Friday, January 23, 2009

Three Worlds Away, Pt 1

From The Trip, pt. 2: Mountains to Lima
Its no surpise that Peru is largely a third world country. Driving through most towns reveals a level of living most people would not be at all comfortable with... but for the most part, ones world view is largely relative to ones surroundings, and for the most part Peruvians seem happy, moreover, thriving. Several things I´ve noticed:

  • The more sophisticated a town seems to be, the earlier they go to bed. The amazon is probably the poorest place we´ve been... They seem to like to party. Maybe its the jungle.

  • Building shape, function, and materials are very regional. Driving from the Amazon to the northern mountains there is a smooth gradation in the materials used for construction. Manufactured hollowed bricks and cinder blocks are everywhere, but largely building materials are gathered from a reasonable proximity in which the building was constructed. In the amazon, most houses were constructed of bamboo, slender palm trunks, and palm leaves. As you reach the mountains, the buildings begin to incorporate more adobe and start taking on a more colonial appearance.

  • Most peruvians don´t have double pained windows, or windows at all, really.

  • When a hole opens up in the local market place, you´ll see more people (at least an order of magnitude more) offering that service than you can possibly imagine the local economy can handle. Every town has at least ten bus companies, one hundred mototaxis, and photography stores as frequent as starbucks...

    Patterns: Lots of people doing the same thing at the same time yields some pretty interesting random patterns, like 300 hammocks on a river ferry.

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