Welcome to a tour of my La Paz, Bolivia Hotel Room. This is the first hotel, instead of an apartment, so far this year and 50 of the 70 remote year people are in Hotel Copacabana. I was sick for 10 days and trapped in this hotel room with a combination of altitude sickness, food poisoning, vomiting, coughing insomnia and shitting the bed. Here’s a video tour of my literally sick hotel room. Enjoy because I did not.
My second short film this year is called “Open Mike.” It’s about a guy who can’t talk like a normal person and the only way he can talk is by singing. Shot in Buenos Aires it costs me 420 pesos to make, about $28 US dollars. Hats off to my 10 remote year actors (Mike, Heather, Natalie, Leah, Tom, Shawn, Jacek, Zoe, Melissa and Anhton) and for Tanya for co-producing this with me. I’ll post behind the scenes and all the fun to make it later. 2 films down this year and 10 to go!
Where the hell have I been. I haven’t posted in weeks. I was shooting my second film in Buenos Aires for a week. Then I went to Bolivia and I’ve been sick for 10 days straight. I’ve been Bolivia’s Bitch.
Here’s a story of how an idiot became Bolivia’s Bitch.
La Paz, Bolivia is one of the highest altitude cities in the world at about 12,000 feet. Everyone said you’ll get Altitude sickness for 2 to 4 days. Pounding headaches and feeling extremely dehydrated like you just got done from a good night of drinking. Ok, no big deal.
About 3 years ago I went to Cusco, Peru (the city that connects to Machu Pichu) which has an altitude of 11,000 feet and I only had Altitude sickness for a day there. So I thought I was a bad ass with Altitude stuff. I was so confident I was talking about getting a group together called the “Diareahea Kings” in La Paz and trying all the weird food that Bolivia had to offer. I wasn’t scared of everyone warning me about food poisoning or the altitude. I felt like an experienced altitude dude. So I came to Bolivia cocky. So cocky that Roosters became my friends on the street. So cocky I was going to dropkick Bolivia’s altitude in the face and make it wear a hot pink leather suit and walk on it’s hands in knees with ball gag as I tugged it across the streets with a leash as my bitch. Little did I know that the roles were going to be reversed.
DAY 1 SUNDAY: We land. I am openly acting like I don’t need altitude pills. I’m told to avoid beer for 4 days till you feel acclimated. Hells no, I’m a cocky altitude man. KaaaaKaaaaa! I go to the bar with some friends and have 2 or 3 beers. By the time I walked home from the bar I already felt hung over and immediately regretted it. Realizing I need to slow my roll.
DAY 2 MONDAY: I wake up with a crazy headache and feel extremely dehydrated. Everyone is feeling the same thing and I write it off as nothing. I’m winded easily walking but I take this as normal for a couple days till I get acclimated. I still am cocky and have a Bolivian Beer for dinner as everyone else I’m eating with just has water.
DAY 3 TUESDAY: Same thing as Day 2 but it’s worse and now I’m getting concerned. Why did I have a beer at dinner? Because I wanted to try local Bolivian Beer that’s why. But why am I not listening to anyone? I’m getting a slight fever and feel nauseous all day. All I want to do is lay down and sleep. I realize I am becoming Bolivia’s Bitch.
DAY 4 WEDNESDAY: Shit gets real. I’m worse than Day 3 as I’m stuck in my hotel room the whole time feeling like I’m going to die. Then I vomit like a mad man. Bolivia just drop kicked me in the face. As tears from violent vomiting pour down my face. I crawl into bed shivering in pain as I slowly pull the covers up on me. A couple minutes go by and I’m still shivering like someone put a quarter in the bed and then I see a cockroach crawl on the covers. Fuck me. I’m so exhausted from being sick I don’t even want to move. Hell, I may become friends with this guy since I have a feeling I’m going to be stuck in this hotel room with him for days. Eventually I muster up some energy to flap the covers up and make him fly across the room. I lie in bed wondering, where is that fucker. He’s in my room, a dirty filthy cockroach just chilling in my room. I want to stomp him but I’m to exhausted to move and I realize I just need to let the cockroach live his life. This is the beginning of me being Bolivia’s Bitch. This Bolivian Graffiti is a representation of me vomiting.
DAY 5 THURSDAY: Today was Cholita wrestling. Where old woman wrestle WWF style with Bolivia clothes. It’s supposed to be amazing, I was so excited to go. And I was going to pull my strength together and go even if I had a fever now. At 5pm I meet with friends and try to go. I push myself. But after walking half a block down the street I realize I have nothing in me and walk back sad and lonely and full of FOMO. I lay in my death bed and watch the pictures on Facebook and Instagram roll in from my friends of woman doing suplex and flying dropkicks and I’m so bummed I’m missing out. It looks amazing.
Now that I have a fever and a nasty cough I reach for some NyQuil pills I brought along. I can’t wait to sleep and try to get better by getting knocked out by NyQuil. But Bolivia has other plans for me. Every time I lay down I’m having coughing fits and can’t sleep. The only way the coughing fits stop is if I’m standing or sitting straight up. I’m like what the fuck NyQuil I thought you were the coughing, sneezing, etc so you can sleep medicine. I read all the fine details on the NyQuil package and it says don’t take if you have minor bronchial cough. Apparently I must fit in that boat. So now I’m super drowsy and I can’t sleep. I find my self sitting on the side of the bed trying to sleep but every time I do I fall over and wake up. I create a pillow seat on the bed and still a fail. I think I got one hour of sleep. Fuck me. The only thing positive I got from the night is that I watched 10 of 12 episodes of the new season of House of Cards. I sign up to Bike “Death Rode” with a group on Sunday with the optimistic notion that I’ll be fine by then to ride.
But I’m stupid because Bolivia has just put the Pink leather outfit on me. I’m becoming more and more of Bolivia’s Bitch.
DAY 5 FRIDAY: Sleepless. Exhausted. Fever. I shiver in my room repeatedly saying “Baby Jesus. Baby Jesus.” Why? I have no clue why. What’s going to happen a Baby crawls into my room named Jesus and says, “What’s up man? Heard you were sick and calling for me. Can you change my diaper I just shit myself.” But nonetheless I chanted “Baby Jesus. Baby Jesus.” Over and over.
Trying to get some type of food and energy in my body I went to dinner with 2 other sick feeling friends. We had a dream of finding Rice, sick people’s dream food apparently. We went to a place and ordered chicken and rice. It wasn’t bad. Then we enjoyed Coca Tea which I had been drinking religiously daily to help with the altitude.
Then I attempted to sleep but I couldn’t because of my cough. I’d doze out in 10 min increments adding up to an hour and half of sleep. But that wasn’t the worse of my situation. I got food poisoning. I don’t know if it was the food or the PowerAde bottle that had a black residue on the bottom of it. In Grocery stores in Bolivia they have a sticker on top of the bottle to show it’s never been tampered with. But on the little kiosks on the street the bottles don’t have these stickers. I just stared at the black residue and said fuck my life. And during one of my 10 min slumbers food poisoning had poisoned my pants as I had diarrhea in them. I get up and go to the bathroom and clean myself up and try to clean my underwear in the sink. Hanging up my underwear on the shower to dry. I go back to bed and see that I have made diarrhea stain on the bed. Fuck me. I’m 37 years old and shitting the bed literally.
I have another 10 min nap and the same thing happens again. I diarrhea my pants again. Baby Jesus!!!! Can you come over and change my diapers now!!! Or just come and chill and we’ll be diaper buddies together. Also Bring the cockroach from before he was a nice guy and I want to apologize for flinging him across the room. Please. Please. I repeat my clean up process of shitting my pants and stare at the two pairs of underwear hanging from my shower drying. And I shake my head and smile. It’s so bad that it’s humorous. I walk back to my bed and there’s another shit stain on the bed. I stare at it and I never want the cleaning lady to ever come in here because I won’t die from being sick but of pure embarrassment. With the pic below I have acknowledged that I have zero shame.
Bolivia has dropkicked me in the face, put a pink leather outfit on me and now has put a ball gag in my mouth. And I still haven’t fully accepted that I’m Bolivia’s Bitch yet.
DAY 6 SATURDAY: I sit on the toilet all day. Shitting my brains out from the food poisoning. As I sit on the toilet and admire my underwear hanging on the shower from the night before.
The cleaning lady knocks on the door and I say No as I’m to embarrassed for her to clean my room and see my shit stained sheets. My dumbass would rather sleep in shit stained sheets again than face that embarrassment. That is the stupidest logic in the world, my only excuse for thinking like an idiot is that I’m an idiot or I was pretty sick at the time. Yeah, I’m just an idiot. I go to the pharmacy to try and get a cough remedy to help me sleep so I’m not coughing like a mad man all night so I can actually get some sleep. I mime a cough to the Spanish speaking Pharmacist. She offers cough drops and I shake my head and mime a spoon for cough syrup. She comes back with Codeine a drug you need a prescription for in the states. But in Bolivia you just get it over the counter with no prescriptions. My friend, whose come with me, eyes light up and tells me to take it and that it’s the good stuff. You know the stuff Lil Wayne and Bieber drink, Sizzurp. Which is a mix of jolly ranchers, Sprite with cough medicine. This is that cough medicine. I go back and take the recommended 3 teaspoons. And in 15 minutes I feel really good. I’m loose and a lot of the pain goes away. I also realize I can’t fuck with this shit as it’s so good it has to be addictive. So I decide only to take it if I’m having coughing fits trying to sleep. As much as it made me feel amazing I was still having coughing problems when I laid down. A little less but still not enough to get sleep as I got an hour and half that night.
Bolivia has made me a full bitch now as it has drop kicked me, made me put on pink leather suit, ball gagged, and made me walk on the ground in all fours pulling me on a leash and making me attempt to bark like a miniature dog while I have a ball gag in my mouth. It’s very difficult to bark with a ball gag. But at this point I realized I am Bolivia’s bitch and I will try. This is the first step in me giving Bolivia the Respect it deserves. Because I am its bitch.
DAY 7 SUNDAY: Death Rode day. But I’m on my death bed still. I gave my ticket away to my friend and missed out on another great adventure as I wither in my bed saying “Baby Jesus. Baby Jesus.” Over and over. I still am having sleeping issues with my cough and get about an hour and half of sleep again. I can’t get better without sleep. I’m told the pharmacy has antibiotics as a friend comes with me to get the right kind from the no prescription pharmacy. I get one and am told to take it for 5 days. I’m hopeful as Baby Jesus feeds me the pill of antibiotic magic. I sleep 3 hours which is an improvement. One thing that I’ve noticed is that I’m so emotional when I’m sick and for the past 3 or 4 days any sad Facebook video has made me cry. I don’t know what is happening to me beyond that I’m Bolivia’s crying little bitch. And I need the damn tears because I’m dehydrated all the time.
DAY 8 MONDAY: I have been told that the antibiotic that I have is a bomb to my system and I need to combat it with yogurt that has probiotics. I’m told to get Kefir yogurt at the grocery store. I force myself out of the hotel for the first time in a while and take 15-minute walk to the grocery store. I’m so exhausted and winded from a lousy 15-minute walk. I get a shitload of yogurt and Gatorade. I taxi back to my hotel because I don’t have the energy to walk back. I find my room cleaned and I’m ashamed of my shit on sheets. I just imagine some nice old lady coming in and wanting to vomit. Oh the shame. I get over the shame and drink one of the yogurts. An hour later I’m vomiting up peach mango yogurt into my toilet. Fuck me. I nap. And force myself to my first social gathering of a dinner party with friends. I’m exhausted the whole time but it’s a great first step. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am Bolivia’s bitch. But now I respect Bolivia. And the respect I give Bolivia is giving me strength.
DAY 9 AND 10 TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY: I’m finally getting 3 to 5 hours of sleep a night. Apparently insomnia is a side effect of altitude sickness. I force myself to walk each day at least 15 or 20 minutes that make me winded and have coughing fits. The car pollution is horrendous and makes my cough sound like a non stop barking dog. My non stop cough also gives me superior abs to Channing Tatum, he’s sending me hate mail now. “Patrick, stop having chiseled abs you dirty piece of shit!!!” Just now that he maybe beautiful but he’s a vulgar and ab jealous bitch.
DAY 11 THURSDAY: I turn the corner. And I walk to breakfast and the world feels amazing. I’m human once again. I’ve given Bolivia respect and I’m not it’s bitch anymore. It’s one of the most amazing walks I’ve had in a long time as a I take in everything in the beautiful sunshine. There’s something about being sick that makes you appreciate everything so much more. I love you sunshine. I love you lady with the Bolivian top hat. I love you weird bus thing that people cram into for one boliviano. I love you La Paz. I love you Bolivia. I respect you Bolivia. Because I was your bitch and I deserved it.
PEOPLE ARE GREAT: When you are sick in a foreign place you feel alone. But people in my group are fucking awesome. So many have offered help in so many ways. People brought me Gatorade, crackers, bananas, diarrhea pills, other pills and tons of sweet WhatsApp messages. It truly is a blessing to be with so many kind people. I had to turn down so many people’s offers to help because so many people offered. I feel sickly blessed.
RESPECT BOLIVIA: Wow. I was Bolivia’s Bitch. I respect the living shit out of her now. She’s a beautiful lady. Don’t drink till you feel acclimated. Do everything that is recommended. Be careful what you eat. Respect this beautiful Cholita and she will respect you.
Or you can be sick for 10 days and shit your bed as a 37-year-old. Your choice.