Party bus in Medellin: I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect to have this much fun on a party bus. In the process of learning how to let go, it’s becoming easier to enjoy myself in environments which wouldn’t typically suit me. Would I rather have an intimate dinner and share conversation and laughs? Yes. But that doesn’t mean I can’t still enjoy myself in a party environment.
Over the last week I’ve really had to come face to face with the fact that I’m too often trying to be somewhere that I’m not. Thinking about the next thing was preventing me from being with this, whatever this is. I wrote about a song lyric that hit me hard in one of my recent posts, and this reminds me of another one: “He was always a thousand miles away while still standing in front of your face.”
It’s another striking set of words to ring through my ears, because I too often find myself as that guy. I can be somewhere physically, but my essence has left. I’m too busy thinking about something a thousand miles away to be immersed in what stands in front of me. Then I wonder why sometimes people don’t remember me until I realize I haven’t said anything for 45 minutes because I just went to Neptune and back in my bustling brain.
So, instead of thinking about some place I’d rather be, I allowed myself to just be right there on that party bus and it turned out to be one of my favorite moments. About 25 or 30 of us hopped on this hog of a vehicle which departed at 12:30 in the morning, a rare time for an excursion to begin. Colombia is full of atypical excursions, and that’s one of the many things I love about it. The strobe lights were a bit disorienting at first and I wondered how long it would be before somebody threw up but we somehow seemed to dodge that bullet entirely. The bus trucked its way up to one of the many beautiful viewpoints in Medellin and we got out to take in the scene. Vendors were waiting with waters, Coca colas, and cigarettes. If there’s an opportunity to sell you something in Colombia, people will find it.
The bus then carried on, as a short Colombian woman came around with a tub of alcohol and squirted it into our mouths. You could try and say no but your best bet would have been to hide if you wanted to dodge the incoming spout of Aguardiente, Colombia’s favorite cheap choice of booze. Things got a little freaky (in the fun way) on the bus, as one would expect. Some germs were certainly exchanged before the second stop at a local night club.
I danced my titties off as the night rolled on and by the end of it I no longer had titties to speak of. They were stolen by a small Korean man who popped out of a bottle of vodka. He ran off yelling “fuck a yoooouuuu white boy!” Everyone laughed and danced and then broke out into song and performed the entire Hamilton play in Spanish. What a crazy night.
Okay, fine. Nothing in the last paragraph actually happened but it was still a hell of a night. The party bus got back to the hostel at 4 in the morning and most of us were too jazzed to go to bed. It’s not uncommon to see a Colombian on a Saturday or Sunday and have them tell you they stayed up until 8 in the morning. We went to a party in the jungle a couple weeks ago and it specifically said it ended at 8 o clock in the morning. Viva Colombia!
Colors of Colombia: Colombia has so much personality you can’t help but create more for yourself. It’s a surprisingly progressive place and nobody seems to care about anyone being gay or trans or whatever they want to be. It’s a place where you can be your wildest and truest self. It still has its drawbacks and flaws. It’s a religious country but morals seem to be an option rather than a rule. A man at the café told me “they’ll steal the color out your eyes here.” He’s not wrong. You have to be on alert because if you make yourself a target you’re going to get robbed.
We met a pair of girls who bought new phones just in case they got robbed because they heard so many stories of people getting theirs swiped. It’s a bit of a bold strategy but I get it. I bought a money belt that I conceal my phone in when I go out and try not to use it in certain areas. There are certain precautions you can take like only bringing cash when walking around town and sticking with a group. It can be a bit exhausting and it’s certainly not my favorite part about Colombia but it helps me appreciate the safety we often take for granted in the States.
A couple of dudes at the hostel told us a story about some guys in Guatemala who were quite perturbed by them in the street and shot a gun into the sidewalk and it ricocheted and hit one of the dudes in the shoulder. I don’t know what they did to rub the Guatemalans the wrong way but I’m sure it could have been handled better than shooting the sidewalk.
There’s a cathedral in Colombia that was originally designed by a Belgian architect and half of it is painted a certain way and then it was handed over to the Colombians to finish and they were just like “nah” so the other half is painted solid rather than the pattern of the Belgian half. And that’s the ethos of Colombia. It’s the ultimate “fuck it, I’m out” country. A guy in the food court today dropped a couple of plates that shattered everywhere and instead of helping clean up or saying sorry he literally just ran away.
I like hanging out at food courts or malls here because you see a lot of everyday people and families. Often times I’m the only white person there so people are curious where I’m from and why I’m there. In the tourist areas they’ll ask you “where you from?” because they want to act like your friend and then sell you something, often times drugs. In the more everyday Colombian places they ask where you’re from because they’re genuinely curious. People aren’t very different wherever you go. Most of us are just trying to get by.
The Shirtless Dentist: We met this dude from Miami who was a little older than the typical backpacker and kept talking about his divorce, neither of which are relevant details to this story but I’m mentioning them anyway. He had tattoos and looked like he did meth even though I don’t think he does meth. That’s just what he looked like. He looked like a guy who does meth. One time one of my ex girlfriends accidentally did meth and I met a guy the other day who also accidentally did meth. Whoopsie!
Anyways, this guy may or may not have done meth before but he did have to get a filling for one of his teeth. Because of the meth, perhaps? Hmm I may be leaning in a different direction now with this meth thing.
So there’s this guy from Miami who most certainly did meth and he needed a filling for his tooth. He walked around in Santa Marta (which isn’t exactly the most affluent Colombian city, to put it lightly) and found a dentist, which is a guy just sitting behind a door with no shirt on. Miami guy walks in and the “dentist” is very rough and tumble but says he can do the job. Miami guy says “fuck it” because it’s Colombia and that’s what you do here.
He decides to also take his shirt off while the dentist smacks him in the arm here and there and gives Miami McMeth a tooth filling. The dentist was very happy about the whole situation and they took a picture together with their shirts off. Viva Colombia.
The inside out shirt: So I have this shirt that no matter what I do, it always ends up inside out. I swear it was inside out this morning and I flipped it back to the proper way while folding it only to realize it was still inside out. I wore it all day yesterday and came home at night, looked in the mirror and realized my shirt was inside out. The same thing happened last time I wore the shirt. That time, I specifically remember noticing it was inside out and switching it, only to come home and realize it was still inside out. It only happens with this specific shirt and I don’t know what kind of sorcery has been summoned upon it, but if someone really did curse my shirt to forever be inside out then I would love to meet them because honestly that’s hilarious.
Antibabypillen: I learned from some German friends that a Plan B pill in Germany is called an antibabypillen, which is one of the best things I’ve ever been told by anyone ever. Much better than I love you. Viva Germany?
Make a one-time donation
Make a monthly donation
Make a yearly donation
Choose an amount
Or enter a custom amount
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly