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Experiences in Bolivia

Bolivia is an incredible country. There is a saying here that says: "Nada es seguro, todo es posible" (Nothing is certain, everything is possible). It is very true. I experienced many new and incredible things here.

One day, I was in a crowded and dirty bus going to La Paz. It was lunch time and a woman had crossed the bus selling her whole-set lunch: roasted chicken and white rice. The old lady behind me was enjoying herself with this meal, eating with her fingers when I felt something touching my hairs. She was using my head as a napkin! What?! I flip myself, say "Ehhh" and tap on her fingers. No emotion on her face. She ignores me and keeps her hand on my head rest continuing to leave the chicken oil on my seat. I couldn't believe it. Then I decided to take a napkin and wash her hands, certain she won't stop until her hands are clean. She seemed happy about it, took the napkin and stopped bothering me...

Another time, I was walking around in La Paz taking pictures of the streets of this bolivian capital. I stopped taking pictures of people here because it makes them very angry and aggressive... So, with my big camera I posted myself on the side walk and shot the "atmosphere". There were nobody close enough to be least I thought. Then I continued my way along the same street when suddenly an old woman sitting on the floor and begging for money, spat at me. She shouted something I couldn't understand, her two only teeth were probably not helping her to have a good pronunciation... I then understood she saw me taking a photo and thought she was on it. She was obviously too far to be seen by my lens but never mind... I didn't even try to explain and started to insult her in french (that's my new technique in front of stupid bolivians...), it doesn't help anything, I know, but at least I relieves me... Then I continued my way avoiding any old lady sitting on the floor...

In La Paz, I also saw "White Snow" for the first time. I wanted to try once in South America although the action of sniffing didn't appeal much to me. Here, you can go to a bar, order a drink and 1g of this white powder for 8Eur... That easy. The sniffing wasn't that bad finally, I didn't feel anything bothering my nose. So after that we partied the whole night but I was feeling tired much before dawn. I don't know why, maybe I just didn't take enough... Just for people who are not familiar with that, it is supposed to keep you awake and full of energy for a few hours. And there is no physical dependence.

Another first time was to drink the powder of a strange cactus. It is called "Saint Peter". I don't know what is "Saint" about it, but... I tried with my french friend, Claire. The first step is to mix the magic powder with hot water and drink this awful potion. It tastes like very bitter powdery grass. Beurk. After that, comes a bit of stomach ache. 30min later, the first effect comes: vomiting. The second effect comes after 1 hour approx: laughing for nothing. Then you go through different phases: poor body control, heavy tiredness, and finally hallucinations. I was laying in a hammock during 5 hours and was seeing mosquitoes driving motos with bright shiny outfits... That bad... Finally, exhausted, I went to bed at 3am, my head still a bit in the mist... I had to try once, but maybe not twice...

Here, only taking a bus can be also an adventure by itself. I went to the jungle from La Paz, it was 18 hours, 450 km, and 60 Bolivianos (6Eur approx). The problem is that there are no roads to go there, only tracks scratched on big mountain slopes. The tracks are so bumpy and dusty that after 1 hour drive I was already more dusty than if I stayed on a shelf for 15 years.... There is also no room to cross another car but it's 2 ways anyway. The cliff was often very very close. To sum it all, bolivian drivers are fueled with... beer. Maybe to give them strength to drive their 50 years old bus like crazy on impossible roads. It's insane... I've met many tourists who have been involved in very serious bus accidents in Bolivia and many die each year also... But I survived thankfully!....


Anonymous said...

Rohhh ...

Please tell me your parents cant understand english (or dont know about this blog) !!! Speaking about your "funny experiences" with bolivian specialties like this !!!
Shame on U :-)


Lydie said...

No parents know about it..why hiding?.. :)
It was just to try!
And my mum smoked "relaxing cigarettes" for her 50th birthday..

Anonymous said...

So its a familly affair :)

Rooooohhhh !!!


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About me

About me

Travelling to learn, learning to travel.