Thursday, April 28, 2005

I love Colombia, but...

I love Colombia, I really do, but I don’t want to live here anymore.

I love the tropical climate, but I could do without the mosquitoes and cockroaches.

I love that the people are friendly and interested in foreigners, but I could do without random comments on the street (today someone just said: “Mrs!” (yes, in English). What the…?).

I love that taxis are so cheap you can take them anywhere, but I could do without the taxi driver conversation, which starts with “Where are you from?” (and then they’ve never heard of New Zealand anyway), goes via “Are you married?” and often ends with “Would you like to go salsa dancing tonight?”.

I love that I can go swimming at lunch time at work for free, but I could do without the sunburn.

I love that the gym at work is free too, but safer equipment would be nice and I could do without the cleavage poster of Pamela Anderson on the wall (I think it’s supposed to be inspirational).

I love that I can look out my office window here and see tropical birds and flowers and lizards and lots of green, but I could do without the half hour plus commute from Cali.

I love the work I get to do here and (mostly) the people I get to work with, but I could really, really do without the work day starting at 7.30am.

I love the cheap rent and quaint houses, but I could do without leaking roofs, windows that don’t close and cold showers.

I love that I’m actually living between two cordilleras of the Andes, but it’s such a shame that it’s too dangerous to go most places in the mountains.

I love the diversity of this country, both natural and cultural, but again there are so many places that it’s difficult to go to, mostly because of the political situation.

I love the fresh tropical fruit juices, but I could do without the arepas and bandeja paisa and just about all Colombian food (I’m sorry, but it really does suck).

I love Aterciopelados and Juanes and other Colombian musicians I’ve discovered since living here, but I could do without vallenatos (think accordions).

I love my friends here. I couldn’t do without them.