The last few days we’ve essentially just walked around a bit and drank some coffee and hot chocolate. We’ve been downgraded to hostal status now that my parents have fled back to the states. This translates into an old, hard mattress covered in plastic with a wall that doesn’t quite separate the room from the outer environment, and thus is freezing at all times of day, as well as a shared shower which is located directly alongside of the toilet. Used toilet paper must be placed into a bin, wherein it proceeds to stink up the joint. Towels that are essentially thin pieces of fabric more suited to be used as rags than as moisture absorbants. Rowdy Englishman and Australians and subdued Chilean backpackers. You know the scene.
We’re in La Candelaria section of town now, which is kind of like the old-style, narrow-streets, old-colorful-buildings section of town. It also is known for its “bohemian” atmosphere, which really just means a few scattered Colombians with dreads or weird hats and some bars with swing seats instead of stools and some cafes where you sit on pillows on the ground. That kind of thing. We had been staying in the business district of downtown before, which was fairly unexciting, so it’s nice to be in a more colorful part of town in any case.
One thing that’s strange about Bogotá is that there’s a lot of crepe places around here. Like, crepes seem to be quite the “in” thing. Also, there seems to be a certain trendiness imbued to Mexican eateries here as well, which was unexpected. I expected the McDonald’s and T.G.I. Friday’s and what not . . . but crepes? And “burros”?
We ventured into the Colombian yuppie part of town today, Parque de la 93 and the Zona Rosa, which was bumping on a Saturday eve. There’s some malls around there to rival New Jersey, and people wearing the kind of designer clothing that would get them second looks in Beverly Hills. We popped into a Juan Valdez café and I had me the standard café con leche and we people watched for a bit. Like a mix of the Upper Westside of NYC and the San Vicente of Brentwood.
Tomorrow morning we are about to embark on some new adventures: we are meeting up with my cousin and his new wife (just fresh from a honeymoon in Aruba) and taking a bus out to Armenia, to see his finca and hang-out with the extended fam. I can’t say that I’ll feel any great sorrow in saying goodbye to Bogotá for now. I just haven’t gotten that fresh experience or new connections here yet that makes me want to stay. Part of this is due, no doubt, to the fact that I have been unable to explore any of the live music, bar scene, or go out dancing at all—the only reasons one would really want to be in a large, crowded, dirty city—which I blame fully upon my girlfriend and her disinclination to venture into lively situations. I’m going to get her out one of these nights, though.
To Armenia it is then. Hasta pronto.