Monday, October 11, 2004



Perhaps foolishly, Tito and myself have actually chosen to remain mobile phone-less whilst in Peru. Yet, after years of happy, high-technology 'keitai' usage in Japan, this has come as rather a blow to us. Remember life without mobiles, anyone? Waiting around for hours in the cold/heat, trying to find change and a public phone that works, having to be on time to meet people, making contingency plans. In other words, a lot of blasted inconvienience. Contingency plans are funny... making them is such good habit to have, yet so very irritating. You know the whole 'well, if we're not at the cafe, we'll be at Fred's house, but if we're not, go to Bill's, and if he's not in come back at 3pm' type plans that we all had to make on a daily basis only a few short years ago. Tito now knows all my regular haunts (good job this is quite a small city) and makes a round of them when he needs to find me - not really the most effective use of time, but there's nothing else we can do.

I have to say, though, I hope that some of this experience stays with us in the future. For example, how many people carry a list of phone numbers on a hopelessly low-tech piece of paper for use when their mobile battery dies? Or agree on some place to meet at a certain time should they not be able to get in touch by mobile beforehand? We have to do these things all the time. This Girl-Guide-like level of preparedness would have helped in no end of situations in the past... for those times when you went down to Tokyo and ran out of phone juice and got extremely lost, for example. Or missed your stop on the train because you had passed out in a drunken stupor. Not that I would know.

Hello. hey I've been reading your blog for quite some months now and I think it's fantastic. I'm peruvian, but I live in Lima. However funny thing it seems we share some things... I was an ALT at an elementary school for two years in Saitama, Japan, came back to Peru, and fell in love with an american I met there, only to go see her this July to her home country. My friend Cait wrote you a comment the other day (I wonder if you might have wondered, "who the hell is Luis?").

Anyway, about this mobile phone culture. When I went to Japan back in the 2001 I was surprised by the sheer number of people going on a keitai culture in areas surrounding Tokyo. I never got one myself because I didn't want to get used to having to carry a moblie with me all the time. When I came back to Peru last year I was VERY surprised to see the mobile frenzy had arrived here too (and the messages of course!), so I went and finally bought my first phone, HERE!

Yep, you're right, you do lose some customs you had (like the small agenda thing), but in return,,, you get a really cool looking device with which you can kill some time waiting for your peruvian mates when they're late for an appointment.

Now, as a sidenote. Being a peruvian myself this blog is EXTREMELY interesting. I'm a sociology student, so it really gives me an insight on what foreigners think is strange in my country but we just don't notice (us being submerged into our own culture).... soo keep the good work up, because I really laugh loud with some of your posts (the tits thing was soooo funny... although, you don't see that much here in Lima).


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