Mad Dogs & Englishmen

Trip Start Oct 26, 2009
Trip End Mar 27, 2010

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm writing this with a splitting headache. It's been a big night. Ahead of me is a 10 hour bus journey. Help.

Act I

Kings of Leon blare through the speakers. Jokers wear v neck t-shirts. Women are straightening their hair and putting on make up down the hall in the shared bathrooms.
Drunken Irish and Aussies spit and fall over each other breaking bones on the bluestone stairs.
The walls are plastered with Irish paraphernalia. I could walk outside these doors and be in any street in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane.
I hate this hostel. It makes me sick.

Act II
I've found my doppleganger. His name is Richard and he is from England.

Some choice phrases from Richard:
“For so long you've reminded me of someone and it's taken me until now to realise that it's me.”
“Watching you has given me a brand new perspective on my life.”

I would be lying if I said Richard and I didn't walk down the main street in Rurrenbaque drunk as skunks singing the wonderful Elton John and George Michael duet 'Don't let the sun go down on me'.
It may all sound as camp as a row of tents but I assure you, it is all very heterosexual.

Act II

Back in the beautiful town of Rurrenbaque..
It is the same night of the infamous Allan and Richard duet.

I found someone.
Someone special.
I don't know her name for we didn't have a conversation, but that didn't matter.
I found her in the Monkey Bar. She was under the table.
I picked her up and showed her around to my Irish and French friends.
She followed me to karaoke.
She sat beneath me.
I left and she followed.
She looked at me with big brown eyes and I bought her a street meal. It was deep fried chicken, chips and white rice.
I bit small pieces and fed them to her as we headed to the hostel.
She stopped in the darkness as stray dogs approached and wouldn't follow me any further.
I felt like she'd taken advantage of gringos like me before.
The morning after at breakfast, Eamonn told me I'd walked in to the karaoke bar with her. The locals had looked at me with disgust but I waved them away pointing to my new friend as if to say “It's ok, she's with me”.

Act IV
We were hours from Rurrenbaque at an outpost for gringo travellers wanting to experience the Amazon.
It was hot and humid. We sat on the rickety wooden balcony.
The stars were closer than I'd ever seen.
I'd never seen fire flies before. Warm yellow lights fading in and out of the tree tops.
At first I thought they were shooting stars.
We sleep under mosquito nets on thin mattresses and were awoken by calfs crying for their milk.
It was fantastic.
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