Ruth's Diary


When experiencing daily life in a developing country (and Bolivia happens to be South America's poorest) there are plenty of things to complain about: the unbearable heat, the lack of a highway code, the limited nightlife, the neverending temptation to buy a drink at every corner, the weird opening times, the buses of dodgy quality, the taxis of varying quality, the neglect of public toilets in a high-end shopping centre. But while these things can be an annoyance at times I simply express my bemusement and enjoy the positives of this place wherever possible (and there are quite a few, the locals being laid back one of them). No if there's anything that truly makes my blood boil (and my chest and upper back wet) it's the painfully limited bandwidth!

I'm fortunate that the flat I'm staying in has wireless so I need not go anywhere or pay anything for the convenience (considering I've brought my own laptop). Now the speed is quick enough for easy access to email and facebook but loading videos...that's another kettle of sharks. On Youtube I have to wait a few minutes for a video of a few minutes to fully load up. Typically about 20-30 for a 10-minute video. That I can at least tolerate. But most of the videos I watch these days are hosted on They take forever. Something like more than an hour to fully load a 10-minute video. Last Tuesday I was so exasperated with the snails' pace that Linkara's 30-minute Halloween Special (and this is just 1 of 3 videos) was utilizing that I had to give up and promise myself to load it when I had piles of spare time. On Friday afternoon I hadn't any plans so I had Linkara's video loading while I did my long-overdue laundry. I had to handwash and wring everything, and I took my time over it too. 2 hours later I was finished...but not the video. Once it had completely finished loading it had taken roughly 5 hours.

5 hours?!?! At home I'd need a minute at most to wait for the video to load enough so I can start playing it while it finished loading simultaneously. Here it's too damn slow!

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