La Paz is third world and the population accepts the fact. Lapazinos embraced their culture and heritage. Eighty percent of the population are native and they still wear their native clothing in the streets. They go about their daily lives devoid of electronic gizmos and gadgets and many of the people make their living in the family business. You either grew up learning to knit and sew or you had a family shop where you would sell eggs, potions or fruit. Most people we saw were self employed and although dirt pour,they were still happy.
Santa Cruz is third world and they try too hard to not be. Santa Cruzians embrace the western world and have attempted to model their city by European influence. The majority of the population dress in sneakers and jeans. They chat on their cell phones, pollute the streets with their cars and embrace the slowest Internet known to man. People are not happy, at least not in my view.
This is not to say that we didn't love our time spent in Santa Cruz. But it did serve as a constant reminder that striving for more isn't always better. And sometimes simple means happy.
Sushi Night Concept:
We had taken a small walking tour of the city and on our way home something caught our eye. There was a sushi restaurant on the same street as our hotel. We thought since I was dry heaving and sick two nights before, that sushi would be a good thing to eat to strengthen my stomach; so we reserved a table. I had previously gone to a restaurant in Ecuador that gave me an idea. The restaurant was in a dark cave with blind waiters serving you. You couldn't see a thing. You would spend the entire meal guessing what you were eating. It was such an incredible way to appreciate food. I told Shawn the idea and she immediately agreed to be blindfolded for the meal.
We reserved a private sushi room and told the waiter it was our Anniversary. This was partially true. We sat down and I donned the blindfold over her eyes. The waiter brought out seven different sauces and it was hilarious to watch Shawn attempt to memorize where each one was based on touch. He then brought out 45 sushi and sashimi rolls and I would place three on her plate at a time. It was so much fun to see her guess the food, drop it, dip it in mayonnaise and blindly fumble reaching for her drink. After about an hour, it was my turn. It is incredible how much more you appreciate food when you cannot see it. I savored every bite. We thanked the waiter and he gave us two sets of fancy chopsticks as an Anniversary present.