Since my first two trips to Colombia in 2007 and 2008 I find myself visiting the same few cities over and over again…Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena, Cali….etc.
But I have an American friend I met in Medellin 6 months ago who teaches at an international school in Bucaramanga. Since meeting we been talking about meeting up there for a while now. One weekend I went and stayed with him at his apartment. The apartment, just $500 or so a month, was in a nice gated community centered around a pool and all the works like tennis and basketball courts, hot tub, an other amenities. From his fifth story apartment we had a beautiful view of much of the city. My point is that living well doesn’t have to cost very much in the scheme of things, depending on where you live.
On a side note, Bucaramanga is located in Santander. Santander is a province famous for its ants. These ants are much larger than normal with a crunchy but bitter taste. Imagine snacking on these instead of potato chips everyday. A few years ago I bought a bag of ants and brought them back to Pittsburgh to share with my uni roommates. I left them in a candy jar on the TV table but they remained there all semester.
My friend and I had lunch near the mall one day and saw them setting up for a fashion show. We made a mental note to return that night.
Once at the show I realized that in reality the women watching the show were more attractive than the models. Only this could happen in Colombia I think. Maybe Brazil too.
One morning I walked around the downtown area. “Most Wanted” signs always interest me. I remember one time seeing one with half of the faces marked with an X. Not this one unfortunately.
Even more bad news was finding this advertisement for a wet t-shirt contest because it had already happened a week earlier. Just one week earlier!
In the city’s main park I found the trees decorated with printed paper of names of people killed during Colombia’s civil war. The effects of this are not typically seen in everyday life for many ordinary people living in cities. But it’s a reminder.
This post is getting a bit too serious so i’ll share this photo my friend took in a park in Bucaramanga.
One night one of my roommates from Switzerland phoned me to tell me he had also come to Bucaramanga. A few hours later we were out drinking with some of his friends.
We moved on over to a popular nightclub in on the top floor of the mall.
After the night out rather than sleeping till 10AM I drove straight to the bus station to take the next one back to Medellin at 4:30AM. It was pretty late and I am sure I and the saleswoman were very tired…but check out how she spelled my name. It was probably that she didn’t care.