Micah: Unmitigated


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Every Little Step I Take

October 18th, 2010 at 16:14

Change of plans. Apparently the “World’s Most Dangerous Road” is currently a little too dangerous. After catching local transport out to the bus offices that service NE Bolivia, I was surprised to see all of the ones that go to Coroico with closed doors. Some men at another office informed me that it would not be possible to go there. I assume it has something to do with road conditions after heavy rains last night. Or, it could be a more long term problem. I’m not sure, either way I need a new exit strategy.

Still with a desire to get closer to the mountains and do some hiking, I may head up to the peaceful mountain town of Sorata. But since it lies in a northern direction from here, I will spend a couple more days in La Paz and hit it on my way to Peru. That is the current plan. Though, I could stop by tourist info offices daily to check on the Coroico road condition, but that sounds like a lot of effort.

Now that you are caught up, I got a little more typing to do to meet my desired word count. I think this is a good opportunity for me to just talk at you. So, here are 3 random events that slipped through the cracks of my blog making machine.

  1. In my post titled “Turn”, I briefly mentioned the construction delay on the way to Villazon. Well, I was one of the few who stayed outside the bus to watch the machine throw rocks around. It was a long wait but fun to view amongst the beautiful scenery. When I saw that the front-loader was finally smoothing out the road, I decided to get back on the bus. Since I was the first of the full-time watchers to climb back aboard, all eyes were on me. The passengers began firing off questions, eagerly awaiting some good news. I didn’t know what they said, but I knew what they wanted. I announced to the entire bus “Cinco o diez minutos“. It was fun to see people turn toward their friends and probably say “Did you hear that? Well be going in 5 or 10 minutes!”  As I strutted to my backseat, a man used hand motions to ask what they were currently doing. I replied with the hand motion for smoothing it out, and it translated. He patted me on the back, as I continued my triumphant stride to the rear. I sat there a little nervous that my guess was way off and wondered if they still stone people, but 4 mintues later, the bus started up and we were off. I think if you have successfully made and announcement to a bus full of Bolivians, technically you can claim to be bilingual.
  2. I have this bag of Coca leaves that I picked up in Tupiza, complete with the stimulus powder. I did the customary thing and took some with me on the “Salar” tour, breaking them out on the second day. As soon as I pulled the bag out of my pack, the quiet driver’s eyes lit up and he said “Amigoooo, where are you from?” I knew what he wanted and offered in kind. The bag passed around the jeep and most stuck a few leaves in their cheeks. I felt an initial numbness on my tongue from the powder, but no real lasting affects. You mostly just swallow the juice from the leaves and hope to receive their medicinal magic. I kind of like it, keeps me from constantly eating cookies and tastes alright. Since they are illegal in the US, I will have to get my fill while I am down here. Though, if I get hooked, I think I might be able to find them in some other form back home.
  3. In Uyuni, I raved to Luc about the delicious beer shakes in Bolivia. Walking a market street, I spotted a vendor and ordered. As I was enjoying my glass, Luc inspected the bottle a little closer and inquired to the woman if it was in fact cerveza. Well, the answer was “No”. The brown tall boys are actually called “Maltin” and are non-alcoholic. They still taste good, but for some reason, my desire to drink them has completely vanished. Here is the edited Wikipedia entry for you to enjoy:

Malta, young beer, or wheat soda is a type of soft drink. It is a carbonated malt beverage, meaning it is brewed from barley, hops, and water much like beer; corn and caramel color may also be added. However, Malta is non-alcoholic, and is consumed in the same way as soda or cola in its original carbonated form. In other words, Malta is actually a beer that has not been fermented. Most scholars and historians believe that Malta is the direct ancestor of all soft drinks. It is similar in color to stout (dark brown) but is very sweet, generally described as tasting like molasses. A popular way Latin Americans sometimes drink Malta is by mixing it with condensed or evaporated milk.”  –If you want to read more, they go on to talk about it’s roots in meine mutterland, Germany.

So, I don’t feel completely stupid. Though I do need to apologize to ya’ll for my inaccurate blogging. Especially if any of you tried to make a beer version at home.

I may talk at you again before I leave this city, otherwise you may not hear from me until next week, when I will be lying on a beach in Northern Peru. Buena charla

E = 159 (p.s. My goal is 200)

One Response to “Every Little Step I Take”

  1. H1 Says:

    I must answer a question in my class with “Cinco o diez minutos”!!