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Cochabamba

...more than just a fun word to say

sunny 22 °C
View Latin American Tour on alexis.johnson's travel map.

We got up at a decent time this morning to bring in our dry laundry and sort ourselves out ready for Cochabamba proper today.

Alex’s wife prepared our breakfast for us, and took us part way into the city. I like Alex’s wife. We haven’t actually caught her name yet, and now it’s too late/awkward to ask. She speaks really quickly and loudly, and says my name ALEXIIIIIIIIS, like when farmers are hog calling SUEEEEEEEEY.

She’s super friendly, and also knows a bit of English. Yesterday, she spoke really quickly and my blank face and fake laugh must have told her something, because then I heard her say, “Oh, no Ud. entiende espanol, no?” You don’t know Spanish, do you?

SHIT, she’s on to me!

I must be a bit better today, after a full night’s rest, because I think she complimented some aspect of my Spanish. Probably not speaking...maybe comprehension (funny that, as I didn’t really comprehend what she said).

Oh, balls.

I *hear* what they’re saying, but I have no idea how to respond to it. Just like I told Warren today, yes, I could ask for directions to a place where they sell cigars, but then she’ll respond, and where will we be then?!

At any rate, we got a taxi to El Cristo de la Concordia and got the teleferico (a cable car) up the top for a few HappySnappys.

DSC_2325.jpg DSC_2331.jpg

Here, we also bought some ice cream/popsicles. I tried this one:

DSC_2340.jpg

It tasted good, but I was disappointed once I’d finished and discovered I didn’t look anything like the cartoon implied I might.

Apparently, there are a lot of muggings on the stairs down from El Cristo. Looking mental would have come in handy. We took the teleferico back down again. Better safe than sorry.

DSC_2343.jpg

We got a taxi from El Cristo to La Concha, South America’s largest open air market. An old taxi driver tried to swindle us into paying BOB 25, but we said no gracias, and cleverly walked a few blocks away from the tourist trap to pay just BOB 10.

It’s difficult to negotiate here. BOB 10 is less than $2 – you’re supposed to say, “What?! Ten bolivianos?! You’re crazy! It’s just down the road. I’ll pay five.” Bolivia has just seen Warren and I smiling sweetly and saying, muy bien.

At the market, we bought:

• two blanket/tablecloths for our next bus journey. They’re tablecloths, but now they’re dual purpose. The locals will think we’re genius. Or mental.
• deodorant for Warren who had been suspiciously smelling of mine for the last week.
• world’s largest onion
• world’s largest green pepper
• 9 eggs (asked for 6)

Posted by alexis.johnson 29.11.2012 13:04 Archived in Bolivia Tagged spanish

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