The days have grown lazier since I quit my job. Basically, I was bored at work and was done with the project I was working on – and since I am going to be leaving pretty soon, I didn’t really want to start any other projects at the risk of leaving them half finished. So I finally got paid – which is a miracle, as I was sure I wouldn’t since the company for which I worked is having some financial problems at the moment.
Most of the guys working there are going on 2-3 months without being paid, and are still working there. Why, you ask? Where else are they going to get a job? At least this place MAY pay them someday, as opposed to not getting paid at all. It was really fun working there and I enjoyed the experience. The team was always in good spirits and always friendly and helpful, and I think it will be a nice addition to my resume as well. But I have moved on. I don’t know if I mentioned it yet, but I have a private Chinese tutor now and although it’s frustrating, I think I am making the most of it. Also, there are benefits to studying Chinese here. For one, I will be getting a good foundation for studying while I am traveling so that when I get to China, I’ll be ahead. I already know about 50 words (written characters and spoken words) and am getting the hang of the pronunciation, which is a bitch and a half (yeah, that’s right: A bitch, then another half of a bitch. Don’t ask me what happened to the other half, though). Also, it’s considerably less expensive to study here in Bolivia. How about $3.50 an hour as opposed to the $20 it would likely cost in the US (yeah, how about that). On the economy note, I just got my haircut, as well. It left me hurting too, as it was exceedingly difficult to part with the 10 bolivianos (about $1.20 US dollars). They don’t worry about trivial stuff like cleaning equipment and the like, which allows them to keep down costs (What’s a little ring worm between strangers, am I right?).
Now that I am out of work, I am taking the opportunity to study and read as much as I can. I read fairly slowly so it’s rather frustrating. I have found that a massage a week is very conducive to relieving the stress of such a fast paced lifestyle. Also, I found a nice stash of opera, classical, and jazz cd’s in the library here at the house, so I’m converting them all to MP3 so I can take the music with me when I leave. I’m also eating a lot: Three square meals a day – and then some. And let’s just say, the Bolivian diet is not quite “light”. At last measurement, I have put on about 7-8 pounds. My plan is to keep this up, since I don’t know how well I’ll be eating while I’m traveling. I anticipate dropping quite a few pounds in the upcoming months as I travel through countries which contain bacteria to which I am not yet accustomed. A single battle with one of those hellacious strains can shave off a good 5-6 pounds in a matter of days.
I am, however, really looking forward to getting on the road again. I feel like I came all this way and am living the same life I was living at home – a normal one. But I can almost feel the excitement coming, and it’s not too far away.