Peruvian Census

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Martin Hash
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Peruvian Census

Post by Martin Hash » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:23 am

Census Form.JPG
My wife, Gwynne & I, went to Peru for the birth of our first grandchild of my son, Haven & his Peruvian wife. Coincidentally, Sunday, a couple days after we'd arrived, there was a national Census. This would have been only of passable interest, but in 2005 Peru tried to conduct a Census and it had been an abject failure, so they tried again in 2007 forcing everyone to stay at home. It worked, so 10 years later, while we were there, the entire country was under mandate to stay in their homes.
“We're confined indoors?” I asked incredulously. “Like House Arrest.”
“Well, uhh, I don't know...” Haven answered. He looked out the window. “There's people in Census t-shirts swarming everywhere. I think they'd notice if we were just walking around.”
“What about airports?” I asked. “And how do these people go to Church? Isn’t this place Catholic?”
Haven pulled a copy of the census out of his backpack, and a pencil to fill it out. I looked at it in awe.
“There’s 5 pages here, and I don’t read Spanish that well. Do the police speak English?”
“They’re not police. They’re probably High School kids.”
“Can Peruvian High Schoolers speak good English?”
“Dad, you don’t have to be able to speak Spanish.”
“I speak Spanish, I can fill out my own census.” I grabbed the papers, looked at them a moment. “What's this word? And this one? … Maybe you should fill it out.”
“I’ll fill it out, Dad.” Haven reassured me.
“Can you do that? Don’t you have to dip your index finger in purple dye or something?”
“That's just for voting and, anyway, they don't do it here in Lima.”
I was quiet for a while but a thought came to me, “What if our grandchild is born while we’re locked in this room? We don’t have an extra form?”
“We all go on the same form, Dad. Calm down.”
“I've never been imprisoned before,” I defended myself, but I choose to sit quietly without bothering anyone after that.
After about 8 hours, time was starting to drag. We'd bought 8 double bacon burgers without the bacon (because there was no double-cheeseburger button on the register at McDonald's), and those went pretty quick. We also had some nasty Hostess cupcakes wannabes we'd gotten at the convenience store in the apartment complex last night after midnight, but they were closed now during the census. Haven's 9 month pregnant wife, Mirian, was sitting quietly doing cross-stitch, but I was getting a little antsy. I was thinking of looking out the door into the hall just to see if census people were there. The Fire Alarm went off.
“Is that them?!” I exclaimed. “How did they know? Are there hidden cameras in this room?” I asked suspiciously.
“Dad, there’s no cameras. You can go into the hall if you want to.”
But I didn't. The Fire Alarm told me everything I wanted to know. “Weren't like the last 4 presidents of Peru in jail or dead or something?”
Haven didn't answer.
Census Taken.JPG
Alas, after all the anticipation & angst, no one ever showed up. Finally, just about 5 pm when we were supposed to be free but no one had come, I cautiously opened the door and looked out.
“There's something on the door across the hall,” I pointed out. “Aren't we the only occupied room on this floor?”
Haven looked at the sticker. “They've already been here,” he explained. “They must have got the wrong apartment number.”
“They never took our data,” I said, outraged. “Now their numbers will be skewed: tourists from Vancouver, Washington are going to be underrepresented.”
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Re: Peruvian Census

Post by C-Mag » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:56 am


Thanks for posting that Dr Hash. Stuff like this is why I tell people to travel, and not just go to tourist traps, but be around common people in different countries.

We have plenty of problems in the US, but some of the shit people just submit to in other countries is crazy. Imagine if you tried to tell everyone in the US they must stay in there home one day.


Don't fear authority, Fear Obedience