…continued from Answers I.
Last year I was enjoying life as always, but I wasn’t in love with Bogotá, and things just didn’t feel right. This year I’m happy here.
Last year, hanging out with hitmen and army units for work was depressing. This year, hanging out with smiling Colombians and eccentric expats is great.
Last year, working for a TV network (and a very challenging project) was stressful. This year, well, I start working as a teacher in 3 days, so we’ll see.
Last year, living in a wealthy neighborhood, life was comfy and safe (and had great pricey Asian-fusion food!), but it was bland. This year I’m living in the Candelaria.
The Candelaria is the historic district of Bogotá. Think: Latin American edginess + European cobblestoniness + San Francisco hilliness + San Francisco homelessness + San Francisco funkiness.
I’m digging it. It’s walkable, filled with students and young professionals and travelers, has random activities and art popping up on every corner, and offers me a plethora of food/drink options.
Last year I was bitter at the food options in Bogotá (fried and little flavor).
This year: daily binges of savory Argentinian empanadas, Colombian coffee, Swiss curry pastries, organic garden-grown daily dishes, and meats marinated in tangy sauces made from local fruits like uchuva and lulo.
And it’s cheap.
Like this, for $4.00:
Quinoa salad with Amazon chilis, squash soup, salmon, fresh-squeezed juices from fruits you’ve never heard of, yam, coconut desserts…
I love these streets.
A month ago, I moved back to Colombia.
Why Colombia again? Last year, while spending far too much time with police and criminals and almost dying a few times, I met a lovely girl who I learned I can’t live without. So I’ve come back here to be with her. I realized in the last couple of bizarre, vagabond years of my life that I need to pursue what makes me happy, not what makes me normal.
Is this permanent? Dunno. Could be. Could not. Lu finishes her Masters in a year, and then we’ll make a decision if we want to stay in Bogotá, or give SF or Dublin or Berlin or Seoul or maybe southwest Antarctica a shot. The problem with Lu is that she is as weird and curious and full of wanderlust as me — so it will be a while until we settle into true normality.