Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Bolivia - 10 Universal Manners
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Bolivia - 10 Universal Manners

HoboTraveler.com Travel Tips Newsletter
And Updates on Around The World Trip

ISSUE:  066
DATE:  April 18, 2002
TITLE:  Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Bolivia - 10 Universal Manners
TIP:  10 Universal Manners:
LOCATION:  Bolivia



Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Bolivia - 10 Universal Manners
Issue 66 Hobotraveler.com - April 18, 2002
A Hobo trip around the world. Year 4


Hobotraveler.com is up again and taking submissions.
We are still installing the prior submissions.
I have put up my newsletters archives on Hobotraveler.com
The old letters should be easier to read.
Although they still need some links fixed, and cleaned
up.. It is better than before. I am waiting for my assistant to return
from lunch. 4 years is a long time for lunch.
Submit your hostel or hotel.


~   HOBO STEW (A Dish of Meat and Vegetables)
~   Hoboguide.com (Go this way) - Go to Prison, Do not pass Go
~   TODAY’S TIP - 10 Universal Manners
~   EXTREME HOBO TRAVEL - Dennis & Scott Bike Around World
~   TODAY’S TIP FROM THE - “Peanut Gallery”


~   HOBO STEW (A Dish of Meat and Vegetables)


I had a very strange time the last two weeks. When walking around
a city or country I have found myself searching for the next
story for my newsletter. This is not a good feeling. I would
rather forget I write this newsletter, and just sit back and
enjoy the life, the people and whatever happens. For the most part
I write about anything in my head, although the Tips do take
weeks, months, and years of collecting ideas or pictures.

The last two weeks I could not focus, and was filled
with lots of confusion. I should blame it on the altitude.
But what happened really is I had a couple of experiences and
a few comments from other travelers that just made my mind
race. I wrote the newsletter. Erased it, saved some for tips.
Scolded myself for being too critical of people, and went through
lots of mental deliberation. In the end I had a bad case of:
Analysis Paralysis.

So now I have a lot of fodder for future newsletters.

Then a person writes me and tells me I need to do more
research. This is like an invitation to attack. But I stopped myself
and did that little self talk... No Andy... They have no idea.
The do not know what they do.

I am always in a catch 22.
If I go travel and look at things and enjoy life. I have no time for
If I sit around on the internet and search for facts, and data to
the information in the newsletters.
I have no time to travel and I have nothing to write about.

Research is difficult. There are lots of liars out there.
People create an hypothesis and then go find proof that it is
true. I could find proof that La Paz is most dangerous city for
travelers in the world. I could also prove it is the safest.
The guidebooks. The internet. The newspapers.
The television. Other Travelers.
Full of rubbish to make you buy things or donate.
Or worse yet.
Make you feel guilty.

My opinions are not facts.
My facts are my opinions that I think they are maybe facts.
Some things happen to me and that is a fact.
What you write and tell me is opinion.

Just because someone tells me they are poor,
abused, neglected, malnourished, or exploited by the USA.
or any other rumor is not important.
( I love the ones about the CIA. This is always good gossip.)
I do not believe anything until I see it.
I try to tell you what I see, and believe and not what
you would like to hear.... Or believe.

Note: 4 years... I have never seen a person that was going
to die by starvation. I am hoping I never do. But I am sure I
will. After that problem, and war.
All other are more or less... So.. So...

The world is a good and safe place.
More good then bad. More safe than unsafe.
The exception to this is on the day.
YOU get robbed.

I have found that all countries for the most part are nice.
Some a little worse than others, and some better, but there is
always a good reason to go to a country. I may have to ignore
the guidebooks and other travelers to go find out what it is, but
there is always a lot of good things in any country. I try to avoid
and ignore the bad the best I can.

The world is like a little kid. Learning right and wrong.
Sometime easy, and sometime hard.
I have a hard time getting angry at little kids when they
misbehave. I was a little kid once upon a time. So to have
tolerance it is simpler sometime to think that I needed time
to grow up and behave, and so does the rest of the world.
But then again. I like to misbehave a little.
I suppose perfection is in the middle and not on either end.

La Paz is very confusing some days. They have a strike or
some type of protest every day. It is difficult to understand the
reasons why. I can tell the seriousness of the protest by the
number of police in riot gear, and the preparation. It appears
sometime that there are more people protesting than the people
to listen. Maybe they need a good excuse to not work.
I think being a protestor sound more fun than working.
Walk around, talk, complain.. Good fun.
I know they all go out for a beer afterwards.
If not while they protest.

I think they will eventually work it out. One way or another.

My Sony digital camera broke and I am getting real tired
of using this old Casio camera of mine. It doe not have
a flash and the quality is bad. Lots of my friends have been
telling me they want better pictures. Some have been very explicit
saying that they want better pictures of the “Chicas”.
Just to let you know. I am researching and studying. In fact I am
going to write a tip soon on how to buy a digital camera. I have
been trying to be patient. The technology and the price are just
about at the perfect level. Digital camera will soon do about
everything the normal 35mm camera will do, and better.
That can be about the same war of words as them Apple computer
lovers and the IBM compatible have had, and more.

To travel and make WebPages means I have to coordinate
the computer, the camera, the batteries, and the software programs
to create the easiest, and QUICKEST way to accomplish the goal
of writing some fun stories, and showing you the photos.

I will upgrade soon. Trust me... I do not like sitting around in these
concrete rooms. Looking at photos, and being frustrated. Knowing there
is no way to return, and no turning back.
It is what it is, and no more.

I will wait patiently for Compaq Computers, Sony Cameras and them
satellite telephone companies to send me some new free equipment.
I will be their test person, and see how they hold up in a backpack
on top or below a bus, or thrown by a taxi driver.
If not.. I will make a trip to Best Buys soon.
If I every get in the same country.

Maybe Shakira will write instead....
Or maybe some beautiful rich female “Photo Journalist” will come
travel with me.
There is always hope.


La Vida Buena
Beso y Abrazos

Andy the hobo

Maybe it will help you to...
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.

X     Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 4 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.

~   Hoboguide.com GO THIS WAY !



In the game of Monopoly. The penalty is to go to Jail.
In Bolivia it may be a penalty or a reward.

The San Pedro Prison is located in the center of La Paz,
Bolivia. It is the home for drug dealers, rapist, and other
criminals. But probably NOT the really dangerous. Although
I am sure they all deserve to be there.

80 Bolivianos or about 10 dollars US and you can join in the
game. This is the worst of Latino culture in what I think
is suppose to be a Prison. I went to the door and did not enter a couple
of weeks ago. I really did not want to see people in cages.
Does not sound like a tourist attraction to me. but after listening to
people that had visited the jail tell of the tour, my curiosity got to
I decided to visit.

Walking up to the uniformed guards with respect and fear.
We ask them the price and how to enter?
They pointed at the caged wall of prisoners on the other
side of the gate.
Ask them.... The guide will come in a minute.

The jailers would not tell the price or explain the rules.
It appears that the criminals are in charge of that.
That is OK... Delegate responsibility.
But how much? And who do we pay?

I hear English with a New York accent.
That does not make me feel safe.
Hello, says Fernando... and quickly goes into a spiel
on the cost, and what we will see in the prison.
“As seen on CNN Travel”.
We look at each other as this person talk clearly
and professionally in English from behind the cage.
None of the Jailers speak English.
The guy in Jail does seem smarter.
We reach an agreement. Nod our heads. The Jailers get
the nod from Fernando and they open the cage to let us

That was the end of the bars or cage. We entered an area
of freedom and rooms. The told me in college that the person
that designed my dorm, also designed jails. I was feeling like
I was back in the dormitory at college, and they enrolled a lot of
really poor looking students.

People everywhere... Or mostly guys, and a couple of girls.
Children, food stands, and places to buy vegetables.
I think I am the tourist attraction, and they are the spectators.
But, oh yeah. I had to pay to see them.

It is constructed in a series of 2 story V shaped courtyards.
Room on the walls, and a common area in the middle.
Fernando our guide takes us up on the second story walkway to join
the rest of the Gringo group. Somewhat like a movie, I wander if
they will pin up against the rail and knife us with the homemade
shive. I was wishing I would feel a little afraid so I could
remember that I was in a prison.
But I just did not feel afraid.

He gets a scream, and the messengers system tells him.
More Gringos out front. Come quickly and talk with them.
Fernando leaves us now with Victor.
The #1 Prisoner in the Jail.
Fernando is #7, and now we get the spiel from Victor #1

He only speaks Spanish, and start to talk about child rapist
and how they throw them in this 10 foot by 10 foot pool just
below us in the middle of the courtyard, and beat them with
a piece of rubber coated electrical cable. He is in Jail for drug
dealing or “Narco-Trafico”. And that does not seem to be a crime
in his mind, but for sure they need to punish the child rapist.
He later shows us the cable they use to administer the beatings.
A mean looking thing, and he is always smiling.

There are no guards on the inside, and the Prisoners make all
the rules and enforce them. Victor is the boss, or the enforcer.
It is supposed to be #1 - Victor the toughest, and # 7 Fernando is the
7th in line. Toothless 5 foot 7 inch Victor, and Skinny Fernando
with a New York accent, born in Bolivia.
I do not think anyone wants the job. Of course not everyone like
to beat people with an electrical cable.
Takes special skills.

Most of the time spent in the prison was explaining the social class
system and the cost to buy a particular cell or apartment.
They are not cells. They were apartments From a one room
very bad for 50 dollars US to the luxurious for 5000 dollars US. One
special apartment that I have no idea how much it cost to build.
It was custom built for him, and also has a 15 dollars a meal
They separated the residents that came from La Paz, from the
residents that came from Santa Cruz. I guess there is a some
type of racial hatred there. I could not tell the difference.
The all looked the same.

Cable TV
Hot Water 24 hours.
With or without private Kitchen.
Prostitutes delivered to your room.
Telephone available
Conjugal visits.
Accommodations for your children.

Almost exactly the same environment as outside the prison.
But you cannot leave.

Money does have special privileges.
But here, as in lots of countries.
You get to abuse and take advantage of your fellow man.
You do not need to suffer for any injustice you did.
A little inconvenience, but if you got the money.
It is for sale.

I do not believe I can buy my way out of anything in the USA.
I believe in most other countries I can.

There was a lot of prison talk.
Big this.... Big that...
Tough this, and Tough that...
He said 4 people get killed a month.
But that is good for tourist visitor promotion,
and I am listening to a guy in Jail.
It may be true, and it may be prison talk.

Fernando said that everyone had to work and support themselves.
This seemed to mean the Government does not
supply anything but the walls around them.
There were leather business’s making shoes and purses.
And lots of various other types of enterprises.
The people of Bolivia are suppose to have trouble supporting themselves
and having enough food. Unemployment is suppose to be high.
It is suppose to be very difficult to earn money.
But somehow these criminals made money inside
the jail. This just does not make sense.
The men in Jail should be extremely poor.
They were not the poorest in the country.


Here is the best story... hehehe

I ask Victor #1,
“Can you buy drug here?”
I was wondering more if he could drink alcohol and use drugs.
Not if he would sell it to me.
He ask me,
“Where are your from?”
I answered,
“Estados Unidos”.
The United States.... The conversation was in Spanish.

He shakes his finger at me... No No No
He gets a little quiet and says that the
United States DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) by accident visited
the jail a couple of years ago from the USA and caused
a lot of problems for them.

He doe not want the USA government or newspapers to
understand or know what they do in the prison.

There is about 8 Gringos standing around.
I am taking notes vigorously.
Writing down everything that seems important and making sure
I do not forget.
So here I am. Interviewing Victor about drugs.
My index cards in my left hand, and my pen in my
right hand. Writing as fast as I can.
“That he does not want to talk to the USA or Journalist”

I have told him I have a webpage and am going to
write a story for my newsletter. Plus I have told him
I am from the USA.
All the other travelers are laughing at me for taking
all the notes. Plus they laugh at me for being from
the USA. They all know we have been causing lots
of headaches for the Bolivia people. I have not found
any Bolivians mad at me for being from the USA. But
I have found a lot of other travelers mad at me.
I think the travelers want the drug trade to continue more
than the Bolivians.

So we move on with the tour around the Jail.
A little time passes. And we go into a cell..
This is not a cell. It is a 3 room apartment. Better
than the room I am in right now while typing away on
my computer in the Hostel.
It has Cable TV, kitchen etc.

The line us up in a small square compact room.
Collect our money for the tour, which is suppose to be later
paid to the prison guards.
But we need to hide, and the guards should not see them
collect the money because it is illegal.
A normal Latino system.

Victor calls me to the front.
I am standing next to him.
He unfolds a small white paper packet.
The 4 corners are folded over to keep it secure.
I instantly recognize the package.
It’s a gram of Cocaine.

The other travelers are less experienced then me.
They stand with their mouths open, and trying to
understand what they are looking at.
I am a little older and more from the Cocaine generation.
When I was in College cocaine was very trendy.
So of course I smelled it a few times.
But never snorted it.

I asked,
“Can I taste it?”
Victor say,
I touch my index finger to my tongue.
Wet it a little, and touch the white powder.
Rub it on my lips, and say.
“Yep... That’s Coke”

By this time a few Gringos are getting braver.
One of the Travelers says.
“How much”
Victor says,
“50 Bolivianos” or about 9 dollars USA.
I could see the temptation to purchase in
the eyes of this other Gringo.
I give him a look like...
Are you crazy?
He gets nervous, and everyone not sure how
to feel or think sort of mulls around, and Victor
finally closes the package and we move on
with the finish of the tour.

The Gringo walk over to talk me asking
whether I think it is safe to buy some.
I am laughing. This guy is in a feeding frenzy
and his nose is twitching. I hate to give him advice
about drugs. But I really do not want him to be
a future residence of this home for the silly and
stupid. So I go on to explain that in the Hostel
where I live a guy come by every night to take
orders for various drugs. I have no idea how much
it cost or what types of things he sells. But I am
absolutely positive it safer than buying in prison.

He writes down the name of the Hostel,
and moves into it the next day with his girlfriend.
All Hostels have drugs., In any country in the world.
Just what you want to hear, when your kid takes
off for Europe next year.

Half the travelers that go to countries like Bolivia and
Colombia go to experiment and get cheap drugs.
In Europe they go to Amsterdam, and I hear all sorts
of stories about Thailand.
The whole thing is very stupid and silly.
And sometime deadly dangerous.

I wish all travelers would stick to the beer and
local hard liquors, and away from the things that
could make them find a new home in the local prison.

But people are people...
They like their vices.

Plus someone has to volunteer to be silly and stupid.
So there will be a Prison full of them to go visit.

Maybe it will help you to...
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.

X     Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 4 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.




A group of travelers were sitting at the table the
other day and discussing the days events.
Various people walk in and out of the room while we
are talking. I nod my head, and sometime a wink.
Only to the girls.
And say hello, making eye contact and smiling to
acknowledge their presence.

My Argentina friend Oscar say,
“Tu estas muy sociable,”
Translated in English means:
You are very sociable,
“No” I said,
“I’m from Indiana, we have manners”.
Probably an offensive comment.


My friend Bruce often quotes some wise man saying.
“The only obligations in life we have to another person is to leave
them in no worse shape than when we met them”.


Any good tree hugger, woman liberation, or gay rights
activist, or probably even them protestors again world
globalization would scream out these words.
We want freedom!
We want equality!
We want choice!

Tolerance of different ideas, cultures, religions, and
behavior is necessary. This is easily accomplished if you
decide that it is not your responsibility to change the world.
But it is your responsibility to change yourself and be a good kid.

It is funny that people screaming these words that the other side
of the equations has rights to disagree also.
When a person decides to use words like freedom, equality, and
choice they create social contract immediately that also give the
other person the same rights to freedom, equality, and choice.


The responsibility or obligation we have as world travelers or
animals that walk on two legs is to all thing big and small.
This may sound simple, and all you have to do is not interfere
or cause problems. But we do share the same planet.


To behave does not seem difficult.
All the corruption, social injustice, poverty, and problems
of the world could be solved if people accepted they have
an obligation to treat other with kindness, and try not
to offend others.

Its your choice, and you have the freedom to do as you
think best as you travel around the world. But for me I have
found that I can make my life easier if I behave like a good

I am sure of you will be angry to think that I have the audacity
to list things that I wish the whole world would do or not do.
So what... These are my suggestions.


I have found these words in every language and culture I have

This word will open any door.

This will keep the door open, so you can return.

This will help you to enter the door when someone
decides to block your way.

This will let the other people know you feel them worthy
of respect.

The wish for a happy life.

We all share the same space, and I wish there
was not a need for people to put up signs to tell people
to not do these things.

And they need signs about nose blowing,
and clearing the throat.

Especially the guy next door with the guitar trying
to seduce the girl at 1:00 in the morning.
Just because you love the noise, doe not mean
the rest of the world must.

I hope they mean the dogs, and not the people.
No there are lots of signs to tell people to not do their
duty. Plus as you walk along streets there will be this
strange smell from the night before. It is natural,
but we really do not have to share all experiences.

The travelers see the local people do it and follow
their example. Grow up and be a good example.

No one is special.
Obey the Queue. Stand in line, and wait your turn.
Share the path or road. Move and help people to pass.
You do not need to push your way through.

And just for good measure.
Remember NO means NO.

To respect yourself you must also expect the other
two legged animals to fulfill this obligation.

When I think of the meaning of
“Underdeveloped Countries”.
Manners comes first, and money comes second.

If you do not like this list. That is good and OK.
You also have the right to an opinion.

PHOTOS OF SIGNS and comments

Maybe it will help you to...
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.

X     Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

As always, these are suggestions. Please realize I am
giving guidance, and there are always other opinions.
“One mans paradise, is another mans hell”
This way we do not all go to the same place.

Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 4 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.




Scott has had diarrhea and difficulty with riding
his bike. Go read of the adventure.


“Dennis and myself, Scott, are riding are bicycles
around the world over the next two years. Why would
anyone ride their bicycle around the world?
This is the most popular question people ask me. There
are many answers but it mostly boils down to my belief
that one has an obligation to live the best life they
know how. For myself and Dennis, living the best life
means bicycling around the world. We hope to inspire
many people to follow their dreams.


TODAY’S TIP FROM THE “Peanut Gallery” Fun tips
Here's a little tip from me, to you, as an experienced traveler.

Keep your NOSE clean.


‘Thank you God for thinking about me.
I’m alive and doing fine”.


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