The power was just out for third time this week and I adapted like clockwork: turned the brightness on my laptop down to the lowest possible setting, lit candles and started to boil water for dinner.  When the power came on two hours later I found myself thanking God that it wasn’t off for longer because if it had my favorite watering hole would have forgone opening up.  Immediately after this I started to think about what my reaction would have been like back home.  And that is when it hit me: my norms, if they weren’t strange enough before, have become completely warped.

I haven’t posted anything in a while, mostly because I thought that nothing worth mentioning had happened.  Shortly after the power came on I began thinking about the things that I have seen over the past month or so and realized that I had more than enough for a blog post.  The one is about my buddy Bluto (names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent).

Bluto is a bolo.  What is a bolo you ask?  A bolo is an alcoholic and not any run of the mill I lost my wife, kids and job alcoholic either.  This is party for a week sometimes two weeks straight alcoholic.  I know you’re reflexively thinking ‘I have partied like that before.  You ever seen me in Vegas?’  You haven’t, take my word for it, that is unless you like dropping peyote.

The most common outcome is that said bolo will pass out in an extremely awkward position in an extremely awkward place, usually on a busy sidewalk in the center of town on a Wednesday.  Occasionally you get to witness something extremely entertaining, two bolos fighting – usually no one gets hurt.  Sometimes you see something you know will end badly, like a bolo juggling machetes, in this case the only thing damaged was his forehead when it bounced off the river rock street after being tackled by the cops.

But back to Bluto.  The Saturday night after I arrived in site I was invited to one of the local bars by my site-mates.  I had some reservations about drinking because my host mother frowned upon drinking and I had no key to get in, which meant that I would need her to open the front door.  Regardless, two hours and one too many beers later I needed to go home.  I walked out the front door of the bar into a deserted street and immediately turned the wrong way.  After walking around in circles hopelessly I approached the second person that I had seen in the last 45 minutes to ask for directions.  This is when I met Bluto.  Bluto was pressed up against a light pole, his back to me using one of his hands to prop himself up.

Me: Excuse me.

Bluto: hrhhrrrhrhhhh

Me: Do you know where the police station is?

Bluto (slowly turning towards me): Why? Do you need help?

Me: Uhhhh.  No everything is fine. I live right next to it.

Bluto: That way.

Me: Thanks man.  Have a good night.

Bluto: You as well. Go with God.

What made this exchange odd and worth writing about is that Bluto was urinating when I approached; something that I didn’t notice when I approached him, probably due to the fact that I was intoxicated as well.  When Bluto turned to face me he forgot to do two very vital things: stop urinating and put his dick away and his golden rainbow came within inches of sandal clad feet.  After our exchange I wandered off a little less lost and Bluto turned to finish what he had started.

What still gets me to this day is not that he forgot to put his crank away but that he had the patience to answer my question, be genuinely concerned about my safety, point out the direction that I needed to head and then tell me to “Go with God”.  I have seen Bluto several times since, usually passed out in the blazing sun, uncovered and on a busy sidewalk but he seems to being doing ‘well’ – everything is relative, you know.