Jobs, apartments, parties and empanadas.
Trip Start Oct 25, 2012
24Trip End Ongoing
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Jobs: I started looking for jobs on Tuesday because Monday was a public holiday.. But my first interview was on Thursday. I was primarily looking for English teaching jobs at this point. The first place was called Verve. I took the trans milenio there and of course I arrived an hour early ... The pay is ~$14 an hour, but there is only about 3 hours of work per day- early in the morning or in the evening. It wasn't so much an interview as an orientation- but there was no guidance except 'make sure you go with a lesson plan' ...umm, thanks. It's a private business and I travel to people's houses to teach English. They're usually young adults learning English for a specific reason.
The following day I had an interview at Darlington English Consultants - hmm, first impression was not very good
I also walked into a English company near my hostel and although the lady promised to get back to me (twice), I have yet to hear any more.
The final English teaching job was for 'First Class English' - who do the same thing as Darlington. I had emailed them twice in the last 3 weeks, but they never got back to me. So, I walked into the building instead... Awkward :). The pay is ~$9 an hour, except they can offer me 20-30 hours a week. It was also the first interview I was actually asked interview questions ! Then they made me sit an English test- really? An hour of utter boredom. I was invited back the next day for orientation, but I didn't want to go- so I didn't. I would rather 3 hours a day of $14, than 6 hours of $9. Beggers can be choosers. However, at this point I had also lost the motivation to teach English. I thought I wanted a breezy half-assed job while here, but I don't think that's for me. I would prefer something a bit more challenging
Apartment: I was very very lazy when it came to apartments. I looked at 1 place and I took it. It's in a suburb called Salitre- about 40 blocks from the centre of Bogota. However, Bogota is massive so I am still considered 'in town' (which is well over 100 streets an roads in both directions). I left the hostel in Chapinero on Monday morning and came to Salitre. I live on the top floor of a 10 storey red-brick building - except Salitre is full of 10 storey, red-brick buildings - it's like sim city!... Hence, I get lost. I was also told these buildings used to be projects. Thrilling. Just like the Bronx haha- but they're not anymore and it's a nice area. My new bubble. I live with a girl named Maria. She is 23 and is finishing her degree in chemical engineering. She has previously worked for oil companies and believe it or not, lived in southport for 6 months last year
Food: Up until yesterday, I have been eating out for almost every meal and averaging about $5 per meal. I have also eaten some street food (except I have been warned not to) But it's so convenient! I'm on the street... There is food on the street... I want food! I don't know the names of any of most of the food I have eaten, but it's all gluten, cheese, rice, fried and some meat in various presentations- which I think I have already written about. I like it, my stomach doesn't. I also attempted a Colombian supermarket yesterday. Epic fail. The store was enormous and had everything, but had nothing at the same time. It was organised soooo poorly too
Parties: I have been clubbing twice in 12 days - probably twice as much as I have been clubbing in the past 12 months! On Friday night I went to Andreas (a massive club about an hour from the city) with Sissi, Sebastian, Juliana and some of their friends. Julian's driver took us there - yes, driver. However, the club was a maze! Tables, chairs, rooms, bars and people everywhere. The roof was really low and it was decorated very Mexican. But more importantly, they played reggaeton until about 2am... Then they changed to salsa. Yes, I tried to salsa. I don't think I did too badly, but it's all in the hips. Maybe next time I won't do it after half a bottle of aguardiente! Note: aguardiente is like cheap sambucca- and should be illegal. It's not that strong, but it is foul.
Then, on Sunday night Natalia invited us to the 5th anniversary of a tapas bar in town. I assumed for tapas
I was invited to Sebastian's parents (and cousin) house for lunch yesterday too and had some traditional food and drink - the drink was like a papaya smoothie. Don't worry, yes Mum, I took a bottle of wine. His parents don't speak much English so Sebastian spent the whole time translating ... But they were really nice and very helpful about Colombia. I think they were a bit concerned for me and just wanted to make sure I was aware of all the possible things that could go wrong- and then how to deal with it. For example, they want me to check my travel insurance covers private hospitals instead of public ones - because the public system is a disaster. (Mum, does it?)
I also went to Usasquen and La Hacienda with Sissi this week. She showed me the area which has some history in Colombia. We had a beer and then some savory crepes. We then say in the park and she helped me with my poster to privately advertise English.. But I left at approximately 3pm because she can't drive her car after 3pm every second day. Bogota's answer to congestion?
Transport: I have taken more busetas (public transport) than most of the people I have met. It's about 80 cents to go anywhere in the city. The downside, they're crowded and disgusting. Yesterday I was squished against about 8 people ... Including a screaming clown performing a routine with his screaming idiot friend at the front of the bus. You think I should pay you money for screaming in my ear and sweating on me? You ARE a clown
Weather: Today was the first day it rained (hence the umbrella). But the weather has been really pleasant. 10-20 degrees everyday- as I expected. This is probably why I shouldn't wear thongs and shorts, but I would still be comfortable doing that. I was also informed not to because I would stand out like a foreign target... And because people dress respectably here. In this elitist society, shorts and thongs do not belong!
I have almost been gone 3 weeks week, but I am still a long way from feeling 'comfortable'. I think it's all dependent on finding a good full time job. I can't sit around in a city of 8million twiddling my thumbs. Or I get can a job selling my story on the buseta? Thoughts?
Imma go n get ready 4 me English student now. I hope I do good but. I need a job ay.