Field Notes: La Paz Nightlife
Trip Start Mar 11, 2009
28Trip End May 06, 2009
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Sunday morning saw me unfolding myself out of a taxi and back into the hostel around 6am. My taxi partner (another Irish guy who looked slightly like a curly haired leprechaun) and I clinging to each other for dear life because our driver had insisted upon driving with his head turned around to talk to us. We kept gesturing wildly for him to PAY ATTENTION TO THE ROAD!! and NO, we did NOT want to go to another club, take us HOME! Our laughter was relief and a bit of hysteria when we finally bolted from the car and knocked at the hostel door. "Thatīll be a good one for the scrapbook!" Mr. Leprechaun laughed nervously. I thanked him for accompanying me home (though I donīt drink to the point of drunkeness in foreign countries with strangers so I was fine alone) and sharing that, possibly life threatening, experience.
I didnīt bother going up to the hostel bar until about 10:30pm. Because of the smoke, I can only handle sitting there idle for so long. A couple of drinks and some chatting, I became a bit intolerant of the noise, people and atmosphere so I took a break in my room. Impatiently waiting for the magic 1:30am number to roll around so I could cajole some not-so-strange-now-strangers into coming out with me.
Our hostel bar suggested "Club Orange" which no taxi driver seemed to know and ended up in a wild goose chase that, eventually, finished in front of said club which ended up being closed. After walking around looking for another club for about half an hour, everyone was sober and more than a little irritated. Finally, we found "Mungos" and entered with more enthusiasm than I think would have been warranted had we not been walking up and down the streets for so long previously.
Most people hit the bar and I hit the dance floor. Unfortunately, because of the late hour of our arrival, we got maybe 40 minutes before the bar closed. Grinding my teeth with frustration, I latched on to some drunken Irishmen from my hostel and followed them to an after club. Knowing, in the back of my mind, that this could possibly be a Very Bad Idea. But when youīre desperate for a dance night, youīll do anything.
Club Blue was as dodgy as you would expect. A couple of bouncers pushing up a (seemingly) bullet-proof door to let us in, closing it behind us on the long line of Bolivians who were waiting there for god knows how long before we showed up. (I hate that, being first because Iīm a foreigner/white.) I donīt think they could have shoved more people into this club but they kept trying. And it was entirely blue, like itīs name. In fairness, I didnīt feel threatened or in any way unsafe there.
Dancing away, near the people I knew, I was approached by a baby-faced Bolivian who asked if he could dance with me. He ended up being four years my junior and very gentlemanly. When I said Iīd had enough of the smoke and was tired (around 5:30am), he accompanied me outside (even though it was possible he wouldnīt be let back into the club once heīd left) and waited with me for Mister Leprechaun to emerge and us to get a taxi. Very sweet.
And tall. Which came in handy when a dirty, beady-eyed New Yorker came up to us trying to sell us a bag of weed. "No, weīre not interested." Who knows what the drug laws are like here and the last thing I wanted was to be mistaken for being his buddy. He continued to loiter around us, begging us to take it off his hand and brandishing it as if it werenīt illegal and possibly punishable by long jail sentences in a foreign country. I was getting impatient with him; "We said no and I would appreciate it if you would leave us alone before you get us involved in shit we have no business in." He looked like he wanted to say something to me but my 7ft tall Bolivian knight stepped a bit closer to me and glared at him. He promptly left.
A few minutes later, catching a cab, we watched as Mister America got into a fight with some random Bolivian who didnīt seem to be doing anything but minding his own business. "Saw that one coming." I said and my taxi partner agreed.
All in all, it was an interesting night though I think Iīll get more dancing interest in Buenos Aires (at least I will be severely disappointed if I donīt). I leave for Rurrenabaque this afternoon - the Bolivian jungle - and will be back in La Paz for Friday.
Miss you all!