I was staying in Samaipata, a small mountain town located on the backpacker tourist trail in southern Bolivia. The town becomes very quiet after 9:00PM as there are very few bars or nightspots for tourists to congregate. With nowhere else to get together, parties among backpackers often happen spontaneously at their hostel. Sometimes these parties last until the wee hours of the morning.
I had returned to my hostel about 11:00PM. Walking to my room, I passed by a group of young backpackers – both males and females - who were having a little party outside on the patio. Quite rowdy and loud - as evidenced by the number of empty beer bottles on the table, they were obviously somewhat inebriated. I greeted them goodnight, sort of an indirect way of telling them to keep the noise down.
Obviously they didn’t get the message as they continued on with their loud chatter and laughter. As I was trying to sleep as were some other hotel guests, I really thought these people were out of line. As the noise escalated, I bolted out of bed, went outside and told them very politely to keep their voices down.
I guess that was like adding fuel to the fire – as they got even louder and more raucous. Another 30 minutes elapsed (it was now close to midnight) before I bolted out my bed again, ran outside and told the young merrymakers to shut up already.
One of the young men - I recognized his voice as being Nate, the American guy from San Jose, California - retorted “Hey Old Man, Why don’t you go back to bed and put in your earplugs”. As he made his snide remark, the young British gals laughed hysterically like hyenas. Funny, huh? I wanted to shove my fist up his mouth but common sense prevailed as I returned to my room.
Well, the group did not break up their party until shortly before 1:00AM but not before singing in unison, Johnny Cash’s classic song “Ring of Fire”. Oh well, at least they sang it in tune!