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.


[Read more…]

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.


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!

[Read more…]

Medellín at a glance…

I got a little feedback from a few of you looking for slightly more frequent yet shorter posts, which is an idea I can get behind. I used to stress a bit about nice fat posts with “lots of interesting photos and stuff”. Why not just one city at a time my friend Cheryl said? Great idea! Also I’ve gotten a sizeable number of complaints since building this fine piece of real estate that the whole talking and working our way backwards was a bit confusing. That’s fine too, I can make a small concession for my readers (but small, this isn’t going to become a habit or anything).

Passion fruits (maracaya en Español, un regalo para tí) are huge here.

Passion fruits (¡maracuyá en español, un regalo para tí!) are huge here.

[Read more…]

long time coming

A lot has happened since you and I last spoke. I still have all four limbs intact and I hope the same can be said for you. I’ve crossed six borders in a from-hell 24-hour bus ride, 800k with a Brit who owned a Bug and then finally a lovely ferry that brought me into the great unknowns of South America.

At the previous dispatch I was straight-chilling at the lovely Lake Atitlan in Guatemala and had just engaged in what would be a one of the best Couchsurfing probably anyone ever has gotten in on. Looking back, sifting through the fog those memories live in, maybe a whole year has slipped past! Closer to reality, I would say about 5 weeks. If I was a little more organized (which will be my epitaph when I pass no doubt) and got these out in a timely manner, this could just read in regular chronological order. I’m not, duh, so we’re going to move from the now, BACK TO THE FUTURE!!! (sorry…) Anyway, now take me by the hand…


A drawing…

I’ve been doing a few little drawings for the little guy I have all over my site and am just going to start posting them…any ideas for future ideas most welcome. I think I may create a few different characters but I’ve been drawing that one guy for so long it seems kind of intimidating to get into something else, which of course means I have to do it, no?



Also also, this is inspired by a pretty famous painting and maybe if you look at it long enough it will come to you. Did you come up with it??? Write it below and I’ll do a drawing of you!