A different point of view – Life in Lima

While sitting at Mangoes enjoying a beer on a beautiful day in Lima, I met an interesting man named Jellin (pronounced Yellin). Originally from Holland, he had been selling mining equipment to the Peruvian goldmines in the late 90’s, married a Peruvian lady of the European class and settled down in Lima to start a family.

Today at 44, Jellin has a 6-year-old son, is getting divorced and can’t wait to exit Lima, which he will do in February to go to Spain.

Jellin, blonde haired, blue-eyed and able to speak Latin American Spanish fluently – ‘I hate Lima. The rest of Peru is beautiful but Lima is only a stop-over. Everyday I’m picking garbage off my driveway. If you cross the road at the pedestrian crossing, they will speed up to try to hit you. It happens here all the time.’

The Europeans are moving out of the affluent areas (like Miraflores) because they don’t want to mix with the new middle class that has started to form from the locals that are getting educated and working, earning some money and can now afford to live in the better areas. Its wrong.

The other day I was driving through a toll highway, in my white jeep – It’s the biggest and whitest jeep you can get – when the police stopped me. Now I knew I had done nothing wrong and have all of my paper work in order, and he stood there looking through my papers trying to find SOMETHING because they want to get anything out of you, 5 soles, 10 soles even, and you know what he said? ” your car is meant to be white”, it was ridiculous, but I joked with him and said “You know what the weathers like in Lima, you have to wash your car every second day, if you like I’ll wash it for you now”. He then asked me to get out of the car, and you know what he found? He pointed to the thin door outline which is grey and said ” you call that white?”. Now I got angry, and started asking for his rank and who his superior was. I said “I want you to write down in your book in front of me that you think my car is not white!’

Jellin, paused and smiled – ‘ Now, anywhere else in the world the police would either get heavy-handed or start writing lies and can really get you in trouble. But not in Lima, you go offensive and they will back down.’ Then adds ‘and if he doesn’t, you look away, reach into your wallet for 10 soles, and when he takes it out of your hand, you can look up, and hopefully he’s gone.’

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dalethesnail
    Dec 02, 2010 @ 02:47:02

    I think that’s why our police force is squeaky clean compared to most countries. Because we have ICAC etc. and can afford to pay them enough money not to go rogue.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: