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You Know You’re In The 3rd World When…

We know – it’s easy enough to forget. There you are, downloading the latest Lady Gaga tracks to your iPhone while chomping into a chocolate cheesecake – it’s almost possible to believe that you’re somewhere in the developed world. But every now and then you get a little reality check. Below are some of our personal favorites:

When the worst thing about getting your backpack stolen is getting your actual backpack stolen

Because let’s face it, La Demo is overflowing with underwear and personal hygiene products and if you really want your camera back you can just go to San Pedro and buy it from back from one of the street hustlers for a fraction of what you paid for it. But finding a backpack that won’t start coming apart at the seams before you get it back to your hostel is a definite challenge.

When the organizers of a 9am meeting turn up at 10

But everybody knows that was going to happen, so they turn up at 10:30. But then nobody wants to arrive first, so…

When your definition of “space” is redefined

Because when the bus helper says “hay lugares“, it’s possible that he’s talking about the ones above the passengers’ heads, or in between the handbrake and the gearstick, or…

When the people working in fast food restaurants actually look like they do on TV

Apparently, jobs in Mac/Wendys/Burger King/etc are highly sought after around these parts – and the university graduates who get them obviously come from a pretty good gene pool.

When trash is expensive

Got a hankering for Mac n Cheese? Tinned vegetables? Gas chamber-ripened bananas? These “luxury” items will set you back a pretty penny. If you’re after fruit and veg that actually taste like something, they’re everywhere, dirt cheap.

When the political hopes of the country are that the next president won’t be too corrupt

Because around here, hopes have been ground down to the point where voters are looking for leaders who do other stuff as well as loot the treasury, buy votes and secure lucrative government contracts for their useless cousins.

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