Monday, June 10, 2013

Bolivia

Sundays are the best days to walk around Cochabamba. You don't have to risk your life crossing the street because the flood of cars, micros, trufis and motos is replaced with a slow trickle. You see people walking the few dogs that aren't the strays that run the streets and lie baking in the sun all day. You can stop and take photos of the graffiti that is almost always about politics or love. You can walk unencumbered by crowds because the Cochabambinos are having their weekly holiday. The only downside is that there are not the cholitas selling freshly cut papaya and pineapple on every corner, they are taking the day off.

The life style suits me here, the weather and the city that feels more like a town is so much of what living in Malaga was like. Mild winters that seem only to bite with cold right when the sun is down or right before spring arrives. Living in the centre of the city means you can walk to the markets to buy any of the fresh, organic produce. You can walk a block and buy hot empanadas, salteñas or choripan from the street stalls.

It reminds me of the Philippines too. La Paz was like Baguio City, high up in the mountains and cold even during the day. The cobbled and concrete hills, the power lines that hang in fat bunches like jungle vines, the fresh bread sold on the side walk. Maybe because of all of this or perhaps because it seems like the natural course of things, it quickly feels as if I have been living here far long than the few days it has been.

Things have changed, things have stayed the same. I am not as skittish, I do not act as viscerally as I did in Spain but there's also the familiar experience of arriving somewhere new. It's been over two years since that winter I arrived in Malaga and it's winter here now that I've arrived in Cochabamba. A new beginning to a new anecdote "When I lived in Bolivia....".

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