So in Orouro, much like Sucre, Carnival is the perfect excuse to ambush random strangers, except that there they have evolved past simple water balloons , to super soakers and especially sort of shaving cream like foam spray. This mischievousness has escalated to such a degree that one of the first things I noticed was that everywhere they were selling those cheap plastic ponchos, but I quickly realized it was not for protection from the rain, but the inundation of Carnival ‘esponja’.
No one is exempt, but extranjeros (foreigners) seem to attract a bit of extra attention. You always had to be on guard, especially for groups of teenage boys armed to the teeth with spray cans and looking for a victim (if a pretty girl, all the better). So by day two of this, we were looking for revenge. Not just simple revenge by spraying people back, but something more unexpected.
Our second story rented rooms provided the perfect base for mounting our counter attack. Francisco had the fantastic idea of filling empty 2 liter bottles with water and, much like the medieval warriors defending a castle pouring out pots of boiling oil, dumping this water on the heads of unsuspecting passer byres. But before you are too quick to judge-we were very discriminating in who we aimed for, only going for the people-who-looked-like-they-deserved-it. Meaning, they were carrying multiple spray cans or a bag of water balloons etc, taking especially delight in getting those same types of teenage boys who had been singling us out all weekend.
The results were fantastic. Most people did not see it coming- despite the growing flood of water below our windows. But many were not just helpless victims, but aptly fought back. We quickly were forced to admit that although we might have a tactical advantage of the window, the advanced weaponry of a high powered super-soaker or a water balloon flung by someone with a good arm was hard to beat. Especially when they were safely across the street well out of our reach. Several epic battles resulted, and we did take a few causalities, in the form of a soaked mattress, when we weren’t able to slam closed the windows fast enough and well-aimed water balloon bombs drenched our floor.
The lady selling water balloons down the street asked us the favor of refilling her water jugs, which we did, knowing full well that this same water would soon be used against us.
The best fight was between two 9 year old boys armed with super soakers. We got them the first time by surprise, but then hiding behind the parked cars, they emptied their guns on us, and then went for refills and to hit us again and again.
When it all started, I felt sort of bad, like I was too grown up or something for this, but then I decided, nah-its all part of the cultural experience!