Well, I worked yesterday and I´m at work again today…and generally I can´t figure out exactly what´s going on until about an hour in due to the language barrier. Lucky for me, yesterday I was immediately whisked away to a stadium that was full of people (and children) watching scantily clad dancing women and dancing little people (I´m sorry I still don´t know the politically correct term). So you can imagine my confusion peaked quite early in the morning yesterday. From everything I gathered on my own I was guessing it was some type of peace rally…and I was actually pretty darn close. It was a peace celebration for the police, the governor, and the city because they had just signed a peace agreement. There was also one police officer who took the chance to serenade his captive audience…for a little too long. I mean it´s the damn police celebration, we can`t boo you off the stage, sir. However, that did not stop my co-worker from shouting “NOOOO!!!” when he kept asking, another? another?
Everytime I get into the car with my co-workers it´s always like a little surprise about where we´ll end up and what I´ll have to do…I might have to address the nation on Colombian television, or just watch some random police celebration…and thank goodness we only had to watch, because I´m really not sure where I would have fit into all of that craziness.
I am pretty sure I completely forgot to tell this story even though it happened last week. I have previously mentioned how the driving here is absolute chaos…because of the craziness I thought “I will inevitably be in a car that hits someone, or that gets hit, before I leave.” So the next day I climbed unsuspectingly into a cab with Andre, Santiago, Jason, and our unusually angsty taxi driver, when not 15 minutes into the ride we were rear ended by another taxi going down a hill. This gave our taxi driver license to storm out of the car and unleash his pre-teen angst on the other driver (I´m lying, he was probably like 30). Where Santiago, who was sitting in the front seat, proceeded to break the meter, as I think he was checking the time or to see if the meter was still running. Luckily, he inconspicuosly was able to shove it back into it´s slot, so our taxista did not notice! phew.
I think the safest form of ground transportation is probably the bus…not because the bus drivers drive safer BY ANY MEANS (I think some of the bus drivers think they are driving really tiny cars as they weave in and out of traffic, floor it, and then come to screeching halts for the speed bumps that they knew were there for the past 200 feet), I think busses are safer purely based on mass. If a bus were to get hit it´s a big hunk of metal that whoever´s got to get through before they get to you…and if you strategically or luckily choose your seat, the perpetrator will most likely take out some fellow riders before you…fingers crossed!
Today on my bus ride to work, as another bus pulled up next to us at a stoplight the drivers started shouting back and forth to each other. The other driver yelled, “Hey, you`re driving a mona,” then both proceeded to stare at me until the light turned green. Mona means monkey…and I don´t know why they use that word, but I´ve been told people here use it for people with blond hair and lighter skin, and supposedly it´s not mean.
On the other hand, I went to the gym with Catalina 2 days ago, and the trainer didn´t realize I was a gringa for about 2 minutes, 2 minutes during which I spoke. But eventually my confused looks got the best of me and he said: “Eres una gringa?” and I had to say yes, haha. Here, I have been told that some people use gringo only for people from the United States, and other use gringo for ALL outsiders, even people from other Latin American countries. Either way, I´m a gringa through and through…but hopefully soon I can lose some of my gringa accent!