Beware of Water balloons!!
Around the time of carnival, just after New Years kids here in Bolivia like to ride around in cars and chuck water balloons at people on the street. This inconsiderate bastards target tourists, gringo's, and women. My tip to you is to walk contra route so you can see the cars coming. Look for cars with four doors, since most of the balloons come from the rear seat. Avoid walking close to the road at all cost. This madness is not illegal, but should be. Especially when these dumb bastards like to fill the balloons with urine, dirty water, and even ice! A little child lost her eye last year because of this horrible tradition. If you want to have water wars with other losers, then do it.. but don't target bystandards.. that is against the rules of war..
Avoid the Recolleta, The Prado, and Major Avenida's during lunch time, and any time after that until 10pm. After that those bendeho's go drinking. Also avoid back roads close to major avenida's like Melchor Urquide, I have been thrown at almost everyday...sometimes three times a day.
So it's just like Vietnam from Jan-the Middle of March. You have to always be sharp and watch your six at all times.. It F*cking blows..
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Using Bank Cards
You can use US bank cards here and get either bolivanos or USD. Now I would recommend using a Debit card since you will not get charged up the ass by using your credit cards which charge 6 to 9 percent per transaction! You will be charged between 1-4 USD per transaction. I took out 200 USD in Bolivanos which was 1400 and got charged just 82 cents by my bank! Which is awesome! You can use most ATM's that have either a PLUS or CIRRUS or STAR or ELECTRON VISA or Mastercard sign on the ATM. The only problem is that if your card gets eaten by the ATM like mine did, you have to wait between 1 or 3 days to get it back from a central location and by another company. The ATM's are maintained by someone else than the banks which names appear on the ATM machines. So if you get your card eaten, make sure that you call the company number that is on the ATM and bring your passport to retrieve the card. The Banks for some reason cannot open their machines which they have the key for to retrieve your card. This sh*t doesn't happen in the states.
So I would suggest bringing another debit card or Credit Card. YOU can use your Debit card and Credit Card at most restaurants and big named grocery stores and appliance centers.
So I highly suggest you use a Debit card, and not get charged up the a$$.
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