We are here in Colombia! I have a huge new understanding of what it’s like trying to navigate life in a different culture. Other places that we have visited have had many English speakers or at least, English signs. Here we are in deep waters. My Spanish from high school is just fine if I need to ask something simple. It’s when people start talking back that I have an issue.
On our flight here, we had a lay over in Mexico City. We visited a tiny little restaurant tucked in a corner. We managed to read the menu and order from our waitress, but then it got a little tricky. I asked for a side of only guacamole, a request that she happily agreed to. But then she spoke rapid fire Spanish and completely clueless, we smiled and said “si, si”. They began bringing platters of food to crowd our little table, and then even more. I’m fairly certain that we didn’t mean to order roasted onions in a balsamic glaze or the giant fried cheese curl that was placed in front of Chloe. So we did our darndest to stuff plow through the entire menu of food that was placed before us. Then we shoveled everything that was left in front of Aidan.
Our translator showed little faith in our street smarts when we asked to be dropped off for the day in the downtown square. I kid you not, these were her instructions: Don’t talk to anyone, if someone wants tries to engage you-leave, and if you’re being followed or feel uncomfortable at any time-duck into the nearest shop. Then she left our newly paranoid selves alone in Simon Bolivar Square with the hope that we would survive long enough to be picked up. It took me about an hour before I loosened the iron grip on the strap to my camera bag and untwisted the handle from my arm. (My thought was that if they tried to run off with the bag, they would have to take my arm as well.)
We had a lovely time in a beautiful 500 year old city. She did raise her eyebrows at the photos I showed her (not the most kosher area) and chided us thoroughly for showing our passports (but he had a big gun!)-No. no. Esther, you are only supposed to take a copy of your passport out. Our excuse that he was a guard in front of the President’s house seemed to be a flimsy excuse.
More Photos to come when I am able to download off of my camera. Adios for now.