.

I’m always amazed at how many people speak English, and very well. If not, the majority speak Spanglish.

Every building, street and neighborhood has a “watchaman” as they say, otherwise known as security guard, who generally has a lot of time to rest. These guys are everywhere. They all have the same uniform and it gets to the point where I feel like I’m lost because I see a different guard everywhere.

Speaking of which, getting lost is my specialty, but I have not done that in a while now. It’s all about listening to the places that the bus helper screams out the door as they pass you. We’re getting quicker everyday.

What does shock us is that animals are not very respected here. Most family dogs live on the roof or the street. We went to the Jockey Club, which is also a horse racetrack, where there was a celebration for World Animal Day on Oct. 4. Although there were no more than fifty people, we met a few animal activists who are fighting for the cause.

One, whose main fight is to ban bullfighting and cock fighting in Per£, told us that there are only six countries in the world that allow this under the protection of cultural preservation. PETA and the ASPCA are slowly having an effect on this cause and pet education.

We’re also seeing this theme in Peruvian movies that lime¤os, or people from Lima are not like the rest of the country. This is city life. It’s great to meet the mix of people, but it’s also competitive city life, so adapting can be difficult. I hope that I’m at least faking it well.

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