New Years Day in Bolivia

Not an exciting day. We slept late. We had planned to do laundry and mail some things. But everything was closed for the holiday. We managed to find an open restaurant: “Western Food.” I was surprised to hear the music there was in English and that they were playing MTV. I guess no one told them that even Americans don’t watch MTV anymore? The food was terrible but apparently this is considered a nice restaurant by the locals. Mostly hamburgers and french fries… “Bolivian” style?

We weren’t able to do a tour due to the holiday so we shopped in some of the local shops. It was very hot.

Bolivian Shop

We found a lot of likenesses of Simn Bolivar. And other weird statues like this one:

Weird Bolivian Independence Statue

We did manage to accidentally stumble into the town square called Murillo. Also many statues of Simn Bolivar.

Murillo, La Paz

I’m surprised how comfortable I have become in such a short time with Spanish. My buddy speaks a lot more than I do and she has been helping me. Moreover there are a few English TV stations that have American shows with Spanish subtitles. This has been helping me a lot.

We have become more comfortable in the town. Not getting run over (as often) and whatnot. We also started watching our steps on the cobblestone streets. I am getting used to the “toilet paper situation” in the country. This was something I had not prepared for.

We kept looking for things to do. We should have been on our way to Sucre today. We were able to get on the BBC website and learn that Evo Morales decided to rescind the tax. I guess this means the strike is over so we (presumably) won’t have to worry about other delays. The guide has already told us that this is South America and nothing will go as planned so “chill”.

We purchased some wine and came back to sit in the lobby as a group to discuss things. Okay, and to drink wine. We discussed the BBC’s other stories. Billy the Kid was denied a post-humous pardon in New Mexico. Everyone looked at me. WHAT? I’M NOT FROM THAT STATE!

Also, no one knows who Che Guevara is. My roommate who studies Latin History has only taken once class on Cuba and learned about Che. She says not many would recognize him in Australia. WHAT?

During our “wine chat” I received a message from home, still concerned about the dangers of traveling in Latin America. Those with me asked if Las Vegas wasn’t just as dangerous. Touch. America, home to New York and Detroit and we are afraid of violent crime in La Paz? So we looked it up. La Paz is “one of the safest cities in the Americas including the U.S.” in terms of violent crime. Take that family!

Bolivian Crime

Check out ME, super badass on the mean streets of La Paz! Look its getting dark!

My clothes are dirty and I haven’t washed my hair and there is the whole bathroom situation… conditions are less than ideal. But I am having such a great time! I am lucky to have landed a great roomie with similar interests and meeting new people and learning about their countries is really interesting. I was nervous about being unplugged and “roughing it” but this is totally worth it! Can’t wait for Sucre!