January 27, 2004
Suckers in Sucre
DAY 99: After a late night in the "party dorm," Zoe, Sam and I just slept in until we had to get up for our check-out time at noon. We got our gear together, sorted out our laundry to bring to a laundromat and went back yet again to the Joyride Cafe for much needed "Desayunos de Ch'aqui", the "Hangover breakfasts."
By the time we were done eating eggs, ham and hash browns, it was siesta period in town, and most of the museums we wanted to check out were closed for mid-day. We killed time in an internet cafe listening to the attendant's medley of 80s songs. After blogging and instant messaging for a couple of hours, we went off to find the Casa de la Libertad near the police station (picture above) for a little culture on our last afternoon in the judicial capital of Bolivia. However on the way trying to find it, we hit a snag -- Zoe realized she didn't have her wallet, and she was convinced someone had snagged it.
We went back through the plaza to the internet cafe to retrace our steps. There was no way anyone could have taken the wallet from Zoe's zippered bag, but it didn't hurt to follow the same path we took to refresh her memory.
"Five hundred fucking bolivianos and my bank card!" a frantic Zoe said. "It's no the money, it's the principle. No, it's not the principle, it's the feeling that someone knicked it!" She went ahead in a frenzy asking people we encountered on the way while Sam and I hung back. We kept our calm sucking on some of the Sour Skittles I had with me.
"I bet you it's in the bottom of her bag," Sam confided in me (later permitting me to write about it here). "But I can't tell her or she'll think I'm patronizing her." Apparently something like this had happened before.
Zoe gave up and went to a phone center to cancel her card in the U.K. Without any money, Sam had to pay for the long distance call. On our way out of the store, Zoe suddenly found something in the "secret" pocket in the back of the new bag she bought in Tarabuco the day before.
"Guys, you won't believe this."
Zoe went back to the phone booth to try and quickly uncancel the card she had all the time. With the day getting shorter and our bus departure times approaching, Sam and I went off to pick up our laundry. "I knew she'd find it in her bag," Sam told me as we stopped off at a street vendor.
"Hey, that woman is breast feeding," I said, my mind obviously somewhere else. I bought three packs of Oreos for my nighttime bus journey from the woman with the baby sucking away at her nipple.
"Sorry about that," she unnecessarily apologized to me.
"That's okay," I answered. "It's going to be on the internet in two days."
"I guess this is goodbye again," Sam said.
"You know where to find me," I answered.
We bid our farewells to each other and hopped on our respective night buses: theirs bound sixteen hours west to La Paz, mine bound sixteen hours east to Santa Cruz. Two of my sixteen hours were killed with a Spanish-subtitled screening of Romeo Must Die on the video monitors. I watched it while munching on some of the Oreos I bought from that breast-feeding vendor, wishing I had some milk to go with it like her baby did.
If you enjoy this daily travel blog, please post a comment! Give me suggestions, send me on missions, let me know how things are going back home in the USA. Knowing that I have an audience will only force me to make this blog more entertaining as the days go by. Donīt forget to bookmark it and let a friend know!