“Don’t you know the Italians are the best lovers in the world?”
I was probably fifteen the first time I had a testosterone-pumped guy with a face full of zits ask me if I had heard the great news. “Hmmm, no…” I said, and walked away. Ugly boys just wasn’t something I was very interested in at that age.
In the coming years, quite a few adolescents tried to seduce me with their national version of the same pick up line: “Don’t you know the French are the best lovers?”, “Don’t you know the Greek are the best lovers?”, “Don’t you know the German are the best lovers?” And so on and so on. I never fell for it. But it made me wonder, is there really such a thing as a country with the best lovers? And where is it?
Finally, in Peru I have found the answer to my question. Peruvians may not be the best lovers, but they are most definitely the MOST lovers. And they are absolutely everywhere. No matter where you turn, there is a couple hugging, kissing, snuggling, holding hands, whispering sweet nothings into their loved-one’s ear. In parks, in cars, in restaurants, on flights. It’s like the Peruvians can’t exist a minute without human touch. And it’s not just the puppy-eyed youth who have lost their hearts for the first time; the lovers come in all shapes, sizes and ages. Married or not married. Who cares, when you have the need for amoooor.
Subsequently, hostels that rent their rooms by the hour is a big business. All rooms have access to a sauna and a jacuzzi, and of course there’s underground parking so your real life partner won’t find out that you’re having an afternoon nap with someone else.
My mother-in-law told me that when she was young, in a small town called Huancayo, it was normal for men to openly have a girlfriend on the side. They would even have children with their lovers, and the offspring from all different women would meet an get along. Those days may be in the past, and the Peruvians are probably a little bit more faithful these days – or better at hiding their affairs. But the fact remains – Peruvians love to love.
So if you’re heartbroken, Lima is probably not the best place to visit. But if you’re single and looking – come on by!