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Slices of Bogotá June 8, 2011

Posted by Jen Pappas in Bogota, Poems and Misc..
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from December 19, 2009 Journal Entry

Bogotá smells delicious: fresh sliced pinapple and mango intermingle with grilled corn, hot coffee, melted cheese rellenas, and other unnameable foodstuffs wafting out of open doorways. The cobblestone streets even let off a cool, earthy smell unlike the sewer stench and general decay of any other big city in the world.

The air is thin. The clouds barely budge an inch until evening when the chill disperses their languor, revealing a calm, deep night. Teenagers gather in the plazoleta and narrow alleyways of Calle 2, sipping boxed wine out of colorful straws, laughing between blots of conversation. We pass by slowly, as if they’d ask us to join them if only they could decipher the childlike curiosity – the desire to belong on our faces in the dark.

Crowds shuffle slowly down Carrera 7, elbowing one another without malice to get a better look at the various goods laid out on the street’s parade of plastic tarps. Everywhere people are shouting their wares: “Tamales!” “Llamas!” “Fruta!” It’s a maddening collision of sight, sound, smell and incidental brushes with humanity. Which brings me back to my original point, Bogotá smells delicious.

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