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A Narration of the Last 24 Hours

Sucre, Bolivia – I’ve been in Sucre for two and a half weeks now and for most of that time I’ve neglected updating this blog on any type of regular basis. The main reason is because I wasn’t sure what to write about and I’ve enjoyed taking a break from all things travel related. But, [...]

Sucre, Bolivia –

I’ve been in Sucre for two and a half weeks now and for most of that time I’ve neglected updating this blog on any type of regular basis. The main reason is because I wasn’t sure what to write about and I’ve enjoyed taking a break from all things travel related. But, I think it’s time give some kind of update. What to say though? How do I summarize what’s been going on? I think the best way is to recount my activities of the last 24 hours and that should give a pretty good idea of what I’m currently doing in Sucre.

It was Thursday night and I didn’t have Spanish class the next morning which meant it was time to start the weekend one day early. Stefan and I were walking the streets and Sucre was dead. We refused that there was nothing happening on a Thursday night since this city always seems to have something going on. Stefan has been my party companion for the last couple of weeks and we have hit the town pretty hard. At some point in the course of the night we usually part ways with some story to recount the next morning.

We eventually found that ‘something’ we were searching for and it turned out to be a massive University party of several thousand students. The street leading into the actual party was filled with several hundred people partying, grilling food and selling a cheap, warm, alcoholic street juice known as ‘Canela’ which tastes like it’s name suggests; Cinnamon. A plastic two liter bottle costs $1.45 so it’s obvious why the drink is popular with students. The street party was it’s own event outside of the main attraction.

From Sucre 2011-05 – University party in Sucre

The ‘real’ party was behind a large fence and for $2.00 I squeezed through a small opening in a gate and was thrown into a sea of several thousand people and live music. Stefan and I were the only gringos in the crowd which meant we would be received in one of two ways. We were happily received with smiles, handshakes and offers to partake in may liters of Canela. Forget the ex-patbars and clubs of backpackers these are the parties I look for. This party was just pure fun and at one point included a small riot at the entrance between those who were prohibited to enter and several security guards with tasers. The riot calmed down and the main act took the stage. Stefan and I looked on in confusion as the crowd went crazy over a group of five guys wearing white tights looking like they batted for the opposite team singing and lip-synching to popular Latin songs who went by the name ‘Voltage’.

From Sucre 2011-05 – Voltage takes the stage

The rest of the night blurred by and at noon I heard my phone ringing and it was Emily trying to call me. On her third attempt she finally woke me up. Emily is one of the girls I had met on a previous weekend. She goes to University here in Sucre and besides taking Spanish lessons is my next best way to practice Spanish. She needed to take a trip to Cochabamba this weekend and had invited me to go with her. I was on board but due to the normal last-minute Latino planning and a complete lack of information (or my inability to understand all of the details on the phone) she’s in Cochabamba and I’m still in Sucre. I’m not too broken up about it since it’s the last weekend my Fiesta Amigo, Stefan, will be in Sucre.

Through Emily and a few others I’ve had a few dates where I’ve had to try and keep a conversation rolling for several hours with women who have known little to no English. It’s not the easiest of things to do but it has provided some memorable moments. The more memorable of the past couple of weeks have been when my Spanish knowledge, or lack thereof, along with my lack of understanding some of the cultural nuances here have left me high and dry. Here are a few…

Did she say ‘Yo te llamo manana’ or ‘Tu me llamas manana’. I can never keep the two phrases straight and it leaves me in a constant state of confusion as to who is supposed to call who.

Oh, she said ‘Meet me in the plaza now at the same spot we met yesterday at 6:00’ and not ‘Meet me in the plaza later at 6:00.’ I still feel bad about accidentally standing that girl up.

Phones here are pre-pay so in order to save money people talk fast. Real fast. Add on top of that poor reception and I’m constantly confused after phone calls.

It’s commonly known to locals that when a girl says “Meet me at my house at 7:00” she actually means “Meet me at my house at 7:30 or 8:00.” After getting few dirty looks for actually arriving on time I quickly learned the importance of this cultural nuance.

When someone says I’ll call you after workclass they don’t mean they will call you right after class. What they mean is they will call you sometime between when they are done with workclass and before they go to bed.

Next Steps:

I’m not sure when I’m leaving Sucre. I thought I would be here for two weeks and it’s quickly looking like I’ll be here for a month or more. I suppose I should leave sooner rather than later to see some other parts of Bolivia but I’m having too good of a time here. I’ve learned more about Bolivia and it’s culture just staying here than I would if I was traveling all over the place so I’m tempted to just stay longer. I After another week or so I’m not going to be taking more Spanish classes so if I stay I’ll need to find something to occupy my time.

The only downside if I stay in Sucre is time. Americans get a five year visa but can only spend 90 days out of every year here so the longer I stay in Sucre the less time I have to see the rest of the country.

Photos of Sucre

Filed under: Bolivia, Cubicle Ditcher

About the Author:

Sam Langley left a comfortable and profitable job with an insurance company in the USA to travel the world. He has been going for years, and has not stopped yet. Keep up with his travels on his blog at Cubicle Ditcher. has written 147 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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