Sunday, July 6, 2008

Drinking in Bolivia

Only in Bolivia can you find yourself at a house party where the average age of the evening's revelers is over 50 and YOU'RE the one whose not drinking fast enough...

Last night I went to a friend of a friend's Birthday "Borachera" (roughly translated as 'sloppy drunk shit-fest') hosted by the Bolivian family he's living with. They bought a lamb in the Camba (eastern Bolivian rural hinterland) and roasted it. They also happened to come back with approximately 30 gallons of chicha which they transported to Cochabamba in giant gasoline drums.

Now, the Birthday Boy of the evening, Eliot, is a Kiwi and consequently no stranger to drinking. (As we Americans know from their ridiculous accents, all Australians and Kiwis are raging alcoholics.) However, the real drinkers of the evening, of course, were our Bolivian hosts. Grandma's only job of the evening was to continuously refil the communal serving gourd with chicha and make people chug it. She litterally stood over me every time she served me a drink and watched to make sure I drank it all. One time (of too many to count) there was some murky shit floating around at the bottom of the bowl, so I tried to pass it back to her without finishing it all, ultimately to no avail. "No no no... ¡Seco!" she said, with a disapproving gaze. I obediently chewed down the remainder of my chicha...

We also danced the Bailecito (literally, "cute little dance"), a Cochabambino courtship dance in 6/8 performed by waving handkerchiefs around in the air. It's kind of like a 'musical chairs' of sorts, except when the music stops, you don't sit down, you chug a beer!

Needless to say, we all got drunk. I managed alright. Unfortunately, my lady friend co-attendee of the evening happens to suffer from an acute alcohol metabolism inefficiency (it's called being Asian). She passed out in the cab ride home.

As for me, if I still have solid poop after 2 nights of drinking what is effectively half-fermented corn moonshine, I'll consider it a win.

¡Ciao amigos!

1 comment:

Paul said...

Hahaha. I enjoyed reading all your posts. Sounds like you had a great time.