Consejos para los turistas que visitan el Perú.
I was walking through Jorge Chavez Airport in Lima, Peru for the umpteenth time and I spotted this guy who definitely was an american tourist. How did I know? Well... he was wearing a cowboy hat! And for the umpteenth time I reminded myself that tourists always have this terrible habit of dressing up to look like tourists and do stuff that only tourists do.
And that, my tourist friend, is a HUGE mistake in a country like mine. Even though I believe that my country is the most beautiful country in the world (sometimes I even think that I'm living on Middle-Earth), it's far from being in ideal place for tourists, so walking around having what I like to call "the tourist look-and-feel" is not convenient, much less if you really are a tourist.
My tourist friend, let me get straight to the point: being a tourist in here means "rob me", "I'm an easy victim for a scam", "charge me a higher price". Dear tourist: before you even consider coming to my country, you should read news about it.
So, being myself the charitable guy that I am, I'm going to list some useful advice for anyone who's planning to visit my homeland in the future.
Advice for the tourist friend coming to Peru
1. Never, NEVER EVER, use those kaki vests that tourists normally use to go to safaris in Africa. You're not going to bump into any wild animals in our cities. Get rid of those stupid safari hats too!
2. Avoid wearing shorts. Nothing says "tourist!" like a pair of milky white legs.
Don't. Just don't.
Don't. Just don't.
3. Do not cover your whole face with sun block when walking under the sun. Most cities have a really nice climate, neither too hot nor too cold.
4. Do not check your maps on the street. Everyone will know that you're lost. Check them before you leave your hotel.
5. The same goes for dictionaries [your language]-spanish. It would be better if you learn some spanish before coming, hehehe! And put some effort on your pronunciation.
6. Do not wear typical peruvian attire, like chullos or ponchos or any of that stuff. We don't, so you shouldn't either. Only tourists do that. If you buy some peruvian clothing, wear it on the safety of your own country.
No, no, no, no, no...
7. Think it twice before you decide to accept help from local people that you meet on the street. Some of them only want your money, sex, and in the future a green card.
8. Don't even think of coming with one of those giant digital cameras (this applies specially to japanese tourists). Buy a small digital camera instead.
9. Don't ask any questions to bystanders unless you fulfill item #5. For more information, check items #4 and #7.
10. And the most important thing: Do not speak in your native language in public.
If you do all the things stated above, you can visit my country with no worries.
PS: Ok, to anyone out there who's not laughing, this was all a joke. You have to be careful when you come to my country, but not THAT careful. Peru is as safe as any other latinoamerican country. Or even India. Or Egypt. Or Thailand. Or Nepal.