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South America » Bolivia » Cochabamba Department » Cochabamba
November 24th 2012
Published: December 4th 2012
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This week I made a real German Kartoffelsalat for my Bolivian family and the other volunteers. In the morning I had to go to La Cancha to get all the ingredients and EVERYONE was staring at me! Why does a gringa want to buy vegetables?! Those white people usually only buy souvenirs and never show up in the vegetable department. Eventually I found everything I needed and was able to return home and start cooking. The recipe said it would take me 25 minutes to prepare it. What a lie! It took me forever. I was still faster than my hostmum though and her only comment was "La comida boliviana es una macana!" (Bolivian food is a real pain!). Alcira loved my food so much she forgot about her diet and later said: "Ayyy Joanna! Why do you make such good food? I ate too much and now my tummy hurts."

Wednesday was probably the most boring day of my life. They had their national census here and since not everyone has internet or even a correct postal address, the census people walked from door to door to ask people about age, profession etc. This meant noone was allowed on the street and everyone who did go out was being arrested. So all I did that day was sleep and watch TV. In the news they showed two foreigners who had been arrested. They said they didn't know about the census and where out looking for a place to eat when the police came. It was hilarious!

The next day when everything was normal again, Carlein and I decided to go to La Cancha. However, this time we decided to explore parts of it we've never been to before. We got really lost in there and made a video about that adventure (which I will post as soon as I can). We went from food to flatscreens, from shoes to traditional fabric, from blankets to Christmas lights and so on. There was everything! After 2 hours of wandering around we were just happy we had found our way out. We both just wanted to go home and relax, because we had been to parts probably no gringo has been to before and it was quite exhausting to wander around for so long, panicking from time to time, because the market seemed sheer endless.

This weekend I decided not to travel and hung out in Cochabamba. On Saturday I went out with some of the volunteers and we had a very fun night which was caused by the drunkness of some individuals. Sunday was a very action filled day. I wasn't home for probably 10 hours. In the morning I went to a car racing event with Carlein where Ariel and Paola were selling some stuff. We got to advertise Ariel's car tuning company and watch the races. It was extremely funny, because almost all the cars racing looked like they shouldn't be allowed on the street anymore. All the parts needed for the race (engine, wheels) were in tiptop shape and everything not as important (windows, lights) was broken or completely missing. My personal highlight was a guy I met at the first car tuning event I went to (he was extremely drunk then and offered chicha to people). This time he was in charge of the races and gave the sign when the cars could go. He was wearing a red T-Shirt saying "Ich bin fuer die Scheiss Stimmung verantwortlich" (I am responsible for the shitty atmosphere), so my main occupation was trying to get a good photo of him. It was difficult, but I think I got a good shot. For lunch we ate pork with maize Bolivian style. The food was in black plastic bags and we had to use our hands. It was delicious though!

In the afternoon a friend had offered us to go to the Cristo with his car (so we wouldn't have to walk) and watch the sunset. We had to squeeze in his small car with 6 people, but it was still better than walking. When we arrived on top the clouds had covered the sun and there wasn't much of a visible sunset. We stayed for some time anyways and just hung out enjoying the view over the city before going to a restaurant and getting some hot chocolate.

When I finally arrived home in the evening I was tired, happy and had the worst sunburn on my shoulders!


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