Viviendo en Bogotá

Where to start? I’ve been trying to take this fantasyland of a blog in a few different directions the past few posts. Maybe focus on just one situation, specific types of interactions and even putting up a little art. This post was going to be a “Hikes of Bogotá” type thing, but some of the hikes ended up being seriously underwhelming so I pulled that plug. W/o another idea we default to the default, which is just a bit of an update on life. After all, the name of the website is my name.

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“So what’s up Hunter?” Great question…but can you raise your hand next time? I am still living in Bogotá (hint hint, title translated) and really haven’t been happier in quite a long time. Since I haven’t had a post about Bogotá since coming, let’s you and I start from the top.

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Renewing a tourist visa in Colombia – 2015

Let’s talk visas. After 90 glorious days in Colombia I thought why not 90 more? Here, 180 calendar days a year is what someone is allowed without obtaining a work visa or well, getting married, which I don’t think is going to happen in the next few months.

There’s a lot of great blogs online about the process which I combed and combed over as I prepared/super dreaded my trip into the main office in the capital city of Bogotá. However, in the end it was reeeeally easy and a little bit different than what I read so I thought I would make a little update.

I haven't had any headaches around Latin America getting these, but some sure do...

I haven’t had any headaches around Latin America getting these, but some sure do…

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Til there was you…

One of my favorite Beatles’ songs from when I was a kid…and it was a cover by them too! recorded in my lovely bedroom in Bogotá, Colombia and if you listen closely one can even hear Camilo washing dishes in the background…

The tune was written by Meredith Wilson for the musical The Music Man back in 1957 and appeared on the Beatles’ album Meet the Beatles released in the US in 1964.

Thanks to old friends Mark and Eric of Snare and Chair, who, are excitedly making new music these days!

Thanks for listening!

Actually speaking Spanish

This is how I imagine things go when I try and speak Spanish, based on the bizarre looks/borderline hostile body language I get back. We’ll do it all in English just to get the joke across.

Welcome all! Cue the curtains. And turn off your damn phone.

Scene 1: with character, Me and character, Citizen hoping to be left aloneI will be Me.

Me: Excuse me sir, how are you today?

Citizen hoping to be left alone: only nods, already wishing I would leave him alone.

M: You know what I can take bus for the is street 59?

Chtbla: scrunches face slowly for a 15 full seconds. What?

M: Ah, I must say it differently and more slowly. Sorry. Flash a smile. Which you know bus I can drink for street 59?

Chtbla: My request ever-so-slowly sinks in. Maybe a full minute has passed, hard to say. YessiryoucangrabthebusthatsaysSINAandtakeittostreet35thentaketheotherwithstreet190onthefronttostreet59…

M: I caught none of that. I hate my life. Possibly you can say this little bit a slower? Thank you.

Chtbla: Character now visibly doesn’t like me and his demeanor seems to imply a request to leave this country and never return. Yes, I said, you…can…take thebusthatsaysSINAandtakeittostreet35thentaketheotherwithstreet190onthefronttostreet59…

M: Quick, act like like you understand so you don’t look dumb in front of this total stranger! Flash an even bigger smile! Ah perfect, much thank you sir, great day you have, yes?

Chtbla: Briefly shows the fakest smile to ever grace the Western Hemisphere and walks off, his dislike for gringos amplified by a minimum of 7-10%. Or that’s how it seems to me. 

Cue the curtains. Start sweeping up the popcorn. This is more or less my experience almost every time I speak to a stranger.

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Los Llanos

Last weekend I ventured outside of Bogotá for the first time since moving here, out over the mountains to Los Llanos, which translates to “The Plains”If you gander at a map of this area of the world you will notice Colombia is split by mountains and to the south-east we have a huge area of vast space. This flat space continues east across the entire continent through Colombia, into Venezuela, then Guyana, Suriname and then to the Atlantic. This area of the Andes is a neat line so once you’re into the foot of the mountain chain, you can see nothing but space. A lot like where Colorado City is situated for The Rockies, which brings back a memory or two.

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Keep in mind that Colombia has among the highest diversity of plants in the world. This is almost totally attributed to elevation, and lots of it in the small place. The foot of the Andes were Los Llanos begins is a great place to see some of that change. Check out that flower from space!

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