NOTE: here in Peru the word “pituco” or “pituca” is used to describe arrogant or snobbish people who flaunt their money or status.
Just this morning I was walking along Av. Aramburu in Lima, going to Av. Arequipa to catch my combi. Aramburu is the dividing line between the wealthy financial district of San Isidro and the less affluent district of Surquillo. At the busy intersection between Aramburu and the “Via Expressa”, you may find the occasional panhandlers or homeless people, as well as streetvendors selling anything from pirated movies to anticuchos.
As I was walking past the “Via Expressa” bridge, one homeless lady in the street was holding out her hand. Right in front of me a snobbish-looking middle-age fat woman reached into her pocket, pulled out a crumpled up piece of paper, and with an angry snarl she threw this piece of paper right at the poor woman’s face.
I wanted to yell at the fat pituca b*tch, but I didn’t. Maybe I didn’t feel like making a scene, maybe I didn’t want to be a hero, or maybe I was just in a hurry. I’m not sure why, but I just shook my head and kept walking.
I understand the wealthy and middle class in Lima may feel insecure or infringed on by the poor, I really do. There’s a lot of wealth in places like Miraflores and San Isidro, surrounded by a lot of poverty in places like Callao or San Juan de Miraflores. And it’s not just money, also the way of life, the history, the massive migrations to Lima, and of course crime, that have created some degree of tension and social discrimination.
I don’t know the answers, but there was just no reason for that.