Back in Bogota last August I did the usual. I ate well, drank at cafe’s and partied non-stop. I flew from Buenos Aires to Bogota and stayed at my favorite hostel, Hostel Sue #2, which has turned into a tradition as history shows I can be expected to stay with them in Bogota at least once a year.
I arrived on a Monday night and ran into some people I had met on previous trips, like a Peruvian chef who has been living in the hostel for over 6 months. I met a few regular backpackers, one of which was dumb enough to tattoo “Pittsburgh” on his shoulder. Pittsburgh was where I went to college so after meeting him he gave me his book, Lonely Planet South America on a Shoestring. I have not looked at it since my brain has become an encyclopedia of useful and useless information about South America.
Another person I ran into again was a girl who worked at the hostel last time I visited. She was excited to see me but that excitement was confusing because we were supposed to meet for a date one time, but she flaked out.
We made plans the next day and met for coffee at Juan Valdez downtown. I found out that the reason she flaked out was because she had a boyfriend, who she recently broke up with. As I learned more about her I noticed she was completely different than I assumed. She was older…27. Also still in school studying environmental engineering which she talked about too much. One interesting fact about her family is that her grandparents owned one of the biggest food companies in Colombia, producing the main ingredient for Colombia’s staple food, Arepas. So her family is beyond wealthy but because her Mom eloped her family did not receive much. Meanwhile, her cousins own multiple mansions in different countries.
Others I ran into again was the maid and owners of course, who were as hospitable as ever. I talked to a Swiss backpacker I met my second day in Colombia in 2007.
I went over a Colombian friend
‘s house one night and caught up with everything while I was away. Heard some interesting rumors about certain people…haha. I won’t say what they are as they are just rumors.
One morning I went to Crepes & Waffles
for breakfast and I swear the same woman always works the counter. She smiled and I know she remembers me from my many visits in the past.
I also did some chores. I bought a new sim card for my phone and got my glasses fixed. At the eyeshop an older Colombian man, Raphael, befriended me. He lived in New York City and Miami for a long time so i think he was just happy to be able to practice his English. We exchanged numbers and he urged me to call him so we could get some coffee.
Another day I hung out with my Colombian friend I wrote about above. He recently bought a new dog and so he dragged me to a park a few blocks from his home. The park was pretty neat because every day an official dog club meets up so each of their dogs can run around and socialize together. The fun thing was that the people there were such an odd mix full of rich older men, teens with the gothic look, good looking middle aged women, a poor looking guy with missing teeth, and more.
I one day moved to another hostel for easier access to people wanting to go out at night and that upset the owners a bit. But it was worth it because the new hostel was so lively. I ran into an Australian backpacker I took a day trip with to a salt mine in Zipaquira
. I also walked right into a a guy I studied with in Buenos Aires who I had given tons of advice to before he left Buenos Aires.
One night a bunch of us from the hostel went out together and I met a really cute architect but her annoying friend just kept clinging to both of us. Other nights we drank rum in the hostel, where quite a few people were long term backpackers stuck in Bogota teaching English. I really met some fun people. A group of Chileans, a cool Australian, and other nights we also went out not coming back to the hostel until it was light outside. Classic Bogota.
If you stuck it out this long reading this you are kind of lucky. This marks the end of my writing about old travels and the next posts you read will be about my trip to Ecuador that I leave for in 2 days.