Stop signs are soooo overrated

I am getting settled into Santa Cruz, Bolivia now and am enjoying myself. I’ve still got a head cold but hopefully I’ll be getting over that soon seeing as I am not going to be traveling as much for the next four or five months.

A few things about Santa Cruz though. One is that street lights and stop signs mean absolutely nothing – they are merely suggestions. If you don’t want to stop you don’t have to, but if you do, that’s cool too. Nick’s theory is that of momentum. Basically, if you lose your momentum, you’ve lost your ability to continue on as others will see your hesitation. So the trick is to continue the momentum with confidence. If your coming to a stop sign and someone else sees your momentum, they will stop and let you go. It’s how it works.

Also, it is really hot and humid in Santa Cruz. We´re in the tropics so that´s how it is. You just get used to being really sticky all the time, or you keep the AC running non-stop. Of course, you run the risk of bringing all your bills up from costing 25 dollars a month to 28 with that increase in electricity, but that´s life, you know?

I also saw the new house I will be living in for the next several months (the big move is tomorrow from Nick and Ina´s apartment). The tricky thing is not getting lost in the huge house and it´s also going to be hard adjusting to the fact that I am not allowed to clean up after myself or do my own laundry (that´s what the three maids are for). It´s kind of weird having a family take you out to one of their own chain of grocery stores and letting you pick out for food for free and then living in their house for free…but something tells me I´m going to get used to it.

I´m going to check out some job offers in the next few days, so I will let you guys know how that goes, but it looks promising.

Before I go, a funny story about Quito, Ecuador though. When I got out of the taxi at the airport, I noticed that I couldn’t find my wallet. I had to pay the taxi guy and I was looking in and around the taxi, but I couldn’t find it. As I glanced inside of the storm drain though, there it was – lying complacently in about 2 feet from my reach. The military guard was yelling at the taxi guy to leave and I was staring desperately at my wallet and it was pretty outta control. The taxi guy moved up the street and waited for me and I was able to scrounge enough money in coins to pay him (in Ecuador, somehow a $20 bill magically gets transformed into about three handfuls of coins by the end of the day). So back to the wallet I went and I asked the guard – Pues, que debo hacer? (so what should I do?). He looked at me like, “damn dude, I don´t know. Sucks to be you.”.

Then a shoe shine boy came up to see what the problem was and I said, “50 cents if you can get that out”. He looked down and bowed to the drain then stood quickly back up and replied “…one dollar!”. After a smile and a nod of approval he went to work. He could´t quite reach so I reminded him that a dollar was waiting in the storm drain for him. After a suggestion by the office to get a stick, he ran up to a young tree and quickly tore off one of the only two branches off of it. He returned and tried to fish it out but without luck. After breaking it in two, four other shoe shine boys had arrived – along with a crowd trying to see what the problem was. We finally worked together to get it out. I gave the other kids 25 cents and I was on my way. I´m glad those kids were finally good for something, you know?

Anyways, Nick and I are writing a book called “The Tortilla Standard”, so I have to get back to drinking beer for inspiration. Werd to your mutha´.

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