Many things are smaller in Peru than in the States—the cars, doors, streets, the people. It’s something I noticed immediately when I arrived. The national highways are two-thirds the size of the two-lane highways back home.
"But isn't it impossible to maintain the safe and regular flow of traffic?" you ask. Why yes it is. But the cars are smaller too. They have to fit through narrow cobblestone streets from the Spanish colonial area, and squeeze by commuter buses on the highway. It makes sense, then, that the VW beetle (escarabajo) was practically the national car at one time.
But the people? Yes, the people are smaller here, generally. They don’t eat hydrogenated high fructose TV dinners with loads of saturated fat five times a week. I think I may have seen ONE person I could classify as obese. Everyone else enjoys bread and tea in the morning, a nice big soup with a main course at lunch, and bread and tea again in the evening. Snacks are available, but Peruvians must not eat them or they’d be our size.
These are all interesting things to observe, but it's started getting old. EVERY time I get in a taxi (usually ticos), I bang my head on the door frame; EVERY time I get in a combi (bus), the ceiling is too low for me to stand up.
It will be weird coming back to the States. I remember arriving back from Chile, my first excursion abroad, to what seemed like an inflated country. Some poor idiot was in a corner somewhere blowing real hard so everything would be just a little bit bigger.
My mom picked me up that day from the airport in her little Chevrolet Jimmy. I felt like I was riding in an army tank to my first battle.