Sunday, February 15, 2009

After taking a bus to Oruro only to discover that its hostels were already full and its streets were already bleacher-lined and jammed for Carnaval, we decided to high tail it to Potosí, a silver mining town with cobblestone streets and old colonial architecture. John went on a tour of the active mine today but I didn´t want to go because I was afraid I would get claustrophobic and panic. He came back smelling like dynamite and said it was good I didn´t go.

From The Trip, pt. 5: Bolivia

While John was at the mine I mapped out our journey for the next five weeks. We are going to the town of Sucre tomorrow, which is supposed to be beautiful with whitewashed colonials. After that we are headed to Argentina. I am kind of tired of Bolivia already because I got sprayed in the face three times today with a shaving cream-like ¨fake snow¨substance. Parents seem to think it´s really funny to drive their kids around town with super soakers and cans of shaving cream and water balloons and target unsuspecting, unarmed pedestrians, especially tourists in big yellow hats, like me. It is not funny, especially when these were the cleanest clothes I had. The first car actually came back around and sprayed us again, which prompted John to give chase with the hopes of grabbing the can and giving the kids a taste of their own medicine but the parent sped away. The third time it happened on our way to dinner, John would have settled for decking the kid with his flip flop but they escaped too. What´s worse is you see vendors all over town selling these implements of infuriation and the sidewalks are littered with water balloon shards. It´s like being in a war zone. We tried to stick to the pedestrian streets and watch our backs for cars with open windows. I don´t know if this is a carnaval thing or a summer thing or an anytime thing, but I don´t like it. And if it happens to me in Sucre, I am leaving Bolivia and never looking back.

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