A Series of Unimaginable Purchases

28 May, 2015 | Emily Gray


Photo: Valeria Wilde

Welcome to El Alto Market, the famous open-air marketplace of La Paz’s looming sister city, where you can find just about everything you never knew you wanted. Like nearly everyone who sets foot into its colorful hustle and bustle, we BX-ers have had our fair share of odd experiences at the market. We’ve discovered (and found ourselves oddly drawn to) promised medicinal remedies such as bottled snake butter, snail slime and cat nails. We’ve caved in to buying a DVD about extraterrestrial “Reptilianos en Bolivia”, and a live llama, which, to our disappointment, we later discovered was just a sheep. We’ve come close to finding all the parts we’d need to construct our own functioning car, and have spent hours picking through piles of used clothing, aka El Alto’s own Urban Outfitters. As a place where bartering is expected, just about the only rule is that you leave with something you didn’t come for in the first place.


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