Holy Week Part 2

For my last bit of Holy Week time off I went with my friend Josh to the biggest climbing area around these parts – La Mojarra. Neither of us has climbing equipment here, but we were able to tag along with some friends and I made it halfway up a 5.10a. We spent the rest of the day relaxing at the Refugio La Roca hostel and playing some Rummikub. On Sunday we went to one of my favorite spots – the farmer’s market in La Mesa. I love it so much because it is a veritable food paradise. We enjoyed some macadamia nut ice cream, arepas de chocolo [sweet corn], curuba juice [banana passionfruit], pan de yuca and strawberries with cream. While we were sitting around snacking a Colombian friend taught us two sayings that I found amusing.

Son como uña y mugre. They’re like a fingernail and dirt. This saying refers to two people who are inseparable, like a fingernail and the dirt that gets under it.

“You left me like a potato without ketchup…like a fingernail without dirt…and you’re the dirt!”

Coca-cola mata tinto. Coca-cola kills coffee. This refers to when somebody leaves one thing for something better, they leave coffee for coca-cola. Although it’s not the case with me, it’s supposed to refer to the fact that most people would rather drink coca-cola than coffee. For example a person goes out with a group of friends, but then runs into another friend and ditches their original group of friends. The person’s abandoned friends would say “Coca cola mata tinto!”




Mini-Aventura in Charalá

Right now I’m in the middle of a ten-day vacation thanks to Holy Week. My friend Monica and I wanted to travel somewhere, so in true Colombian fashion we met at the bus terminal on Tuesday afternoon with no destination in mind and about $50 in our pockets. Her friend Juan Diego came along as well and the three of us hopped a bus for San Gil.

A tantalizing display of treats in the bus terminal waiting room.

Tempted by a tantalizing display of treats in the bus terminal waiting room.

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Daily Life

As I begin to realize that my days in Bucaramanga are numbered I’ve been taking extra joy in the more mundane details of daily life that are uniquely Colombian. My favorite weekly chore is going to the plaza downtown to buy my groceries. The plaza is a giant four-story building full of fruit, veggies, fresh eggs, restaurants, grocery store items, nuts, spices – anything you could need!! There’s even a witchy section on the top floor where they sell incense, crystals, candles, dried herbs, tarot cards and the like. The first floor is devoted almost exclusively to vegetables and the second floor is home to fruits. As you walk down the aisles there is an overwhelming array of produce in an eye-pleasing variety of colors. Continue reading