Day 19 :: Debajo de los Cielos

More nonsense.

Today was a day largely spent drawing. I had breakfast and hung out with one of my new flatmates, an Aussie in his mid 30’s who is in the process of moving to Lima, a guy from Holland who recently got his PhD in artificial intelligence and works for the Ministry of Defense, and a girl from Santa Monica who finished her Bachelors at UCLA at the age of 20. They were a great group of chumps to loaf around with while drawing. Since my flight to La Paz was not until the evening, at it hit 25 degrees celsius there was no reason to roam around in the sun. The young American girl and I hit it off, as she was quite intelligent and seemingly open minded; moments before my taxi was to pick me up she proposed I stay and travel with her, seeing as how she was going to most of the places I was about to venture to. As I have told many of my friends back stateside who were convinced I would find some epic love or be enthralled by some magical city, surely never to return, I persuasively declined.

I arrived to La Paz at around 1 AM and faced a great deal of hell at the airport with customs. Not having a VISA is normally not a problem for entering Bolivia, but I happened to be short denominations of any one currency that would provide me entry. Luckily I had 70 Euros with me from my time living in Vienna, about 50 Mexican Pesos, 50 Venezuelan Bolivares, 10 USD, and some Colombian Pesos to boot – all of which roughly equaled the price of admission. I finally got my taxi and we set out to the crater in the sky that is this dreary city. As you enter the city you realize how utterly desolate it is. The constellation of high-pressure sodium barely illuminates the gloomy streets below. The handful of cars on the ‘highway’ all drove without lights on, avoiding the countless stray dogs aimlessly roaming the streets. The general ambiance is something similar to 28Days Later.

In other news, a friend who runs a gallery in NOLITA (the neighborhood in New York City) has proposed that I curate an exhibition of my travels – primarily based on the photos I have taken and the drawings I have done (two seemingly unrelated threads in this trip). It’s nothing big, but it could help formalize/index/organize/rationalize everything I have seen and a way to introduce the architects I have befriended.

From what I gather, this city, caught somewhere below the heavens, will always be just that. Hopefully tomorrow will prove me (if only a little) wrong.

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