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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.

Of Pufferfish and Other Demons January 6, 2010

Posted by Jen Pappas in Bogota, Colombia Posts, San Gil, Santa Marta.
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Since Brett arrived in Bogota on the 19th of December, a lot has happened. So for the sake of playing catch up, the following is a brief synopsis of our exploits since then…

We celebrated Brett’s first night in Bogota by taking him to a heavy metal bar off a small, buzzing alleyway filled with hole-in-the-wall dives and sushi restaurants. Ordering rounds of cheap rum shots and glass-bottled Coca-Cola, watching teenagers dressed all in black head-bang and play air guitar until they nearly made themselves sick.

We went to the Botero Museum twice, where we walked slowly past each painting, sketch and bronze sculpture paying homage to the artist’s obsession with obesity. Colombia’s national artist, Botero reproductions can be found on everything from place mats to calendars.

 

We rode a gravity-defying cable car up to Cerro de Monserrate in the rain, watched Brett play blackjack in a Bogota casino, hugged a street vendor and watched a guinea pig race in the middle of the street at a Christmas Street Fair- all in one day.

We spent Christmas in the small, dusty town of San Gil, where one must throw some serious elbows just to make it one block down the hectic streets. People-watching in the plaza, horse-back riding on obedient steeds, and stumbling across a gallery of amazing local art in the white-washed town of Barichara: what cowboy films are made of.

We tugged at the silvery, ancient fronds dangling from the massive trees at Parque El Gallineral, learned how to say, “barbas de viejo” before playing cribbage near the natural swimming hole full of families lounging in inner tubes.

We befriended a Colombian family during the 11-hour bus ride from San Gil to Santa Marta, posing for photos with their beautiful, large-eyed daughters and sharing snacks before hugging farewell and going our separate ways.

We arrived in Santa Marta on the 26th of December and spent the next 5 days scaling cliffs and precarious trails over-looking turquoise waters, arriving at hidden coves where we spent an entire day playing with a local group of rambunctious kids: fishing, playing catch, playing shark, being chased down the beach by six-year-olds wielding long blades of grass to tickle us with. In short, getting caught up in the simple drama of a tiny fishing village where the men recline in hammocks and the women carry overloaded trays of sweets on their head.

We danced until 2 a.m. on an outdoor deck overlooking Taganga beach on the full moon. We hiked for two hours straight through horseshit and jungle only to emerge onto a paradisal beach right out of Hollywood, where we swam and taunted crabs for awhile before having to hike the two hours back before dark, exhausted, blistered and slightly bitter.

We have been bitten by pufferfish, (Steve) hunted down by the old man renting out scuba gear when we failed to return on time, (Brett) and eaten an excellent dinner together inside a liquor store.

And though it’s painfully obvious that Jen walks too fast, Brett walks too slow and Steve just wants everyone to be happy, we’re still having a great time in Colombia- whore houses and all, but more on that story next time.

Everyone Loves a Street Mime January 5, 2010

Posted by Jen Pappas in Bogota.
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Robot street performer in Bogota, Colombia

Christmas in Colombia December 22, 2009

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Christmas at the Plaza de Bolivar - Bogota, Colombia

Top of the World December 22, 2009

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Bogota, Colombia

December 22, 2009

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Brett and Jen in front of the Plaza de Bolivar in Bogota, Colombia

There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute December 22, 2009

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Back home we just get to dunk people in water when you hit the bullseye but in Bogota they just let you shoot the person.

Cable Car in the Mist December 22, 2009

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The cable car that brought us to the amazing view overlooking Bogota, Colombia

Stranger than Fiction, Taken from a Second Story Window December 22, 2009

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Look who I found in Colombia ....and he brought a Nerf Vortex Football! South Americans pretty much just use their feet when it comes to sports so when Brett and I started throwing the Nerf back and forth almost 100 yards we gathered quite a crowd. The kids were all bummed when I chucked it on a roof by accident ...luckily after a little broken spanish accompanied with some charades the roofs owner let us retrieve it. - Bogota, Colombia