July 10, 2013
Jacky says he’s seen thirty-three stray dogs since arriving in Bolivia.
For breakfast I have pumpkin soup and watch the Tour de France. We visit the university, the second oldest in the New World, whose initials on sweatshirts are U.M.R.P.S.F.X.Ch. (Universidad Mayor Real Pontificía de San Francisco Xavier de Chuquisaca); we are greeted so warmly it’s hard to believe. They advise us to buy a wireless modem, which we do—that takes an hour or so. It works—extremely slowly—upstairs and outside; on the first floor, it’s practically useless. We visit the mercado central again; there must be a thousand merchants there. Now we have garbage cans and food. The man comes to fix the Internet but can’t; he’ll be back tomorrow. The code that won’t work on our computers, e-readers, and phone seems to work on his phone, strangely enough—as well as René’s. Then it’s to the supermarket and a restaurant—we’re not quite ready to cook dinner. That we’re saving for tomorrow.
What will/can/must we live without? Streaming video, cell phones, and, perhaps, warm showers (the water seems to be either scalding or freezing with no in-between). Peanut butter, putting toilet paper in the toilet (one reason we needed garbage cans so badly), driving a car (streets and drivers both too crazy), riding a bike (no room for bikes on these roads). Americans (the one we know is leaving in three weeks, though we do know a Canadian), parks, cats (I haven’t seen even one here). Thalia’s favorite TV shows (especially Supernatural), my LPs, our books. Brushing teeth with, washing food with, and drinking tap water. Bodies of water, snow, Jews.