The inocentes arrive after a long journey

2 Jul

We arrive in Medellín on June 29th at 2:00PM, about an hour later than scheduled. Our journey began at LAX at 10PM the previous day, where we slept fitfully on a red eye to glamorous Fort Lauderdale International. After a four hour layover in the terminal—during which we slept fitfully—we got on our plane to Medellín with a decidedly more energetic and chatty crowd of folks. When we de-boarded and headed over to customs, it was pretty clear we weren’t in the US anymore when a woman sitting in front of us (let’s call her “Mother Paisa”) noticed that another woman was travelling alone with a four-day-old newborn. Immediately, Mother Paisa told her daughter to help carry the new mother’s things, and Mother Paisa shuffled the new mother through customs, bringing her to the next available customs official (cutting everyone in line), and holding the newborn while the new mother got her things in order, and holding her again when the new mother was trying to find her things in baggage claim. Mother Paisa was loving holding the new baby, and was showing her off to the people in line who were waiting. Admittedly, in the US—at least in a place like Boston—this kind of attention from a stranger might be a warning sign that she is a baby snatcher, or people would have been more up in arms that someone was cutting in line (customs: a forgotten circle of Dante’s Inferno?). But this random act of kindness from a stranger was quite sweet, and I think it illustrates—or I hope it illustrates—the kind of people that we’ll be interacting with during our time here. Although, without a newborn to endear us to others immediately, we gots to work on our Spanish!

We were greeted at the airport by our friend Jota, who was enthused to see us and was a sight for our tired eyes. We took a scenic, 45 minute cab ride on a highway that took us over the Andes and into the heart of the city. There are no pictures from this cab ride as it was scenic (read: twisty), and I was pretty sure I was going to puke and I don’t know how to say “excuse me sir, can you pick an exit?” in Spanish…yet.

We slept for about three hours when we got back to our apartment, which is an apartment of Tamera and Jota’s friend who is in Europe at the moment. It’s spacious and in the wonderful neighborhood of Carlos E. Restrepo, next to the University. Camilo (owner of apartment) also owns an aula nearby (spacious classroom/office space/art studio for he and his architect friends to work in peace) as well as an open-air bar next to the aula. We will certainly be spending time at each. After we awoke from our nap, we dressed and went out to dinner with Tamera, Jota and Suzanne (an fellow Emersonian) and had plates of MEAT and french fries. It took me about one minute after getting our food for me to try my first chicharrón. I’m going to get so fat, here.

In other exciting living news, we have an apartment for when Camilo returns! We will be on the 18th floor of a newly renovated building. It has two bedrooms, a swimming pool, a gym and is in a great area. Tamera’s family is visiting and staying in the apartment during the month of July, so we will likely move at the beginning of August. Until then, we are in Carlos E., loving life.

Fun facts:

  • Colombia operates on EST, but not EDT. Currently, we are only two hours ahead of PDT, and 1 hour behind EDT. Think of us as “Central Time”, for now.
  • The movie rental place next to our apartment has lots of new releases, and not just new releases on video, new releases in the theater, too! We’re told that there are a lot of Russian subtitles. This may mean that the Cold War still exists, but instead of a nuclear threat, it’s more about undercutting the movie biz with piracy.
  • The woman who cleans and cooks for our apartment, Gloria, left before we had a chance to wake up and meet her. She left us arepas and eggs cooked with tomatoes and onions for breakfast. A gal could get used to this.
  • My Skype username is: nina.anthony. I think it still lists my hometown as Boston or Cambridge, which I’ll have to change as soon as I get internet.

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