The sound of rain striking corrugated steel roofs seeps into my consciousness slowly; my head is throbbing and I have my La Paz hotel room's heater on full-blast. The sound is so familiar that at first I don't even think to check it out. Part of the buzzing soundtrack of the developing world.
When I gradually realize that the racket isn't the neighbors, I open the curtains and look outside at a quiet Bolivian street which was full of people a few hours ago. The windows of the buildings across the street twinkle brightly with strings of Christmas lights, taunting my dull brain, numbed from flying into thin air this morning from Lima's sea level. I'm at the back of Hotel Rosario, and my map tells me that I'm in front of a market called "Mercado Negra." Intriguing name. The steel roofs covers the stalls of the market. If I can rouse myself from my altitude-induced haze, I'll go check it out tomorrow.