Saturday, July 26, 2008


I really liked that karaoke song. Maybe because the video had people prancing around in bathing suits at the beach. Anyways, I will be off to Chile and Easter Island this coming week on my fabulous vacation with myself…followed by a few days in an “all volunteer gathering” which should be good times as always...then followed by a week back in my site before I go back on vacation to Lake Titicaca and Copacabana with Sarah! Hmm…August doesn’t look too promising as a productive work month but así es, pues.

Senile? Gluttonous? Maybe a bit of both…

I have a problem with food. If you know me, you know I really like to eat. And I can eat a lot. Maybe more than even I think I can eat. Not that this problem didn’t happen to me before I came to Bolivia, but I recently noticed that it has occurred with more frequency.

Today when I was eating a banana (one of two as part of my breakfast) I turned over to get my boiling water in my electric tea kettle and then when I turned back, my banana was gone. *poof* The only possible explanation is that I already finished eating it and didn’t remember. So of course I had to go get another since I clearly wasn’t satisfied with just one. The incident in itself would not have been cause for alarm, except that the very same day, in the evening I went to go make myself an egg sandwich with tomato, and realized I had one less “pancito” than I thought I did. Bread here in Tarata is purchased as single size serving rolls rather than a big loaf where you have no clue how many slices you have left until you’re down to the last few. How was it possible that I only had one roll left when I thought I had two? Only explanation once again, I ate it and didn’t remember I ate it. If the explanation of this forgetfulness is gluttony, I think I can live with that, but if my short-term memory is going this could prove problematic. It’s good that I’m not dieting because a part of dieting is being conscious of what you are consuming (which I clearly am not). I find the issue happens most frequently with bread, although it can happen with anything from fruit to candy to a bowl of pudding (what?! I already ate the whole thing?!). My course of action from here will be to monitor to see if this absentmindedness invades other parts of my spectacularly uneventful daily life or if it’s merely confined to the realm of the automated task of eating. Vamos a ver…

My Bolivian Haircut…And My Not-So Bolivian Haircut

First off, I have not been very good at this blog updating business. My life has been less than spectacular lately so I am lacking in worthy events to recount to the masses. I would like to share that I am a big fan of the new Death Cab for Cutie CD though. At first I wasn’t too impressed (I got bogged down in the 8 minute 25 second track that appears second on the CD) but when you get past that, it’s quite pleasant. After all, how could you resist tunes called “Your New Twin Sized Bed” and “Long Division”? I also have been jamming out (by that I mean sitting in my room by myself bopping around) to the new Gavin DeGraw and Jason Mraz CDs. Both which I would classify as excellent.

Anyways, so a few weeks back I decided it was time to cut off the dead animal on the back of my head that I had been dragging around since August 2007 (I hadn’t had a haircut since I came to Bolivia). It had grown from my normal semi-bowl cut that I had before I came down to this atrocious scraggly mass that I kept in a ponytail about 75% of the time. I planned on meeting my counterpart Vivian to go to a salon that she recommended, “Los Espejos” but when it came time she didn’t show up…but I pushed onward and went to the salon where I got my 25 bs haircut. I had a little difficulty explaining to the woman what I wanted (which was very short, semi-bowl cut style which is my trademark) and I ended up with a bob that was noticeably different and neater than my hair before since she removed all the gross excess parts, but not what I had in mind. I got the feeling that she was afraid to cut it too short since most women here have LONG hair (maybe just so they can put it up in braids for dancing in festivals?) but I guess what I ended up with was kinda cute. My friends in Tarata thought so and I got some good feedback when I came back that first day about how good it looked (when it still was nicely styled and not flipping out in all the wrong directions as it naturally does).

But I wasn’t satisfied. Then this past weekend, Kasia, Lindsay and Sarah all were in town and we decided to take a little trip to Cine Center which is one of the most lujo (luxurious) places that you can go in Cochabamba. It’s just like an American movie theater and mall food court in one, with an internet café and salon and a few restaurants off of it. Lindsay, Sarah and I all decided to splurge on some seriously expensive (like 10 USD!) haircuts and we had spent the night before browsing Vogue and Marie Claire to find our models that we were going to emulate. When we got to the salon I found a cute pixie cut in one of the books of hairstyles and decided that was what I was going to go with. Very short, uneven-ish messy chunks, the type you don’t even comb (you just put some gel in and go) and totally me. So the stylist started cutting. And at one point even told me, “you can’t go back now” after she had hacked off a bit. Perfectly fine with me. I neglected to mention to her that I had my head shaved at one point which probably would have scared her. As she continued to cut, a few other stylists and assistants (hair-washing people?) gathered around to watch my haircut take form. I credit this to the fact that I was getting a haircut shorter than the man that was sitting next to me and they probably don’t see super-short cuts very often there so they are a novelty. In the end the haircut turned out exactly how I had wanted it the first time and it definitely was not your typical Bolivian woman’s hairstyle. The stylist liked it as well, I do believe, and I got some positive nods from the other bystanders along with compliments from Sarah, Lindsay (whose haircuts were also fantastic) and Kasia. But I think that’s where it ends. Vivian actually really liked my haircut and was telling me it was very fashionable and “te queda bien” several times which means it looks good on you. She’s also very fashionable so maybe she’s not as shocked by the supershort cut on a woman though. I would take the lack of comments from my other acquaintances in town (it was a major haircut that you couldn’t not notice) that they didn’t like it so much. I got a few, oh, you got a haircut, it’s a new look…a “why did you cut your hair?!” and a “you cut your hair, it was prettier longer.” I also got a few comments from some punk high school boys that were like, “dude, she looks like a boy.” Haha, too bad I’m used to getting mistaken for “sir” and “son” to actually think their comments were something novel and worthy of paying attention to. But gosh darn it, after this haircut I feel so much more like me. And I look so much cuter. Oh, I’m so egotistical.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Day a Boy Ran Away From Me

Kelley – You might find this particulary interesting since we are the ones usually doing the running away (brings back memories of a particular incident where we stared at some dude behind the glass without his ID then ran away?).

I’ve seriously been lacking in any good blog material so I though I’d tell a story about something I found amusing (although it could be interpreted as slightly embarrassing). So after some “despedida” (going away) party fun, another volunteer Karen and I decided to go meet up with my counterpart, Vivian, who was out on Pando (street with basically all the discotecas and bars) with three of her friends. We were having a grand old time of a girl’s night out at this place called “La Boom.” Yes, the name is highly suspect. Anyways, so in the middle of the night I found myself making eyes more than once at a very attractive (and tall! so not my type) gentleman and he was definitely looking my way too (this can be confirmed by Karen, and if he wasn’t this story never would have happened). Around 2 am, Karen gave me the signal that she was ready to go home and I told her I wanted to go talk to the “guy in the blue t-shirt” and she told me to go do it. After blowing in her face a few times to make sure I didn’t have bad breath (I couldn’t find my gum), I marched right over there where he was standing with his friend and asked him, “quieres bailar?” or “do you want to dance?” If you know me, I don’t normally do things of this nature, but it might have been the few beers that I had consumed that night while bopping around crazily while dancing (that is normal – and possibly WHY he was looking at me) or as Pat said, it might be that I have been watching too much Sex and the City and was trying to emulate Samantha but apparently lacked the technique that she has (I am so much more Miranda). So his response to this was that he couldn’t dance right now and held up his drinky drink (which I believe was a Red Bull and vodka)…which might possibly have been a line or was the truth? So I continued to make small talk and although I remember everything else about the conversation, his name fails to come back to me, I remember it was something difficult to pronounce that I had to repeat to him to see if I got it right. So it turned out that he was from Brazil (Rio de Janeiro to be exact) and we continued the normal conversation that I have with people which includes him asking where I’m from, I say I’m from the U.S., he says I look Japanese, what do you do, I’m a Peace Corps volunteer…blah blah. So I ask him what he does and it turns out he is a medical student (future McDreamy perhaps?) here and I asked him what year of med school he’s in and about what kind of medicine he plans to practice. He answers “neurosurgery”…and this is where I think I might have gone wrong. I was joking around and was like, “entonces eres muy inteligente, no?” (I think that might have been coupled with a cheshire cat-like grin too on my part) which means “then you’re really smart right?” But come on, if he said he was a rocket scientist I would have made that same comment, you know, there are just some careers that encourage that type of thinking. Then I went to talk to his friend who was standing next to him who turned out also to be from Brazil and in med school and I asked him standard questions like if they knew each other before they came here and stuff. And literally it was like in the (bad) movies. In the moment I was talking to his friend, I turned around, he was gone! He ran away from me! I think he was scared that I was a little too “fuerte” (strong, aka forward) but who knows. There are two theories: 1) he might have really had to use the baño, or 2) he was really scared of me (which I prefer to think because it makes a better story). After he disappeared *poof* into thin air, I kind of just stopped talking to his friend and sauntered over to Karen and told her that the boy ran away from me and we headed out. I did notice when I turned around as we were walking out that he was back with his little friend but I didn’t think to actually stick around to find out if he actually ran away from me or had to put his drink down or something. The reason I think he ran away is that I don’t recall him saying anything to me like, hey, I’ll be right back, going to the bathroom or put my drink down. Así es, pues. I’m still wondering if my failure was due to my outright (scary) flattery, the possibility that maybe he was looking at the girl behind me the whole night, or my grungy clothing (Karen and I were in typical PC attire that is sneakers, jeans, and t-shirts whereas everyone else was in cute little tops and heels) but there will be other opportunities! Seguimos adelante!