Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 10: Bolivia Isn't Really Vegetarian Friendly

Today I didn’t really venture out anywhere, so the day was relatively unexciting.  The good news of the morning was that there is no bloqueo, at least until Monday.

My morning started off with some things I needed to get done.  I made myself a to do list and got to work.  I had to sort through all of my clothes and figure out what was dirty and what was clean, and kind of organize my suitcase.  I pulled all the data off of the Jerome, and started the data entry from the field into Excel files.  This way, I can start working on everything once I get back to Durham.  Entering the data took until about 1:00pm, when Susan and I went to lunch.

We went to El German again.  We were going for the set lunch (soup, entrée, dessert, drink), for 18 Bolivianos.  Unfortunately, they had run out of the entrée (if I understood the conversation between Susan and the waitress correctly).  So, we reluctantly ordered off the regular menu.  It took 35 minutes to get a bottle of water, with only maybe 10 other people in the restaurant.  While we were waiting for our food, other people came in and received the set lunch.  We were pretty peeved, and the less-than-polite waitress told us that the people that are on pension (or whatever you call it, where they pay for lunch for an entire month) were her priority, and not us.  She was pretty rude.  But Susan got her sopa de quinoa and I had curry con tofu y espinaca, so the food was good but the service was terrible.

After lunch, I was waiting to go to the archives with Nick, so I laid down on the bed until he knocked on my door.  Well, I fell asleep for about an hour and a half and pretty much wasted my afternoon.  I could have been doing something productive or exploring more of Sucre, but I guess my body is still beat up from the intense sampling days in Potosí.

After my nap, I sat up on the terrace with Nick and Susan, talking through some of the details of future work in Huancavelica and Potosí.  We watched the sun set and the moon rise, and I met Nick’s friend, David, an archeologist from Cochabamba.  We had a few drinks on the terrace, then decided to have dinner at the hotel rather than going out.

Dinner at the hotel was…I don’t even know how to describe it.  Susan ordered mushroom soup with water (not cream or stock) and a grilled cheese sandwich, Nick ordered a chicken noodle soup, I ordered pasta primavera, and David ordered something that looked like hot dogs with an egg on top and mashed potatoes on the side.  Well, Susan’s soup came out first.  It was made with chicken stock.  So, she gave her soup to David and asked them to make her another one.  Then my pasta primavera came out.  It was noodles with what looked like previously frozen vegetables, and a scoop of what I thought was meat sauce.  It was brown, like when you cook a meat sauce all day on the stove.  Nick tasted it and said it didn’t have meat in it, so I ate about half of my plate of food.  It was sure an interesting meal.

After dinner, Nick helped me package up the soil samples and my souvenirs.  Nick and Susan have some business to take care of tomorrow so they’re going to be gone tomorrow and we wanted to make sure I was all packed up before I leave Saturday morning.  I’m going to take the soil to the exporter in Santa Cruz, and he will pick it up on Saturday, weigh it, do the paperwork, etc.  When Susan gets to Santa Cruz on Monday, she will meet with the exporter and finalize everything and pay him.  It’s been pretty hectic trying to figure out the best way to get the soil from Bolivia to Durham.

So tomorrow I’m on my own.  I have some work to get done, a few people left to buy souvenirs for, and some packing to do.  I’m going to be forced to use my own Spanish to get myself around (which, believe me, is going to be entertaining for anyone who actually speaks Spanish) but I think I’ll be alright.

No comments:

Post a Comment