Bus ticket sellers at the station yell their destinations like prayers. The wind outside makes the Bolivian flag tight. Exhaust fills the air like confetti. We inch into the dark, dank womb of the bus with orange seats that sink with our weight. All around us the air smells like strawberry perfume at the bottom of a swamp mixing with the cold new air of the mountains.
In the morning at the market where the breakfast is still too hot, skinned cow heads are hauled from the back of a station wagon and slung onto the vendors’ shoulders for the day’s sale. The sound of shovels slicing into a pile of gravel on the street mixes with the growls of dogs in their garbage.