A whole $1 for this cab ride?

It’s funny how quick you adjust to the local currency. Basically, you’re not going to spend more than one American dollar for a cab ride to anywhere in the city. However, sometimes you get hit with the “gringo tax” and have to pay like another 20 cents. When you ask what the fare is and it’s another 2 Bolivian dollars your like wooooooooaaaa, wayyyy tooo much – and it’s not like your pissed off at being charged more, it’s just that it’s like 2 “dollars” more.

So there are these crazy bugs here called chicharra’s or cucu’s or something, everyone has a different name for them, but they make the loudest, most ear shattering and high pitch, and most constant noise for hours at a time in the spring (yeah, it’s spring here). I’m going to try to record one so you guys can be annoyed too. Only in the tropics, so they say.

Also, I really wish I could record a cab ride in this city. It’s like an out of control roller coaster. First off, all seat belts have been removed, the cars have been converted from having the steering wheels on the ride side of the car to the left side and they didn’t do a very good job so usually the speedometer doesn’t work, there are always enough cracks to make the road in front of you just visible enough, no one pays attention to streetlights or stop signs – as they only need honk a few times as they go confidently into an intersection (the more confident you appear, the more likely the other cab driving into the intersection will yield to you and when you get stuck in traffic, you get to listen to non-stop honking by everyone as though the combined sound waves from the horns will somehow perhaps physically lift the 100 cars in front of you up into the air so that your taxi may pass.

Cops don’t have guns either. They do, however, have whistles. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the whistles are very intimidating – they make a different noise depending on how hard you blow. And trust me, they really love blowing their whistles. They don’t really need a reason…if they see something that catches their eye, the whistle gets blown. If you run a red light or cut someone off, the whistle gets blown. If you run someone over, the whistle gets blown. I assume they keep track of which cars get how many whistle blows and maybe send them some sort of notification in the mail – just so they know.

Or maybe they don’t.

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