Whenever I move to a new country, I receive e-mails from people whom I don’t know, welcoming me to their country, offering help and giving advice. That’s nice.
As I am about to move back from Peru to Bolivia, I realized how well these random messages from strangers illustrate the character of both countries.
When I moved to Peru in August 2016, I got a lot of e-mails about food,
You have to try ceviche!
You have to try guinea pig!
You have to try this and that!
as well as not very original touristy advice,
You must go to Machu Picchu!
and business offers:
My uncle/brother/grandmother has a travel agency/car rental/taxi company. It’s the best travel agency/car rental/taxi company in town. Don’t go anywhere else! Everyone else is trying to rip you off.
I can rent you an unfurnished shack in a village for loads of money.
There were so many identical, non-personal messages that it felt like a country inhabited by bots. After a short while, I knew in advance what people would say when they met me. (To be fair, there were one or two exceptions during the five months in Peru.)
Hello, this weekend there will be a seminar on PHILOSOPHY AND METHODOLOGY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW. It’s free, and if you want to join, I can add you to the list of participants.
If there is a country that thinks like me, has the same interests as me, and where I feel at home, it’s Bolivia.
After all, even the children here are already engaged in moot courts and legal debates: