Posted by: Mo | April 5, 2011

Keep it poppin

Woke up this morning, stepped out of the door to some guy leaving his room for the bathroom with a grand old case of morning wood. Dorm life. Lack of privacy. Just a weird form of prison. A prison where you´ve bribed all the guards so it´s actually kind of fun, even if you have to go to designated areas to eat food and designated areas to watch tv and the beds still aren´t Four Seasons standard. The men still stalk around, hungry for female flesh, the females who visit, play up their assets, and people still frown on fighting. I just wonder if the people working there have tasers or if they´d have to break a bar stool to use as a make shift night stick. I don´t really think about this, but I thought about it. The difference is subtle.

The first tour around La Paz was interesting. People dressed up in full zebra outfits, not a shred of human skin exposed. This is promising. The traffic is hectic and the lack of busses careening into me I can only assumed is an act of divine intervention. Buses trundle by and packed mini vans putter along while someone shouts from the interior where the van is headed. Sometimes I think of jumping in, just so I can see what Bolivian body odor smells like. I already know all the others. I haven´t yet. Still have three more days.

The streets are a mess of tracks clinging to the mountain sides. The greenery is impaled by the towering rock formations attempting to deliver a deadly wound in the blue sky. In the distance ominous mountain peaks loom. And as much as I want to admire the scenery, I find myself continually interrupted by myself ragdolling as I stumble over the uneven streets. After several instances, I have decided to get back to the basics of walking and look where I´m going. It doesn´t help that the Bolivians are like tiny linebackers powering through the city streets as though each person ahead is a member of the offensive line. Their stature does not suggest the force by which they practice their locomotion. I´ve been nearly taken out on several occasions and this is only the first day. I´m starting to feel like a runningback. I should start painting black under my eyes.

Bolivians don´t seem to give a shit about gringos. No cat calls, no stares, just an occasional street vendor asking you to inspect their wares. And they do offer a diversity of products.

Today involved a visit to the gringo proclaimed, “Witches market.” It wasn´t as exciting as I´d pictured, but I attribute this more to the fact that fantasy is difficult to fully manifest into reality. There was no castle with a giant thunder cloud raining down thunder bolts, or bubbling cauldrons, or children hog tied above bubbling cauldrons. I guess family is important here. But what it lacked in my projections, it made up for in dried toads, dried out baby llamas, “Honey Love” tinctures and other items to arouse the “totally love” of another. There are ice cream shops, but no supermarkets. Just leathery women in bowler hats touting various items of produce. I did my first try of random mystery produce today. I think it was cactus fruit.

I didn´t like it. It was bright magenta with hundreds of little seeds inside. Or about 50. Or they were insect larvae, but I didn´t inspect that closely. And, besides, I´ve eaten dozens of insects while I´ve been here, so I don´t see why I should be prejudiced against the Bolivian ones. And so far, 8 hours later, no diarrhea, so I´m feeling like a stronger woman for it. I also feel remarkably better than I did yesterday. It is possible because I wasn´t killed in the street protest this morning or because I´m jacked up on coca tea and coffee or because I slept like a corpse last night. A beer, exhaustion, lack of oxygen, ear plugs, and some Tylenol pm and I´m out until 9 hours later. I managed to throw plenty off of my top bunk, despite near total paralysis, so, “Lo siento” to my dorm compadres. I´m sure they were drunk anyway. Or I´m an asshole and pelted them with shit. Either is feasible.

And just as an aside because I just thought of this and I´m a pervert. But, I wonder if the lack of oxygen leads to better orgasms, something akin to that autoerotic asphyxiation business. Hm. And, aptly, someone´s phone just started playing, Britney Spear´s “3” song. I´m dying.

Anyway, the rest of the city was more congestion, more horns blaring, or bleeting, more police men with huge guns and mace bottles guarding bank doors. And security men with tasers at the ready in their hands. Just normal stuff. So after another captiulation to the those goddamn ubiquitous gelato stands, it was back to the hostel. How I managed to avoid buying one of those llama ponchos, I am not sure. Tomorrow is another day though.

So I decided to get all gussied up after finding a store that sold some conditioner in a pretty purple bottle. Scorching my scalp in Arica is making me look like I need a fucking zamboni to wade through the mess of scalp detritus laying waste to my hair. But I power through, glamour has never been one of my strong points.

A troop of girls just walked in with matching llama sweaters and llama leg warmers. It strikes me a little like wearing the band´s t shirt at the concert. Oh, you went to the market and saw the “Real Bolivia” today. I am, of course, the asshole sitting alone in the corner scribbling in a notebook jacked up on coca tea, so my opinions aren´t all that valuable. Just the mad ravings of a monomaniac. The hump on my back doesn´t show while I´m slumped in this awkward shaped couch, so I´m able to feign normalcy and hide my troll nature for a few minutes more.

Don´t mind me, Ms. Sally Normal over here, I´m just minding my business and loving these cushions beat to shit by 4 years of abuse by geeked out travellers exchanging amorous caresses through the night. If I get up for another cup of coca tea, the ruse will be over. Fuck, it might be worth it.

I actually spent the day walking around with other people. Proving that I do talk to other people, but the nice ones never provide enough material to write about. But, travelling with others makes everything a monumental decision. Do we eat? What? Do we turn down this street? Nothing is a relfex anymore.

The perpetual abuse by alcoholics is causing this couch to rebel and send reverberations through my tail bone. I hurt. I suffer. And so I must create….

Update: getting up did reveal me for the freak that I am. My outfit looks like something I picked out of the donation box in a small town food bank. Yeah, take that llama sweater. I don´t want to wear one item of clothing for warmth. What if I´m caught somewhere high up, but with a window and the only method of escape is if I make a rope out of the several items of clothing I´m wearing? I bet you never think about that when you´re getting dressed. But I do. Cuz I´m a fucking survivor, man. My hair is getting long, but it´s not Rapunzel length. And if I tie my hair to climb down, I´m going to have to saw it off in the end, 127 hours style and I´m just not ready to do that yet. It´s practically like a limb now. Or a little pet squirrel I´ve nurtured to health all these years. Just in case you were asking why I didn´t make a rope from my hair and stop dressing like a bag lady. I answered your fucking jibes of incredulity.

I´ve also just realized that the nail polish has mostly washed off of my hands, so I no longer look like a prop in a bad haunted house. For better or worse. If I drink anymore of this tea I´m going to start wearing all white and screaming “Disco is not dead!” while demanding Chaka Khan be played on loop. I´m already getting shifty eyes. I´m lying! No, I´m not. I don´t want to blow my load before Ladies Night starts. I am being given the opportunity to puke for less money tonight. And I know when to answer when opportunity is knocking.

And a further update on myself, I can almost nibble on the ends of my bangs now. I recognize some people here, so I´m going to keep staring until it doesn´t come to me why I recognize them and then have to retreat to the den of bean bag chairs to save face. I already drooled down my arm today, so there´s a strike against me. Still peeing in the toilet though. Still peeing in the toilet. I´m practically the Queen of fucking England with this level of class and manners. Feel free to start peeing in the toilet, I will not take credit for this trend.

Now if I can just avoid lip licker tonight at Ladies Night, things will be gravy.

I´m not sure that I have any more non sequitors up my sleeve, so I shall depart for another day. xx.

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