Greetings all. My apologies for the radio silence, but since my yagé adventure, I’ve calmed down and have taken to settling in in Bogotá.
What does this mean? It means I’ve decided to make Bogotá home, at least for now. It means getting a job teaching english, working on my spanish and planning trips to friends in Brazil and Argentina.
Since my last posts, I’ve moved out of La Candelaria and up to Chapinero Alto. Candelaria was a lovely neighborhood, full of history, art, funky students and some excellent cafés. Unfortunately, it’s also weirdly cut off from the rest of the city if you’re reliant, as I am, on public transportation. It’s also blighted a bit by petty crime such as muggings, thanks to the high concentration of foreign tourists. And since my english teaching involves giving classes at 6:30 a.m. — a crime against humanity, if you ask me — in the more northernly parts of the city, I had to leave mi casa when it was still dark and creepy.So, I’ve moved to Chapinero Alto, which is much closer to my classes, full of chic restaurants and smack in the middle of Bogotá’s gay neighborhood, which means it’s lively, interesting and fun.
Teaching english has given me an interesting perspective in learning spanish. My students are executives at various companies up and down Septima, a major thoroughfare in Bogotá, and through them I can see how the languages interact as well as their similarities in grammar and vocabulary (and there are a lot). I won’t go into a tedious grammatical discussion, but spanish seems much more accessible with this new perspective.
But that’s about it at the moment. No great travel stories, no new insights. I hope that will change once this settling in phase passes, as I can feel the old restlessness stirring even as I pick out kitchen appliances for my new apartment with my roommates, a Colombian and a Spaniard.
In the meantime, I urge readers, family and friends to come to Colombia. It’s an amazing, optimistic, lively country. The people are some of the warmest I’ve met — except for the few charlatans who try to rip me off, of course — and the landscape is spectacular.