My impression of Lima

09:23 NovataSL 0 Comments

My opinion of Lima is varied, when coming to Lima the first thing you will notice is the horde of taxis waiting outside the airport trying to grab as many people as possible this gives you a hint of what life is like here in Lima. What I mean by that is that Lima is a large and busy city with everyone trying to survive, I would like to be realistic in my views on Lima so I would recommend any one for a start when they arrive to Lima not to take any taxi outside of the airport unless you are with a Peruvian, the reason for this is obvious although you cannot say all taxis are bad but there have more than enough robberies or scams involving these taxis to prove that that these cannot trusted. There are many taxi services that are much more trustworthy yet will cost you a little more for example Autotaxi Satelital SAC which can be called on 3555555.
When you talk to many people about life in Peru you will hear many times that Peruvians are kind and friendly this is true however, do not apply this to all people you meet.  

The thing is being foreign like any other country makes you an automatic target for criminals waiting to take advantage of you, these scams may involve changing of notes that are false, overcharging is common or something as serious as theft in the street and believe me here nobody will help you even if you are being robbed in broad daylight. So always be aware and keep a look out and when someone asks for anything in the street just shake your head and move quickly away.
One thing that can be identified in Lima is the poverty and I don’t mean to paint Lima as a dangerous and unforgiving place there are worse cities in world but here you will see people begging in the streets and especially if you go to center of Lima these people can be very invasive especially with foreigners asking and following constantly it is the norm, you may give a little to them if you wish or you can choose to ignore then. Now this happens on the buses to but in a different way, when travelling on bus you may see occasionally people playing instruments and singing from hip hop to the traditional Andean music this can be a pleasant experience one that you don’t see in countries like England and if you like them you can drop a few cents into their hat or tin, sadly in my opinion like many other countries young aspiring musicians are not given really any recognition here in Lima. Another thing you will see is people selling sweets or ice cream on the buses so if you feel peckish you can buy something to eat on the way home and there is also people begging for money usually with a tragic life story about how they left prison and they are trying to change to a grieving mother who cannot afford the hospital bills and something that many people like foreigners find hard is children constantly around the clock begging for money and trying to sell the odd cookie. You may give something to them but it does not necessarily need to be money, you can give a cookie or some food. A kind gesture is always appreciated.
Another thing I would like to mention here is that the bus here are chaotic there is no lines and no waiting the idea is just to pile on, when getting in on these buses take care of your possessions, there are no bus depots in Lima so if you lose anything it is gone for good and always try and learn how much you must pay to certain destination not all bus conductors are honest.

For many of you who are travelling to Peru, you will probably end up on the coastal side of Lima meaning Miraflores or Barranco or you may end up in a nice part in the east of Lima called La Molina, these area are generally safe especially in Miraflores where they have English speaking police officers that can be easily identified with their white shirts and these are areas are full of attractions and places to visit.

Now for a little bit of positive news hhaha, there are many malls around Lima offering standard services and it is always nice to find movies that are in English, also I would recommend that you investigate the various food stands that surround the streets from Picarones to Anticuchos some of the best food in Lima is served on the streets.
Security wise in the eyes of a foreigner like myself is a mess and getting the correct help can be a headache if you are on your own but things are changing especially with the services that many foreigners need to use for example Immigrations when I arrived back in 2012 it was hell, the equivalent of a cattle market and you drowned in the bureaucratic nonsense that they presented you with however, I am impressed with how it all as changed with more services becoming available online means you don’t always necessarily need to travel to the main office and when you do arrive there the place is a lot more organized and the people are really helpful. Security warning for those that need to travel to the office, the people who hover around outside are not I repeat not part of staff working for immigrations, they will try and offer you advice or things to sell but not listen to them at all and go straight into immigrations.
I wish to add that many foreigners that come to Lima and work are provided a nice house in a secure location this then changes the perception of what life is like in Lima but for people like myself who are not provided with such luxuries have seen what the real side of Lima can be like and I would say it is never good to paint Lima as a hell but do not try and paint as a safe haven. 

Lima can be a fun exciting place but it is chaotic always be aware and keep a look out ask foreigners for help and advice and have fun while you are here. Also as with my other articles you will read here, there are many things to do here in Lima visit museums, admire the architecture, go climbing, hiking and try the various food restaurants for the traditional to the commercial it is all here. If you like the night life I can rest assure you that Lima does not sleep it is an active and busy city all day long.

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