Figuring out how to understand humor in Spanish took me a while. Understanding when to use it myself took even longer. Now I am able to joke amongst colleagues and friends like I would normally in English. I’ve got a better handle on what Peruvians think is funny and how/when to deliver jokes.
I think it’s really hard to try and explain each individual good joke. There is so much that is contextual with humor that trying to tell jokes to people who weren’t actually there is really hard. Which is why we often say “you had to be there” after our punchline fails to entertain whoever is listening. With that said though, there are some classic jokes you hear all the time in Peru. If you can figure out when and how to use them your life will be so much more fun.
“Somos flacitos no más”:
This is a go to for any overstuffed taxi or combi ride. If you think your car is full, think again. The driver will probably try to shove 3 more people inside. When this happens it can be frustrating. But I have found it’s much better to make a joke about it. In fact, you might be the additional passenger getting shoved in. In which case saying “somos flacitos no más is perfect”. It’s like saying, “we are skinny… we got this…just scoot over”. Even the fuller bodied people will give this joke a try to lighten the mood when an extra hundred pounds is smashed into the car.
“Estas enamorado creo”:
If you ever forget something, stare off into the distance, trip while you walk or make some other silly and meaningless mistake while you’re in Peru, chances are someone has tried to tell you “estas enamorado“. This is saying that you’re in love. It’s a joke about your carelessness. That you’re so in love that you can’t walk straight or think straight. It’s a joke that adds humor to the silly mistakes of your friends or colleagues. Being the butt of this joke only teaches you how to utilize it correctly when other people around you do something dumb.