After our morning lesson – now at a respectable 9am start, we head into town to get some supplies and source lunch before we can face our homework. We notice there are a lot of random people just standing about in town near the market today. At 1st you just notice it’s busy, but then you realise they are standing in the middle of the road and not actually crossing it. Stood in a sort of line not really looking in any particular direction, some with umbrellas up to keep the sun off, then you notice the traffic isn´t moving in fact in some places it’s trying to reverse and turn around, this is quite tricky for a the buses as the street isn´t that wide… the penny drops! It´s the teacher and public sector strike action for today! They appear to have a different focus each day. No one seems to mind, it’s just seems like another day in Sucre, everyone accepting their plight and working around them, there doesn´t even appear to be any police about.
For lunch we brave the market – upstairs from all the fruit, veg, and meat counters there are lots of long tables, each with its own kitchen it appears and menus for the day, many offering two courses for 10Bs (that´s about 90p). Michael is with us and as we try to walk down the gauntlet of tables and hanging menus all the little ladies are desperate to get us to sit at their tables. As one chooses us we sit down (seems easier that way) and agree with some trepidation to the menu. Relaxing a bit we see that there are all levels of the local society here eating, it must be ok otherwise it wouldn´t be as busy and only the poorer people would risk it, surely?! Feeling rather thirsty (drinks not included in the menu and anyway we have to be wary about water diluted offerings) we headed to the part of the market that housed the juice bars – about 20 stalls all selling freshly squeezed/liquidized fruit juices. You can have them with milk, water or on their own. But buyers beware, check the price of your selection before you agree to it and especially before you drink it – Bernice and Michaels cost more than their lunch did!! While we were there Noel and Marcela (the Irish couple we met in San Pedro) just happened by, they had just arrived in town, and joined us for juice and a catch up.
Dan, Richard and Dave hired a car today, with a driver, to go and explore the countryside around the town, and for something to do. It was a bit random too as they didn´t really know where they wanted to go. We were originally supposed to go but want to concentrate on the Spanish so dipped out. They seemed to have had a good time although I think they also met with some road blockages during the day.
We had told Noel and Marcela about the boys’ car trip so they stopped by our hostel this evening to see if Roxanna could arrange the same for them tomorrow, she was in luck. We also mentioned the Parilla Roxanna iss putting on tomorrow night (stuff of legends already – Michael and Dave sampled it last week and claim it´s not to be missed) thinking they might want to join us but they reckoned they´ll probably take the night bus to La Paz instead.
It´s amazing how much the lessons are tiring us out. Probably to be expected too as we haven´t really been using our grey matter for quite a few months and it´s probably forgotten how to function! As such the best we can manage in the evening after our homework is pizza and a movie in the TV room – The great debaters, it’s an ok film and with Spanish subtitles we feel we are still learning, though the translation you notice the more vocabulary you learn, is pretty poor!