Trip Start Oct 25, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Colombia  , Cundinamarca,
Monday, November 5, 2012

2/11/12. The last blog was written at the airport waiting to go to Bogota. I thought it would have been an easy flight except my anxiety levels were sky high when I was handed the visa form. I was told by the Australian consulate that I would be granted a 90 day tourist visa upon entering the country- IF I showed onward journey. So, a week before leaving I bought a 1 way ticket to Quito, Ecuador for January 14 (~70 days from now). When the visa form was handed to me on the plane, it said tourists were allowed 60 days. So, I spent 3 hours sh***ing bricks thinking of all the worst case scenarios. Instead, I landed at 4 and was hopping into a taxi at 4:20. The fastest immigration, bag scan and collection I have ever seen. 90 days granted, no questions asked.
I caught the cab to my hostel. Which is situated in a great area. The hostel seems to be a small renovated apartment block run by a Spanish guy who lives there. As a first impression, Bogota is just bizarre. I can't compare it with anything else. 1 street is run down and slummy and the next has a Marc Jacobs store. If I were president, I would hire people to pick up trash, clean graffiti and fill the potholes. It would make a world of difference - because at the moment there is zero consistency! That evening, I walked a couple of blocks to a mall with a very Colombian food court for some authentic food I forgot the name of... But essential, think a lot of rice, corn, cheese, oil and gluten. I then had a beer at a pub that was playing loud reggaeton music. Me gusta :). I had an early night.
3/11/12: In Lima last week I had contacted some Colombian English students I had added on Facebook -from an English teaching job that was very dodgy. 2 of them had offered to meet me and show me the city, so, at 9am, they met me at the hostel. There ended up being 4 people (2 originals and 2 friends of friends)- and they all spoke English and were extremely nice. The downside, I haven't had any chance to practice my Spanish! I'm still very terrible! We caught a cab to La Candelaria and they showed me the area. The Museo del Oro (El Dorado legend) and some art museums.. Including Fernando Botero- who makes 'fat art'. I may have set off an alarm posing beside a fat lady. I don't know anything about art but the company was great. We then had lunch at a Japanese/Colombian place for some more flavoured rice... Before wandering around town again. I got a lot of tips about cabs, public transport, the do's, the do not's, the where to and the 'keep the hell away from'. I feel like a lot of Bogota is a no go zone lol. That evening, we met another of their friends at 'El Nogal', a very posh 'country club'. We had some empanadas and then some mojitos in the bar... And then another early night :). I was invited to a BBQ tomorrow at one of my new amigos houses too.
4/11/12: Today I checked out a bit more of the town. It was much quieter being a Sunday. On Sundays they close large stretches of main road for people to exercise. They eat bad, the exercise. Balance. I also attempted the trans-milenio (a really really long bus which was crowded like a Japanese train- and a buseta (a small colourful bus with no suspension). I was holding my pockets and the rail for dear life!
That afternoon I went to the BBQ with the same people from the day before- as well as about 15 others. The house was stunning! The food was also great (arepas, Colombian sausages- I don't want to know what's in them- and lots of meat), but the environment wasn't too great.. The other people didn't really have the time of day for me- and seemed very elitist... And pharmacy is not a profession that is held with much esteem here! Nonetheless, I stayed for a few hours, had a few beers, played a few drinking games and then called it a night.
5/11/12: Today is puente. A public holiday. Next week is puente too. And I have been told there are a lot of puentes. Do some work! So I have sent the job emails again.. And looked into some more apartments. I will be checking out a place in Wednesday at 6. In a nice area, but a bit out of town. Thus, today was a very lazy day. Tamale for breakfast (traditional sticky yellow rice and chicken in a banana leaf) , Taco Bell for lunch and then a run at the park (burn off some Taco Bell) and I am currently enjoying some choclitos- lime chips- yum. The weather has been great but I have been advised not to wear shorts. Uh oh. Deal breaker perhaps?

Hopefully next time I will have news on jobs an apartments
Chao :)
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Hailie on

I'm fairly sure we have practised "judgy" face enough that you can elite right back at those people, it's all in the eyebrows!

Chantelle on

What do they even consider a good job/study area if they don't think much of pharmacy? Weirdos.

mickandmegan on

Sounding like an adventure!

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