A bad day in Sucre

Sucre Travel Blog

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Demonstration in Sucre by country people who feel discriminated against.

The bed was more comfortable than the other one, so it looks like I’ll be staying here for the next week and a half.  Before breakfast I asked what time the computer guy was coming, but it seems that the lady who was going to arrange it hadn’t, not sure what was going on there.  Anyway I have little spare time as I have to race off to my Spanish lesson.  I don’t have my Spanish teacher’s address or phone number, only a red dot on a very dog-eared map, which has other things marked on it.  We went there yesterday, but as we were conversing in Spanish, I don’t have strong recollections of the roads we went on.  I have allowed ten minutes to get there and start out at ten to nine.  Approximately 1 and a half hours later I finally turn up at the address. 


The major problems which beset me along the way are; I (incorrectly) assume that north is at the top of the map, when in fact it’s roughly exactly the opposite.

My room, Sucre - not bad for AUD28.80
  Therefore when I think I have to turn left I turn right and vice versa.  It takes me roughly Âľ hour to come to this realization.  Then I find that the house is in a very tricky location, with some street names given, but not all.  The people who try to help me don’t seem to quite understand where the location is either and ask me for the street name, which I don’t have.  One man would have been amusing if he hadn’t been so frustrating.  I ask him; Es esto calle de Bolivar?  Si.  Es esto calle de Lima?  Si.  Same street I pointed at, but he was happy to agree with both names that I suggested, so I ended up walking down the street to find its name.  I don’t have L’s phone number, so can’t ring her and I don’t want to ring M as she isn’t very happy with me as I’m not staying at her sister’s place.  At about AUD9 a minute, I don’t intend wasting my money ringing her and possibly having to listen to a tirade.


When I finally turn up at the place, I find that L has left not long ago.  I go back to my hotel, picking up a new copy of a tourist map on the way.  Oh, that was another problem.  I started out with a map in two pieces; an hour and a half later it was in six pieces.  It’s very hard to read a map that’s in 6 pieces.  I finally arrive at my hotel to find that L has called there twice in person, trying to find me   She has left her mobile number so I try to ring her but she has another class from 12 until 2, so I suspect that her phone’s turned off for that reason.  The computer man hasn’t been called, so someone else is rung.  Not along afterwards two men come and try to connect my puter to the wifi.  I note that just about everything that they try, I have already tried between two and ten times.  I suspect that when they came they thought that I was just some silly woman who didn’t know what she was doing and it would be a cinch to fix.  After 15 minutes one man said that it was “un poco dificil”, a little difficult, to fix.  Lunchtime beckoned them after half an hour and the problem is not solved.  It might be a virus?  They will return at 3 (it is now 1 pm).  I suspect that the problem has progressed from un poco dificil to muy (very) dificil.  I hope that they’re going to bring back some better ideas than this morning.


I decide to have lunch at the hotel, waiting for L to ring and the men to return.  I am told that they serve wine; 

I need a drink!  Then, they don’t sell wine; ok I’ll have agua sin gas (water, not carbonated).  The waitress comes back, no water only Coke or Sprite.  So I suggest that I get my wine and water from my room and I’ll just sort it out for myself.  I think she say’s that’s ok, but I’m beyond caring at this point, so that’s what I do.  I sit my wine out of sight and pour a glass.  In a town where stray dogs sit inside the chicken cafĂ©, I don’t think that anyone is going to worry about my vino tinto.  I don’t get offered any postre (dessert) because I didn’t have soup or stuffed tomatoes as well as the chicken; this is definitely not my day.  Solamente comida completo, no a la carte.

Little did I know how bad the day was going to get.  When the men hadn’t returned to fix the computer by 3:20, I realized that they probably weren’t going to return at all.  Another person was contacted.  He stayed an hour or so, but it was too hard for him too.


As I was supposed to be teaching English I went to the school, which is opposite the hotel, M wasn’t there and the man whose place I was supposed to be staying at was not very nice to me, so I decided it wasn’t worth the effort that night and went back to the hotel.  I talked to the receptionist for a little while and then started back to my room.  I’ve noticed that you have to be very careful where you walk in Bolivia, as there are often gaping holes in the footpath.  I’d also thought that it was a a dumb idea in the hotel in that they have a sunken lounge, one step down and I had to keep reminding myself that the step was there.  There is a sort of tiled/marble floor.  Anyway my mind was on other things and I stepped off into the air and landed with all my weight on my right knee.  My knee was very painful and my room is on the first floor, no lift.  I somehow got to my room, but after 15 to 30 minutes of agony, I rang reception to get a doctor.


Doctor only speaks Spanish, but I understand pretty well what he is saying.  Hey Glynes and Judith;  all those weeks of saying, me duele la cabeza have turned out to be useful.  He thinks there may be what he called a lesion or fissure of the kneecap; guess that’s the same as what we might call a hairline fracture.  He favours an x-ray straight away and I agree.  Someone goes to call a taxi and the bellboy tries to help me from the room but I can’t stand at all on the right leg and fall onto the floor again.  To make it short, they call an ambulance and two guys just about carry me down the stairs to the stretcher.  Some guys wandering down the street help load me into the ambulance.  There is no equipment in the ambulance and not even a rug to go over me.  I found out afterwards that you’re supposed to bring your own rug!  One of the guys from the hotel comes in the ambulance with the doctor and me.  Emergency doesn’t appear to be heated and it’s very cold.  But they are extremely prompt and I’m taken almost immediately for the x-ray.  Meanwhile the asst manager has turned up from the hotel to help me.  She is so kind and also busy making sure that they look after me.  3 x-rays, hospital doctor says nothing’s broken, just need to rest, shot of anti inflammatory, some tablets, home by taxi with asst manager, guys help me to my room, original doctor comes, looks at x-rays, yes, there are lesions and I’m very lucky I didn’t break my kneecap.  Obviously he didn’t trust the other doctor’s opinion.  Must not bend my right knee as the fissures could easily get bigger/longer and break the kneecap; or something like that.  Tomorrow Asst Mgr will get splint type thing to immobilize the right leg and I’m banished to my room at least until Thursday.


So that was Tuesday.


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photo by: AndySD