Learnings & Observations:
– Bogota does not have any seasons; the weather is pretty similar all year round.
– Normal sized people cannot fit on the city buses. 15cm is just not enough space to fit my legs into!
– Some Bogota nightclubs now have extended hours; they used to close at 3am, now they close at 5am. Because lets have more drunk people around.
Haven’t got much to say about my arrival day in Bogota except that I slept for about 16 hours after getting access to my room. Must have overslept because I still woke up tired the next day….nothing unusual there.
I realized 2 major things at breakfast the next morning: 1: the hostel serves CocoPops!! The fancy pants cereal. And 2: I forgot my tube of Vegemite. Devastated. Feeling un-Australian.
Decided to walk around ‘Zona T” in the morning when I finally got around to organizing myself for the day. It’s a commercial area with lots of shopping but seeing as there is already no room in my back pack, was not even tempted to walk into any stores; funny how my dislike of carrying the heavy backpack wins out over my love of shopping. Not sure if that will hold out when I get to the artisan markets…
Made arrangements to meet Alexa (Colombian friend I’d met in Sydney) at 1pm at the main entrance of the Andino Shopping Centre. When she didn’t arrive on time, I panicked. I am completely lost without being able to use my phone (no wifi), and knowing that shopping centres have multiple entrances, it would have been my bad luck to be waiting aimlessly at the wrong one.
We had lunch at this gorgeous food court on the top level of the Retiro Shopping Centre that served only typical Colombian foods. I had Ajiaco soup (a thick potato-y soup with chicken, cob of corn and comes with a side of rice, avocado, milk cream and capers) and Guanabana fruit juice with milk (some weird type of tropical fruit that I still can’t pronounce properly). I thought a soup would be a nice light lunch…I was wrong. Couldn’t even finish it.
Something for English speakers to think about; do we actually pronounce ‘eyes’ and ‘ice’ differently? Or is it just mainly the context of the word that we distinguish the difference?
We tried walking off the massive lunch we had by walking to Park 93, a few blocks further north, only to then plonk ourselves down to have a coffee at Juan Valdez – the most popular coffee shop around. Colombian coffee is amazing! I think I’ll be having a lot of coffee in my time here. Why have they felt the need to open a Starbucks here? Who knows.
By the time we were done with coffee it was miserable and cold outside. I was hoping to not have to buy an umbrella but I’m feeling that’s becoming less and less likely. Really, what was the point of leaving Sydney winter, only it be cold somewhere else?
Taking a ‘collectivo’ – small bus that randomly picks people up at any point on the journey, I made my way back to the hostel. The collectivo looks like a normal bus that’s been dropped into a garbage compactor and gone half way through the squishing process before someone’s realized their mistake and taken it out. There were only 5 rows of seats in the “bus”; I hit my head on the roof when we entered and there’s NO chance of being able to fit my legs in the space between my seat and the back of the seat in front of me. I think this is why most Colombians are small, they need to fit on the small transport. Normal sized people aren’t allowed to transport themselves around.
We went into a corner drug store, aka a chemist-ish store, to keep warm and Alexa used this opportunity to teach me some Spanish. These are my new words of the day (sections of the drug store):
Cuidado hogar – home care
Alimentos – foods
Pasaboca – snacks
Licores – liquors
Once back into the warmth of the hostel, I was almost immediately offered the meal of the night, BBQ dinner. Not a bad first day in Bogota J Looking forward to exploring the rest of the city tomorrow!