I made it back to the states in one piece. I’ve hit the ground running as expected. I took a look at my month of March and I have a performance every weekend. Eeeeek. But what an amazing trip I had. It was exactly the break I needed. Colombia has an entirely different way of thinking down there. Everything is a lot simplier and more relaxed. You don’t find people living in their ipods and texting away madly. These are people that are engaging and welcoming. Within the first few hours of landing in Cartegena and traveling to Barranquilla, we parked on the side of the road next to a couple of family run eateries. Food fresh from the fields and faces glad to serve you something. I had my first beer in Colombia on the side of that road watching the sun set behind some hills merely a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean. I spent the next few days in Barranquilla taking in the sites and exploring the town and most importantly, enjoying Carnival. Everyday there was a new parade to watch and more of my family members to meet. Since I haven’t been to Colombia in over 10 years, I pretty much had to meet everyone all over again. There were definitely family members that I remember from the past though.
Funny story: I do in fact remember one particular little cousin from my last trip who was not a fan of diapers or the potty. He would just kinda go wherever he wanted. One night he came into the room where my brother and I were staying and left us a nice present. Seeing him after all these years was particularly funny because now he is a grown teenager. The first thing I said to him was “I remember you pooping all over the place when I was here last. ”
After a few days partying with family in Barranquilla, my dad and I retreated back to Cartegena to enjoy some beach time before flying back to the States. We spent some time there with my two aunts and drank as much sun and beach as possible. When it was time to go, I really didn’t want to leave. My dad and I are really quite similar. We are both very chill about life and we love the beach. I remember sitting at a beach-side restaurant with my dad, having fish, and saying to him that we were totally meant for this kind of life. I took a million photos and videos and posted many of my favorites up onto my facebook page. It is definitely a trip that will be fresh in my mind for some time to come.
Here is a random list of funny things I learned or noticed:
Mondongo is a fancy little name for cow tongue soup. It is actually quite delicious and probably one of the only foods you will ever taste that has the ability to taste you back. If that wasn’t crazy enough, the soup is so popular that there is a restaurant catered specifically to that soup called Mag Mondongo. It’s a chain.
Laws of the road such as lanes and traffic signs are really just suggestions. When riding with a taxi driver, it’s best to just close your eyes. The streets are pot-holed if even paved at all so most driving time is spent dodging these obstacles.
Narcoboyo was the name of the village/rest stop between Barranquilla and Cartegena where we ate the best arrepas.
Mountains and hilltops litter the countryside. The coolest thing you’ll ever see is a house posted up on the side of a cliff.
Colombia is a very tropical country. As a result they don’t really have what we would consider to be winter and summer. Instead, during our summer they have a wet season and during our winter they have a dry season which makes the whole area look like a Savannah.
My cousin gave me her Monococo (sp?) costume. This is one of the character’s during Carnival. The story behind this particular character is pretty funny. Apparently this character was the husband of a married couple. His wife was so strict and so against Carnival that in order for him to enjoy it he had to leave his house in complete disguise so that no one would recognize him there. Women…..
Air conditioning is something that is widely unavailable. This is one of the reasons that so many people sit around outside to be social. At least outside you can get a nice cool breeze there.
Another thing hard to come by is hot water. But then again, when it’s hot all the time, sometimes the thing you need most is a nice cool shower.
My dad is an incredibly social guy who is a fantastic storyteller. After getting to know many others on that side of the family I can see where he gets it from.