A Delightful Day!

Trip Start Aug 30, 2011
Trip End Dec 30, 2011

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Where I stayed
El Centro @ Danny's Apartment
What I did
Parque Bortero, Museo de Antiquia, El Centro

Flag of Colombia  ,
Monday, October 31, 2011

Following my insufficient four hours of sleep I had five hours of French on Saturday, and haven't been able to catch up on my rest since. 
Yesterday, I had an extraordinary time exploring new parts of the city with Astrid and Danny. I was gently drawn from my dreams when my phone starting beeping and chirping at 8 o'clock. No doubt could I have slept longer, but I had plans to meet with Astrid at San Antonio Station in one hour. Once again, I gathered things I would need for an over night, except this time I knew I would be using them. When I called for a taxi the rest of the family had just begun to start their day. I said my good byes and descended the stairs. 
The ride to downtown is familiar to me since I travel a similar route when Bailing and I return to UPB after Chinese. It took about ten minutes with scare early morning traffic, and when I arrived at the station I stood in one place waiting for Astrid. I didn't want to wander in case we would cross paths, and I would probably end up in the wrong part of town. When we reunited we recounted the night at the Finca and all of its fun. We were crossing streets and traversing up steep sidewalks when we finally reached the cafe where Danny was waiting for us. This is the only restaurant he has found acceptable to have a real cup of coffee. He explained the "coffee situation" to me with an extremely accurate comparison to snow in Vail. You would expect that upon your arrival to one of the world's top ski resorts, Vail, you would see nothing but real, light snow, but come to find out, on top of this beautiful mountain is man-made ice. Similarly, in Colombia, you hear of the incredible coffee but can only find average, instant coffee. So when Danny was examining each restaurant for a cup of decent coffee he was taken five blocks from the apartment. Satisfied with his "real coffee" and pastry, we made our way to "Parque Bortero" (Bortero Park). 
Being that it was a Sunday there was an obvious absence of people. Although I thought the streets were still crowded, Astrid promised me that on a weekday at the same time you would hardly be able see the vendors across the street due to the overcrowding. I was relieved we had decided on a Sunday to go out and explore. At Parque Bortero we took all sorts of touristy pictures with the statues and posed like goons. It was an ideal beginning to the day and got rid of our post-coffee energy before entering the more serious museum. 
We were still allowed to take pictures, as long as the flash was turned off and snuck in a few more touristy-like shots. There are three floors full of photos, paintings, sculptures, movies, multimedia art, and descriptions of art work. Some explanations were in English for bigger exhibits like the Bortero room, while most others were in Spanish. Experiencing different things, like museums, gives me the opportunity to learn new words in context. At the museum I became familiar with "oleo" (oil-as in oil paint), "tela" (fabric-as in canvas), and "acuarela" (watercolor). It is important for me to see how these words are used because other times when I discuss "tela" with Tati were are referring to the fabric she is using to design a dress. Astrid was very helpful when I came upon a term I was unfamiliar with. She and I maintained a similar pace while Danny lagged behind, scrutinizing each piece of art. Two and half hours later we exited the museum in search of a place to eat. 
It was difficult to find a place suitable enough. We were tricked into think one restaurant was going to be the perfect place for lunch when it advertised "Indian. Vegetarian.". Possibly they were referring to the chicken being vegetarian, because there sure wasn't anything vegetarian about the rotisserie spinning dozens of raw chickens around. At another place we were interested in they were painting the ceiling and the place smelled strongly of the chemicals. Finally we decided to eat at the cafeteria in Exito. There were several options to choose from and we each able satisfy our hunger
After a quick rest back at the apartment, Astrid's sister called to tell us they were outside waiting. The ladies and I shared the back seat on the way over to Astrid brother-in-law's family's house. There are so many relations to keep track of, I often find that when I am introduced to someone new I merely label them as "related to so-and-so", it is too complicated to remember who is a niece, sister of the grandma, or boyfriend of the cousin. Regardless of the relation, everyone is overly kind and welcoming. I have many new Facebook friends and contacts in my phone, all eager to show me around. While we were served a lovely dinner Diana and I talked about all the "Crepusculo" (Twilight) books and the up coming movies. If all else fails, ask if they have a boyfriend/girlfriend and they will gladly show you photos and fill you in on their relationship. There was also a lot of Political talk since elections were held earlier in the day. We watched the news to stay informed with the polls, but will have to wait for a winner to be declared. 
At long last, we returned home and I got as comfortable as possible on the couch. I was tired enough to ignore the city sounds and fall asleep quickly. 
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tommy king on

gosh , the statues are fat, subjects in the artwork , and your friends are phat ! that was great that you got to spend time w/ danny and astrid , and they were willing to show you around . i bet it was fun getting to know another family (astrid's). it 's too bad danny is banned from their barrio. ily, daddy

Emily Holben on

Sounds like lots of fun Leala!

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