My new addiction in Bolivia

Published: October 19th 2012
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The week greeted me with the first rain during a day. Fortunately I made it home in time and didn't get too wet. In the afternoon at work my boss was suddenly like "Girls, I need a break. Wanna get some juice?" Hell yeah we want some juice! So we walked to the little juice bar at the corner of the street and got the best juice I have had in my life! You can always chose the fruit and then if you want it with water, milk or ice. It all costs a little less than 1€ (ca. 500ml) and is freshly made. After my first sip I decided I would buy one every day and try all the different kinds they offered. So far I had mango with milk, strawberry with milk, strawberry-blackberry with water, copuazu with water and "frutas de oxidente" meaning copuazu, quinoto, araza and camu camu with ice. Yeah, you probably need to google those... That last one was definetely the best one so far, but there's a lot more to try!

On Tuesday the roads were blocked and I couldn't go to my Spanish class. Here in Boivia it seems that basically everytime the people disagree with something, they block the roads. My free morning also meant I had no more excuse not to wash my clothes and so I started my adventure of handwashing my clothes. It was awful! My host mum just came to laugh at me, cause my mood was so bad. Also I ruined some of my white clothes, cause my orange scarf dyed them... In the end I had to hang them in the yard to dry and the construction workers got to see all my underwear. Awesome! Next time I'm bringing my clothes to a "Lavandería", I rather pay other people to wash my stuff than doing it myself again. In the afternoon the people came to an agreement and the roads were free to use again, so I got to work and went to dinner with the people from my organization.

As Cochabamba is Bolivia's capital of gourmets there is a lot of nice places to eat. Therefore the other volunteer in journalism started writing reviews for the different restaurants in town. On Thursday we went to a place called “Casa de Campo”. This time I took the right turn on the Avenida America and got there without any problems. Also I walked the whole way (ca 2km, so I definitely deserved a nice dinner.) Entering I asked the waiter for a group of foreigners and he showed me way. I shared a dish with a French volunteer which was duck and it was reaaaally good (though they had to reheat it, cause it was cold after like 5 minutes). In the background was some traditional music at first, but at some point they started playing 80’s music which was accompanied by the crazy music clips on some TV-screens.

Friday I noticed there was lot of Bolivian fan articles in the city. You know there could only be one reason for this: Bolivia was playing soccer that night. Some of the stands were even positioned in places where the drivers could just stop for a second and buy stuff without getting out of the car. But what did it mean for me? I could not get a trufi home, because I think the game ended at the same time as I finished work. So I was waiting at my corner for some 10 minutes waving at trufis, but they were all full. Two others had been waiting there since 30 minutes and weren’t able to get one. So Alvaro, a Norwegian volunteer, decided to walk some 500 meters to a different place where we had more options of trufis going our way. There we stood for the next 20 minutes without anyone having even one free spot in his damn trufi. So I asked Alvaro if he wanted to get a taxi. We did what you’re never supposed to do: take a taxi from the street! We were lucky, cause there were two man getting out of a radio taxi just a couple of meters behind us and we took their taxi. In this case it was ok to take it, because 1) it was a radio taxi, 2) we knew exactly which way we were going 3) I was with a guy and 4) there was so much traffic that even if he wanted to kidnap us, he would’ve gotten stuck in traffic. So I got home to eat dinner with my host mum and had what I guess you can call a little culture shock. She was putting cheese in her tea and said it was “muy rico”. I looked at her with disgust, but had to try it, too. It wasn't awful, but I wouldn't recommend it either.

On the weekend I went to la Cancha again. I met with three other volunteers and we walked the narrow streets. This time I managed to not have anything stolen from me. I bought a pretty poncho at a stand and the seller was 100% crazy! She had this half-closed eye and a crazy laugh, but she was kinda nice. She told me I should buy more stuff and I told her I'd come back for more some other time. She then offered me to teach me quechua if I wanted to. Maybe I will when I'm really bored and want to spend time with someone crazy. In the afternoon was a play of some orphanage kids that two volunteers work at. There were a lot of dances from different groups and all the participants were either mentally or physically disabled. Some were dancing and the kids from the orphanage did a play to the fairytale Snow White. It was very cute. The next day I needed to relax, so first I slept in big time (10 hours of sleep, whoop whoop!) and in the afternoon I went to the park with some of my family were we played soccer with Santi and just hung out for a while to enjoy another wonderful warm day.

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