To South America and Back

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Pais de Ruiz

We loved spending time in Vanessa's homeland and were amazed by the differences between it and other countries we visited. Right away, in the Bogota airport, we noticed women in Deisel jeans carrying Louis Vitton bags and eating Dunkin Donuts. I hadn't seen an expensive peice of attire in three months and it was quite a shock...that goes for the presence of a Dunks as well! Plus, as crude as this may sound, I hadn't seen a woman with curves in three months either! Our British friend Caroline once told us a story of her trip to Thailand where she was met by women approaching her and just grabbing her breasts. They were completely amazed that breasts could be that large as women in southeast Asia generally have small chests. This is almost the feeling I had when arriving in Colombia (of course I restrained myself though!). The women that we had been used to were quite petite with small figures. Here in Colombia, women were much more curvacious and often dressed to impress! I'm not implying these woman were sluts by any means but we had been used to a much more modest style of dress. Plus, we both commented on how gorgeous the women in Colombia were! We both agreed that Colombia gets the vote for best looking (second being Argentina).

The food is also very different...our favorites being the variety of fried items sold at stands on the streets. The fruits are also amazing and consist of the strangest shapes and colors. Vanessa clued us in to many foods and we tried our hardest to locate them all. We got to try the Aguardiente (an anise flavored liquor that Colombians drink like it's going out of style). Their national beer (Aguila) was one of our favorites but also weird in that it only comes in small cans and bottles...everywhere else in South America you practically have to buy beer by the litre.

Then there are the Chivas...yes, it means "goat" but it is a famous pasttime for Colombians to ride around in brightly colored, openair busses, loud music blasting, and swigging Aguardiente...if you really want to party, you jump on one of these, get the night started, and end at a discotech.

Another notable difference in Colombia is the strong presence of fear among travellers. People seemed to be shocked when we said we were travelling there and we were often told that Americans seldom visit. The Colombians we met while there were some of the nicest people and seemed so thrilled that we wanted to visit and that we actually knew some Spanish. It was, however, quite sad to be watching Colombian news stations and see children in tears talking about their friend who was killed during the bombing of a public bus by the FARQ. It was the first time we ever really stayed in a country that was currently suffering from that severe of political strife.

On a lighter note...our experience was wonderful and I can only hope to convince more people to brave the trip because the experience is more than worth it. We really enjoyed Colombia as we celebrated the last day of our trip walking along the beach at sunset, indulging in our favorite pizza atop a mosaic-lined pizzeria looking at the lights of Cartagena, and sipping caipirinas in the Hotel Santa Clara (pretending that we actually have money). We retired that night completely satisfied with the finality of our last hurrah and giddy for our homecoming!


Post a Comment

<< Home