We can sleep tomorrow

“It’s 8 o’clock. Should we go for dinner?”

“What?! It’s so early! Let’s watch a movie or something.”

(2 hours later)

“It’s 10 o’clock now. Maybe we should go grab dinner? We were supposed to be at your friend’s birthday party an hour ago.”

“Maybe in a bit. I’m going to start getting ready.”

So we go for dinner at 11pm and we eat and drink for a couple hours. It doesn’t matter that we were supposed to be at the party 2 hours earlier because this is Bolivia and time doesn’t really matter here. I mean, we’ll get to the party eventually, right?

(2 hours later)

We pass through a set of double doors into a local dance pub at 1am, a mere 5 hours late. Nobody makes a big deal of it. It’s fashionable to be a little late, after all.

I order a rum & Coke from the bartender. He gives me an entire bottle of rum and an entire bottle of Coke and sends me back to the table with several glasses in hand. We all mix drinks and dance to local beats bred in Bolivia and Argentina. Then a full birthday cake is presented by the bar and it seems life cannot get any better.

(3 hours later)

It’s 4am and the bar is closing. We dance until the DJ starts packing up his equipment. A few people want to sing karaoke, so we pack into a car to go find a karaoke bar. My drunk friend gets in the driver’s seat. I feel uncomfortable, but this is Bolivia, and drunk driving isn’t actually a bad thing here. It’s not a thing at all.

Fun fact: This girl was in a car accident not even 10 hours earlier that day.

So we drive to a karaoke bar, but it’s closing. My friends flirt with the bouncer and he convinces the owner to leave the place open for a few more hours. We order more drinks in full-bottle form and sing Spanish karaoke until 7am.

(3 hours later)

As we leave, I notice that we’re the only people left in the bar aside from the bouncer and the owner himself. They don’t seem to mind, though, because it’s Saturday night, and it’s expected that people will party until the sun rises every Saturday. They call it noche de fiesta. Party night.

We drive everyone home as the sun climbs over the mountains surrounding the city. On our way home, we stop for “appies,” which are deep-fried tortillas with sugar sprinkled on top, coupled with a glass of hot corn tea. The street vendors only sell this meal from 5—8am for the drunks. And only on Sunday mornings.

(1 hour later)

It’s 8 o’clock in the morning when we arrive home. To me, this has been the craziest party of my life. We stayed up all night. I sang karaoke for the first time. And in a foreign language, no less. We drank so many bottles of rum that I lost count. I think I had an English conversation with a Spanish speaker and we actually understood each other.

But to my Bolivian friends, this was just another Saturday. Of course they stayed up and drank and danced all night. What else are they expected to do from midnight—8am on a Saturday night? Sleep?

Nonsense. We can sleep tomorrow.