I like my space. I’m not much of a touchy-feely person, my family makes fun of my lack-luster hugs, and my personal bubble is quite large. However, in Peru, this could not possibly be the case. Peruvians have a much smaller bubble than us Americans do, and this may come as a surprise to some. On the streets, cars are separated by merely inches, oftentimes leaving me wondering how the drivers are not afraid of colliding with one another. I don’t realize how this coincided with human space until our time in Cusco.
Walking the streets, it was not uncommon to be bumped or be surprised by someone squeezing by you without making a sound. This was the case even more so in ruins and tourist areas- so perhaps this isn’t only a Peruvian thing. Despite my very large bubble, I didn’t find it hard to adapt to the ways of the streets. With spontaneous sidewalks and cars that seem to care little to none about pedestrians, I maneuvered wherever I fit, and somehow didn’t get killed in the process. I cannot say that, being back home, I don’t appreciate my very big bubble, but I didn’t mind being up close and personal with everyone I came across (except maybe after hiking Machu Picchu).