Sunday, June 22, 2008

reasons i should stay here forever, except the part about time

Some things I've learned so far in Colombia:

1. Sometimes it hails, and when it does, being inside doesn't help you any.

So about four hours after I'd gotten to Alicia's family's apartment, she and Scott and her brother and sister and I went to take Samuel, her brother, to his Taekwon-do lesson. When we first left the airport it was really sunny and hot--a little hotter than normal, apparently, since Bogota is normally cloudy and cooler--but in only a few hours the clouds looked like they sometimes get in Wilmington. But we made it inside before the rain and we were sitting on the second floor on this little balcony that overlooks the place where the kids practice, so we were good. Well, something about the roofs: not all of them, but a lot that I've seen so far, are made of half cylinder shingles, don't know what material, but they're kind of like skylights. You can't see anything through them, but they let a whole lot of light in. Best I can describe it. And so I discovered that they let a good deal more than light in. It started pouring, and I mean really coming down. I was sitting next to her sister, Alejandra, and we both felt it at the same time. It was raining inside a little bit. But then it started hailing. And it started hailing inside, through the roof. It was absolutely amazing. And Alicia and I promptly ran to the door downstairs to watch it.

2. My shampoo bottles explode.

That one's pretty much as good as it sounds. I suppose it's the difference in air pressure. Apparently I'm supposed to squeeze the air out of my bottles before I leave so that way they have room to expand. But I definitely got in the shower, opened up my shampoo, and the whole thing blew up on me.

3. People here don't like clocks.

I don't know if that's completely true, but they must be much less worried about the time than I am. In this whole apartment, there is only one clock, and I only just found it this morning. I never really know what time it is, and it's an interesting thing going on. Although I'm already understanding much more Spanish than I did at first, sometimes I just have no idea what people are saying. So if Alicia's dad and step-mom are talking and I don't know what about, if it's bad, I don't worry, because I just have no idea. My days, too. I've been confused about the days. I know it's Sunday, but only because people have said. And I can just forget about knowing the actual date. And the food schedule is so different here. Lunch is like dinner for us, except they eat it around three. And so three feels like six-ish, and then I expect it to start getting dark several hours before it does, and by the time nine or so rolls around, I'm ready to go to bed. So all that said, I'm very confused about anything to do with time.

The picture is my view from the window at night. See the mountains in the background? I pretty much want to stay here forever. It's been amazing, and with the exception of the guy in customs, the people have been incredibly nice. And I think I need to come back here periodically, if for no other reason but to get my hair cut. I got it cut and styled by this guy called Alonso and my hair has never looked so good in my entire life. I got a picture of it the next day after sleeping on it and it still looks amazing.

And the traffic, oh oh the traffic. It's like a dream come true. If there are two lanes, they might make three. If there's a stop sign, they might stop, or maybe they won't. People here kind of have their own rules about driving and it makes an incredible ride. And I've realized I'm not nearly the crazy driver I thought I was. And speaking of that, I'm leaving today on a fourteen hour bus ride that travels through the rural parts of the country and along the edges of very tall, steep mountains, and I'm totally pumped. It may be dangerous, I realize, and I don't only mean the driving. But I'm really just excited.

So that means I'll be in Santa Marta tomorrow morning, for about ten days, maybe a little less. And I'm not sure if they'll have internet there, but I'm thinking probably not. So if I disappear for that long, that's why, but I'll be sure to make up for it with crazy stories when I return.


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