This is a really interesting story about two sets of identical twins from a rich and poor family background. One of the twins was accidentally switched with one from the other pair shortly after birth, and the four only met after reaching adulthood. In the meantime, both sets had been raised as fraternal twins. It’s a pretty long read, but it’s especially fascinating in that you don’t just have two sets of identical twins with similar personalities responding to different environments, but also a similar relationship between those identical twins playing out in the different environments.
At breakfast in La Paz, however, Carlos felt that Jorge was provoking him once again. Moments after Carlos pulled out that photo, Jorge turned to him and brought up a sensitive subject the two had already discussed in many late-night conversations: Who would Carlos have turned out to be had he been raised in Santander?
Come on, Carlos, Jorge said — look around. Do you really think that if you had been raised here you would have ended up an accountant or even a professional?
Carlos refused to concede Jorge’s point. Who was to say he wouldn’t have found a way to go to school, to get his degree, to be working in the very same firm where he had only just recently been promoted?
William knew that Carlos was unfamiliar with that part of his history. Carlos probably did not know that William, as a 6-year-old, used to walk with his mother to this very town, La Paz, for five hours each way, just to buy groceries; they would spend the night at a kind woman’s place in town and then walk home again, groceries on their backs. And Carlos could not know, could never really know, how many hours William had spent hacking sugar cane with a machete as a teenager, his skin crawling from the heat and the itchy scraps of stalk, carrying 50 pounds of cane at a time, mindless, painful, strenuous work. Carlos had spent those same years, William knew, flirting with girls at an excellent public high school, playing basketball with his friends, racking up points on some video game, the name of which William would not even know.