I took the 3 hour bus trip to Copacabana first thing in the morning. I was happy to get out of La Paz, Bolivia and excited to be moving closer to Peru. Copacabana is a small city on the banks of Lake Titicaca (stop giggling at the name). My final destination was to be an island on the lake called Isla del Sol, which the Incas thought was the birthplace of the sun.
I ended up sitting next to a Swedish man on the bus who seemed to have been traveling endlessly for the past decade and talked incessantly.
He was what I refer to as an unhappy traveler, someone who is traveling but for reasons that are unapparent because the individual appears to be totally miserable.
The interesting thing about this guy was, he didn’t really like anywhere except India, which I thought was strange because he also mentioned several times how much he disliked crowds of people, especially Russians who travel to India frequently.
Why travel so much when you hate EVERYWHERE?!
He went on in this attitude with a few pauses in between and remarked repeatedly on how unimpressed he was with South America. The entire continent seemed to have disappointed him in some way or another.
What? Can an entire continent really be THAT bad?
I mean, I hadn’t seen a Taco Bell here yet, so maybe?
I stopped listening and just nodded occasionally, more for his benefit than my own since I was thoroughly bored of him. Why hadn’t I learned to sleep with my eyes open yet?! That would have eliminated this whole episode.
However my obvious disinterest didn’t seem to discourage him, rather, it seemed to spur him on.
Some bad conversationalists really like a challenge.
I wondered if I said I was going to throw up if he’d move?
When the bus arrived in Copacabana he followed me around as I looked for hostels. He inquired about the cost of getting a single room for himself, telling me how much he disliked staying with other people. In this case, the feeling was mutual.
If he hates everyone, why follow me?
I tried to think of a polite way to excuse myself such as, “Please leave me alone and never talk to me again because I truly find you to be both boring and despicable.”
You know, something from the heart…
But I felt I needed to polite and agreeable because I’m messed up like that.
I decided I would take the ferry to Isla Del Sol instead of staying in Copcabana. That way I could get up early and hike across the island while watching the sunrise. To my surprise, my antisocial companion also booked a ferry trip. Then he sat next to me. That’s what I get for pretending to be interested. I was relieved when he slept the whole trip so I didn’t have to be talked at anymore.
When we arrived, he looked around the dock at the island and was obviously not impressed. “I’m so fucking sick of llamas.” he said, looking at a crowd of llamas and donkeys on the shore.
“I don’t like it here. I’m going back to Copacabana.” he stated.
The unhappy traveler turned around, got back on the boat and left.
The llamas did not try to stop him
I took that as a sign this was going to be a nice place to stay.