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9/5/09

Peru: Travelling without moving

Bill Weinberg in World War 4 Report has written an article about travelling on buses in Peru. Called 'Peru: bus travel reveals stark class divisions' it's an interesting first-hand account of experiences your author has also had. A good account of how things really are away from plastic-coated Peru-For-Export and well worth your time. Here's an extract from when he left the locals' service and got on a tourist-class vehicle:
The tourist bus may have been more secure, but it was completely insulated from local realities. The sunburned jet-setters were really paying a whole lot more for just one thing: to avoid experiencing Peru. The usual scenes of oppressive poverty—little villages of desperate campesinos scratching the dirt, improvised houses of mud and balsa with no indoor plumbing—went by like the towns far below for an air traveller. We were in an air-conditioned land-ship designed to deliver tourists from one air-conditioned resort to another. The sights that the promotional tourism video boasted between the atrocious movies—Machu Picchu, etc.—were just commodified spectacles, completely divorced from any cultural context.
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