Bolivia Journals

Seasons

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Bolivia by SeenThat

La Paz Photo, La Paz, Bolivia More Photos
Quote: On the Andean High Plateau seasons and other topics of overwhelming importance…

Seasons

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

La Paz Photo, La Paz, Bolivia
Quote:
While abroad, even if speaking the local language, talking with denizens may be a difficult experience due to cultural differences. South America displays certain recurring peculiarities that – strange as they are – can be overcome simply by being aware of how language is used there. A useful example is the seasons. Most travelers – and probably most people in the world – look at seasons as being climate related. Rainy season, cold and hot seasons, an almost endless variety that depend on many physical variables. Thailand displays a three-season system. ...Read More

Ceviche

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Ispi Photo, La Paz, Bolivia
Quote:
In the heights of the Andean High Plateau, you can hear few jokes; people seem to be as dry as the weather. Given the circumstances, I was surprised when invited to try a "shark." My host was offering a small plate with ispi. Considering the fact the average canned sardine is twice or thrice as big as an ispi fish, this was a clear and unexpected attempt to make a joke. High altitude sharks do exist, but they walk the streets.Few travelers ever see this dish. It is popular with traditional communities around the Titicaca Lake and can be found also in La Paz; however, this demands knowled...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 5, 2011

The Sixth Vowel

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

La Paz Photo, La Paz, Bolivia
Quote:
"What was heard?" is the literal translation to English of a popular greeting phrase in my language. It makes as little sense in English as its parallel "what’s up?" does in the other language. Each language is different in the way it addresses the world; for the traveler it is essential to understand cultural differences between languages before making embarrassing statements. Not always these would be judged with humor.While comparing languages from different linguistic families and using different writing systems, the differences are obvious. However when dealing with related languages – like English and Spanish – things can get tricky. Sometimes things are less clear than they seem to ...Read More

Ceviche

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

La Paz Photo, La Paz, Bolivia
Quote:
"This is the South American Soochee" my host said emphatically, maybe a bit too emphatically.By now I new better than answering the wild statement, or than correcting the pronunciation of the word; I was happy to have recognized the "soochee" immediately. Spanish doesn’t have a "sh" sound; most South Americans have troubles pronouncing it. "It’s like silencing somebody" I tried to explain in an occasion. I was looked at with disbelief and my listener refused to even attempt pronouncing the obscene sound; I’ve seen this attitude often in the context of pronouncing foreign words, but can’t still explain it. Since the closest Spanish sound to "sh" is "ch" (like in "chalk"), "sushi" becomes so...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 5, 2011

Bolivian Boliviano

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

La Paz Photo, La Paz, Bolivia
Quote:
Dealing with different types of money is one of the travelers’ troubles; knowing local prices and payment methods is essential for assuring a pleasant trip. After writing a journal of Bolivia for almost every week of the year, it is time to dedicate an entry in one of them to the Bolivian Boliviano.Actually the situation in Bolivia is much better than one would expect from such a country; the fact Bolivia is a producer of energy – though a low-profile one – has created a rather stable currency. There is very little chance the traveler would meet devaluation related problems. Yet, troubles can appear anywhere, and awareness to local issues can significantly smooth the path of the traveler t...Read More

About the Writer

SeenThat

SeenThat
Tel Aviv, Israel