So I was out earlier this evening at a support gig to raise money for the costumes for a drag queen contestant in Miss Gay Bolivia 2008, and discovered that there is a curfew in place tonight! We had just finished enjoying a rather fine belly dancing act from Miss Jubilación, when the bar owner came round to inform everyone they had to leave by 11. At that hour all bars, clubs and restaurants across the city had to be closed by law. What’s more, by midnight a city wide curfew would be in place, so no pedestrians, cars, buses – nothing! – allowed on the streets. The election is on Sunday, but it seems the government is taking no chances. Damn it, the populace will be sober when they vote, and sober for two days beforehand while they think about it!

I asked my friend about the election – apparently its not mandatory to vote, but if you don’t it becomes very difficult to get anything done bureaucracy wise. I’m not sure exactly what the deal is, but as she explained it you get some form of ID card when you vote that you then have to show whenever you interact with things like banks or the government or employers. So to miss out on voting and not get the card means being screwed until the next election comes around.

At a rough guess, I’d say that its likely no bars at all and few shops are going to be open tomorrow, so I think I’ll get some beers in for the weekend. And while I’m at it I might stockpile on some food in case there are any blockades. There’s a chance that things in Bolivia could get ‘interesting’, so to speak, over the next few days. Thought to be honest no-one seems to know what’s going to happen. Everyone I ask throws their hands up in the air – the only thing certain is that its bound to be worse in the South where anti-Evo sentiment is vicious, rather than here in the highlands where he has most support. But I just found out what the big fancy government building right next to my apartment that they have been renovating for the last two months is: its the municipal building where they count the votes.

So that’s nice to know, it being so close and all.

As we left the bar to enjoy our last hour of freedom walking the streets, we were reminded by the bar owner that we had to walk in pairs only. No groups allowed on the streets for reasons of security – and a group counts as more than two. In a devious act of rebellion we celebrated our last hour of freedom by walking in a pack of six.

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