I’m surrounded by old Colombian men with machetes who are all cracking jokes and telling stories of their younger years. I understand about 20% of what we’re talking about and plan to understand more once I drink more of this Aguardiente. I’m once again in a gorgeous finca overlooking La Zona Cafeteria with sunset that I’ll never tire of.
I left Medellín on Sunday morning. I had booked a single night at the Mirardor Finca Morrogacho and planned to arrive there before making the rest of my plan in the area. Looking back now, this was another golden example of the benefits of the “get there first then start planning” method of travel.
Cheers to one month of travel down. I’m headed out of Medellín on my way to Manizales. Kind of upset to leave such a cool city, kind of really happy to be leaving the hustle and bustle for the countryside in Cafetero.
OK we’ll try this post from my phone. Pictures exist but I’ll have to sort out how to move from my camera next time I have a working computer.
I’ve been in Medellín now for 13 days and with about 3 and 1/2 weeks in Colombia, I suppose that this is the longest “trip” that I’ve been on (that being one that is for no other purpose than “to travel”).
Every time I solo travel, I’m much quieter than I am back home. I don’t want people to know that I’m not a local, and I think (especially in Mediterranean countries) that if I don’t open my mouth, passerbys won’t think twice. But if they know I’m a not a local, I’m usually reluctant to reveal that I’m from the United States.
I love my country, I love my state, and I love my city. But I know what the rest of the world’s perception is of my country. And if we’ve only got two seconds to pass each other on the street, I frequently prefer to avoid the disapproving glances. And when we sit down for a longer conversation, I typically find myself running through a similar stream of answering questions about wars, racism, and our lack of care for the environment. But I know we’re not the center of the world, and it’s why I try to leave home as much as possible. Not to get further away from a place that I’m embarrassed by, but so that I can gain perspective from as many of these equally deserving places as possible.
Believe me, I am fully aware that these stereotypes are MINOR inconveniences that I have to deal with as a white, financially stable, American, male. But, I’m proud to say that in three presidential elections, I’ve never voted for one for president*. Although I would have if the outcome of the Democratic primaries had been different.
This morning, with the results of the 2016 presidential elections announced, I am more reluctant than ever to admit that I’m American. The majority of my country has voted for a man who embraces so many of these stereotypes that I’m embarrassed by. So as I pack my bag up for Spanish classes today (a language that 41 million people in the US speak as a native language), I have a few phrases bookmarked today…
Que paso? – What happened?
Desconcertado – embarrassed / bewildered
Liberales y Conservadores – Liberals and Conservatives
La barrera – wall / barrier
No quiero guerra – I don’t want war
Estoy orgulloso de mi estado (Connecticut) – I’m proud of my state (Connecticut)
I hope I don’t get swirlied by the school bullies.
*line taken from David Kroman in my Facebook feed.
“Teacher, teacher! Hola todos! Bienveniedos a Colombia!” the old men yelled from Bolivar Park.
I’ve been on many walking tours of cities that I’ve been to all over the world. They’re typically free, although a tip is expected at the end. I’ve been on good tours and I’ve been on not so good tours. But typically I’m always feeling a bit reluctant to go on a walking tour of a city center since I usually hate the feeling of being ‘outed’ as a tourist and sensing some animosity from the locals who see our large group passing though. However, this particular tour was something special.