You No Rambo

It started out as a suggestion to walk around the area where our hotel was situated. The side street led past a small café which had a few Bolivians sitting drinking coca tea. We sat down and ordered two beers which came to our table in a couple of very tall bottles. As we poured them into a glass slowly the beer would foam and since La Paz is around 13,000ft in elevation it is not surprising. One beer was followed quickly by another, and then another as day became evening. A fellow who had been drinking about as long as us stood and walked over to our table and in basic English asked if he could join us. Sitting down he motioned to the waiter for a drink and one for the each of us. We now moved from beer to a local drink of Singani (brandy) and ginger ale. Our new friend was from Chile and owned the local movie house. He was quite intoxicated and at one point he asked us where we were from, my friend who was Canadian and I an American. He looked at me and in a very slurred speech stated that no way was I an American. With a drunken look he states, “no, you no Rambo”. Both my friend and I laughed, shaking our heads and agreed, yes I am no Rambo. Shortly a group of young men dressed in team soccer jerseys arrived who just happened to be related to our drunken movie house owner and pushed a number of tables together. Bottles of Singani were ordered and the evening of poor Spanish and English conversations were struggled though until nearly sunrise. The waiter who happened to be the café owner at one point pulled down the metal folding door to the entrance and just stood in the corner ready to grab another bottle. At some point our early evening friend fell asleep at the table and we knew it was time for us to leave for the hotel. Shaking hands we parted and somehow found our way back to our hotel, and didn’t break an ankle as we staggered down the cobblestone street. Standing in front of our lodging the door was locked. We knocked and pounded on the door and no one would answer so seeing a small gap at the top of the door I figured I could crawl through it. With a hoist I was able to get to the gap and while pulling one leg over and starting to squeeze through the hotel employee opened the door. He looked up at me, shook his head and went back inside. It was quite the night. La Paz, Bolivia