I’ve been living in Tarapoto for just over one year. The time has passed quickly, although when I think back to my first few days here it seems like a lifetime ago. My first impressions of this town were not great to be honest – I certainly didn’t think I’d end up living here. However, Tarapoto wrapped me up within a few days, charming me with its relaxed pace, its quirks and eccentricities.
Tarapotinos and Living in Peru
As for the people, well, I have to say that I have a lot of respect and affection for the Tarapotinos. I’ll always be a foreigner here, a gringo, there’s no escaping that.
But I don’t feel too much like an outsider here; there’s a real community spirit in the area where I live, and nearly everyone is willing to help me out, offer advice and answer my often stupid questions.
My neighbours are all really friendly; I walk to the local shop most days, say hello to the lady who sits on the corner selling aguaje, buy my platano verde from the señora who always says “hola gringito”, chat about football with the kids that kick a ball about in the street. People here are friendly and respectful. I like that.
Is Tarapoto, Peru a Good Place to Live?
I feel at home here in Tarapoto; I haven’t felt homesick at all, although there are things that I miss about the UK. I miss good bacon. I miss the atmosphere of traditional British pubs. I sometimes miss the stupidity and imagination of distinctly British humour. And, I have to admit, I miss my family and friends at times. However, not even the temptation of a full English breakfast could lure me back to a life in the UK. I’d like to be able to go home once or twice each year, but otherwise I’m perfectly happy right here. And who needs bacon anyway when you have cecina?
I won’t ramble on any more about my own life. I just thought I’d mark my one year anniversary with a little blog post. I have to go to Lima tomorrow to finish off some official business; when I’m done in the big city I can return to Tarapoto, settle back down, relax, write some more and carry on with my life in this beautiful part of Peru.