I have had this allergic reaction to something on my hands which has turned quite ugly and rather infected. Mostly only the fingers adjacent to the one that I’ll be taking pictures of here in about a month. Rock on.
I just did a weather check and noticed on my first full day back, it should be 100 degrees. Sweeeeet!
Oh and last night, on the way home from seeing Madagascar (cute, but I felt so bad for that starving lion ... lions can't live of SUSHI - COME ON!) the guy dj-ing the car radio halted when he heard Whitney belt out ... Iiiiiif, IIIIIIIIIIIIIII, cooould stay ...
Now, I won't deny that I'm a closet Bodyguard fan. If Dr.J's out working late and my neighbors are away and TNT shows it's version of the movie, I'm the first to make popcorn. And MAYBE I would "not change the radio station" if it came on, but that's a MAYBE, and that's if I'm in that time of the month where I cry every 15 seconds .... MAYBE. But under normal circumstances, I'm with the rest of the world, and it's. been. played. enough. You certainly shouldn't try to sing along when there are other people in the car, Mister. Oh no, you don't sing Whitney in public. No, no, no, no, NO.
As my D-Day approaches I am starting to salivate and long for what lies ahead. Day 1 involves a giant cookies gorged to it's seams with dark chocolate, and then I can probably settle and slow down a bit. My mom and aunt are in top form with invitation making, just about done with the exception of a few stragglers. I so left the country at the perfect time to avoid hand cramps from overuse of calligraphy pens.
It has only recently occurred to me that I've never actually been out of the country this long before. And the odd thing is, that I've missed it much more on my shorter trips. I guess one can really only take so much sightseeing before you need to go to the movies and sleep late, and I've had my fill of sleeping in here. Although, I fear that I'm aging exponentially here since I haven't been able to sleep past 7:00 a.m. even once. Maybe it's all the rice.
I have two Spanish classes remaining, a dentist appointment, a nail appointment (oh by the way, you can get a french manicure on your hands and feet for a grand total of $4 here. yeah, that's $2 for each. and they'll even handpaint a dainty little flower on your big toe and fourth finger for you if you so desire) and a going away party Saturday. Talk about a place that loves an excuse to party. I've been here 7 weeks and I'm having a going away party.
Dad, I'm making a list of Day 1 necessities. Expect an email.
As many of you know, I have a tendency to get eye infections, which tend to worsen with contacts. I have been given a number of prescriptions to help me out, several of which contain precautions that prolonged use “may cause cataracts”. I’m not sure that the wearing of the contacts is the problem, but they definitely encourage and inflame the problems once they start. If I wear my glasses and let my eyes breathe the problems normally work themselves out. The length of time that I have to wear them varies according to how severe I let the problem get before I just wear my glasses.
Obviously the logical answer is that I should just wear my glasses all the time, but simply, I am too vain. I feel frumpy (not to mention sleepy) and underdressed when I wear them, like I’m walking around in pajamas and pretending like I just forgot to get dressed that morning. I salute those of you that have the self-confidence to wear glasses all the time, I don’t have it, and truth be told, I don’t desire it. And I’m not talking about the group that is all cutsie and adorable in glasses with your trendy frames and your thin lenses. I’m talking to the group, like me, that would have been the village idiot 200 years ago, but for the coke bottles they have to wear so you don’t slap up against walls and trip over the edge of carpeting … you know, the lenses that warp the shape of your eye depending on the angle that someone looks at you … those of us with 10+ year old frames because WE can’t afford to continually update our frames and lenses because OUR glasses cost the equivalent of a home theater system.
And right now, I’m having tons of allergy problems and was going through contacts rather quickly … trying to wear newer contacts rather than having to don the frames. Here however, my cheapness has overcome my vanity … that and this time I really don’t want this to escalate to the point that I am caught wearing glasses at my own wedding, so I’ve been wearing my glasses for a couple of weeks and I HATE that in half my vacation photos I look like I was torn from my sheets at the crack of dawn and tossed into a group photo.
And if you are wondering why I don’t have surgery and just have my eyes fixed, send me a check for $4,000 and I’ll consider it.
I'm not elaborating more on the title. That's what happened.
Dr. J's mom has been on a kick to teach me Colombian cooking. There's hardly time to learn to cook here since The Cook is always cooking breakfast or lunch. Anyway, today we are learning Arroz con Coco (which I ate a week or so ago at a friends house ... it was love at first site for me) and Arroz con Leche which is a dessert. Both are delicious. Dr. J shivers with delight every time I learn a dish from here.
More importantly, Dr. J's father got sick on Saturday and had to go to the doctor. Not to worry, he's fine. Nothing two pills a day and an inhaler every couple hours can't cure. Anyway, I did not accompany them to the doctor, and Isabel was working and Victoria was playing at a friend's house. And I. Was. Alone.
I watched a 5-hour Marathon of "24" All. By. Myself.
It has literally been months since I was alone. I even have to sleep with my door open here because of the heat. And my March Parents know how difficult this is for me, what with fire safety and all.
If you are like me and have never watched that show before - DUUUUUUDE! It rocks!
Everything insect like that has the ability to fly here is referred to as a mosca (fly). If you inquire further, you can come across different names such as mosquitoes, fleas, etc. I’m one of those lucky people that is especially susceptible to the mosquito … I get it ... I’m sweet or different and rather delicious … I’m foreign cuisine. I think most gringos here are attacked by mosquitoes, but I really take it to the next level. I get at least four mosquito bites a day, and that’s down from about six or seven a day. Needless to say, my body has been covered by mosquito bites since the day I arrived, no matter how religious I am with the repellent. I think they like it when I use repellent, then they can bite me anyway, leaving their distinctive red swollen marks the size of the U.S. quarter, and snicker at my pathetic efforts to prevent it.
A couple of days ago the unthinkable happened when a mosca bit me on my face. Right there on the high point of my cheek. And I stomped around irritated about it for a day or so until last night when one bit me on the lip.
Isn’t there some sort of unwritten code of agreement that thou mosquito shalt not bite thy prey on thy lip? Or even thy face? It happened while we were watching a movie on TV and luckily it was dark and no one see that the left side of my bottom lip was three times the size of the right. I already stand out enough here without having facial features like botox gone awry.
Of all things to show on TV here, last night the movie Bring It On was showing, and since The Dad had gone to bed, Isabel chose it to watch. I wanted to die of embarrassment; first that my country ever made this movie in the first place, and secondly because I think it’s hilarious. Of course, the only things that are funny about it, you can’t appreciate unless you can relate to it in some way and yeah, I think the language is pretty funny, but of course that’s not translated. They only translate the substance of the story line, of which this particular movie is lacking if you were raised in a country that only watches soccer.
The title here is actually a line in the movie that I had forgotten about until last night (or that one of the main characters is named Missy), at which point I nearly peed on myself trying to hold in my laughter. I was rather relieved that they didn’t translate that line (among others) … I’m not sure it would translate with the same tone.
I’m tempted to tell a few of my 8th grade cheerleading stories … particularly our own lame attempt at a competing (needless to say, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into). I only had one year of cheerleading glory days. I was head cheerleader actually. This distinction only privileged me with being the one that shouted “Ready” before every cheer, I truly have no other abilities required of a cheerleader beyond yelling and smiling. Anyway, I’m not sure our miserable failure of a competition would make for interesting reading … they were OH so much better after I “opted out” for the following year. I’m sure they all breathed a sigh of relief.
This little poo needs a nap. And dear God it has gotten so hot here the past few days. Probably God’s way of acclimating me before I return home.
Yesterday I was overwhelmingly busy and I missed it, but I think that’s been just about the only time. I’ve never before in my life watched Dawson’s Creek and I have no idea what season I’m watching now … perhaps I’ve seen more than one season. Umm … let’s see … Dawson and Joey got together, split up, and got together again, and Andie just moved to … err … Boston? … Pacey was quite sad. Anyway, I really can’t believe that this is part of my daily ritual, but part of my ritual it is. I’ve really been counting my blessings that Dr. J’s family has satellite, there really are some good channels and I’m also more caught up on Lost, CSI, and on the days I have lots of emails to do, I see Gilmore Girls … that one’s for Suze though. Sadly, I still haven’t seen any of the shows that I actually like to watch, and I missed the last two episodes of everything. Mom, please tell me that you still have Scrubs Tivo’d (which reminds me how super it is that I can make just about anything into a verb or an adjective as I see fit)
So I have been here for exactly 5 weeks and have 2 more to go. I’m really enjoying myself and could stay longer, but for the whole I-haven’t-lived-in-the-same-town-as-Dr.-J-for-almost-a-year thing. I’m WAY more rested than I’ve been since … maybe high school. I wake up at 6:30 a.m. every day because, well, actually I have no idea. I guess I’m just done sleeping about that time.
Unrelated to anything: Mom and Dad, please pick me up from the airport with a thermos of unsweetened, freshly brewed, iced tea. (Let’s see if they remember)
Saturday we saw Mr. and Mrs. Smith in the theater. I was surprised it released here the same time as in the US, but it did – yay for me!! Anyway, I’m not sure how GREAT of a movie I think it was, but I did enjoy it. However, 1 hour and 43 minutes spent with Brad in the theater is time well spent. Am I right, ladies, or am I right?
Also, I was thinking. You know how when you look at ancient scribblings on cave walls, papyrus or whatnot the writings look so primitive and basic (this could be just me and no, I haven’t frequented ancient caves, but that’s how imagine them … bear with me) … then I look at Asian lettering and it’s so artistic, creative and detailed. And then our letters are generally nothing more than curved lines and straight lines and combinations there of. So, I wonder if when Asian people, with their aesthetically pleasing letters, look at letters in Romance Languages, if it’s more reminiscent of an archaic pen and wall scribbling … the art of children like me who can produce nothing beyond a stick family, stick trees with circle puff leaves, curly-q-flowers and a circle smiley sun with stick rays.
I want nothing more than a glass of freezing cold water or scalding hot coffee. To leave behind the tepid bowl of soup and burn my tongue on a sip that hadn’t yet cooled. To flee the luke-warm plate of rice and take refuge in the blazing hot arms of a steaming casserole. To sit down for lunch with a chilled salad, complete with a smorgasbord of frost covered raw vegetables. To enjoy a cold beer with friends, at a perfect 32 degrees Fahrenheit, held at such a delicious state by a glass mug that had been kept for hours in a deep freezer. To get a brainfreeze from an overzealous gulp of frapuccino.
That and I really miss having an afternoon of television and an entire bag of Doritos all to myself.
I've had some computer difficulties, but I'm overcoming them. Finally. Truly, this has to be the easiest place in the world to take beautiful pictures. The museo de la caña was a tourist visit this past weekend that I really enjoyed (who doesn't like gnawing on a little fresh sugar cane?)
and a few pictures from a stop above the city while in Bogota ...
Essentially a cup of every type of fruit imaginable, plus shaved ice, lechera (sweet milk), sprinkled with a decorative touch of cinnamon. Fruits included are: mango, papaya, melon, piña, banana, guanabana, maracuya, lulo, mora, apple, mandarin. I could swear there were more but that’s all I can remember right now. Don’t worry parents, I’m definitely taking you there when we are here in August, it’s about a 5-minute drive. If my father actually looks at that picture I can guarantee you that he’s salivating. The man loves his fruit.
When I get to heaven, there will be cholados lining each of my spiral staircases.
I have a friend here that speaks English, of course she’s German and well on her way to knowing a third language, but I am no less proud of my own meager achievements (I actually understood the squawks of a 12-year old whining to her mother last night. I stopped what I was doing, picked up my left hand and patted myself on the back. It was quite the moment). She is a student abroad here for about 6 months and although she wouldn’t admit it right now, things are going well with the guy she moved here for and I think she may not actually be leaving at the end of that 6-month period. Anyway, so we usually catch up for a few minutes after my class every day. It’s a blessing and a curse to have a friend that speaks English, it could really hamper my ability to try and learn Spanish, but since I don’t really see her too often, I’m not inclined to fret over it.
It’s actually completely uncanny how quickly we became friends. We were introduced because we both speak English and within minutes, I knew we would be bosom friends. Dr. J does the same thing over and over, he pretty much only met Colombians in St. Louis until I moved there and has done the same thing in Columbia. People would ask me how he meets Colombians so fast … like it’s a part of Colombian culture, and I always explained that if we lived in a different county and we met someone from our own country, we would do the same thing and it wasn’t limited to Colombians. But I had no idea how easy it is to make those friends and how comforting it is. So I’m thankful for my little friend, she is a kindred spirit indeed.
We don’t really ever do much here but Lord if it doesn’t take all day to do it. And I am dying for a weekend where I don’t spend 6+ hours in the car so we can do ½ and hour to and hour touring something, and eat lunch. I think something similar is in the works for next weekend but I think I’m gonna say that I’m ready to spend a weekend with some friends and maybe hit a bar or a juice stand and swing over and watch Señor y Señora Smith. That would just be awesome right about now.
And does someone know how many people live in the DFW Metroplex? Or Texas? You can’t imagine how often I am asked this question and it is just beyond me to know the answer. I keep thinking I’ll remember to look on the internet, but I never do. The Texas question is new as of today, but it’s catching on like wildfire, believe you me. I also think my English is getting all screwed up, I spent like ½ hour yesterday trying to remember how to politely tell someone you can’t hear what they are saying … eh? Huh? I’m sorry? Beg your pardon? Took me a full 30 minutes to come up with that.
Before I get off the topic of Señor y Señora Smith, do you guys realize that you get RESERVED SEATS AT MOVIE THEATERS HERE?!?! This is such an amazingly wonderful idea and I have no idea why the movies in the US don’t offer it. Can you imagine how many unfilled seats there would be in baseball stadiums if you just sat as you pleased? Oh the inefficiency!! And it never occurs to you to mind if you sit next to a stranger at a basketball game because that’s where his seat is ... However, if the unpleasant duty of sitting immediately adjacent to a stranger in a movie theater is forced upon you, it takes the duration of the trailers and the first few scenes of the movie to relax. Absolutely absurd. And the pressure having to get to the theater 30 minutes or more before the movie starts (depending on how close you are to the release date)?? Gone! You can call in and request/purchase your tickets, request your preferred seating area, and then arrive at the theater shortly before the feature film begins … and voila! You have your reserved seats sandwiched between two sets of unknowns and nobody cares!! (oh yeah, that, and it’s about $4 to see a movie here)
I like a good helping of rice from time to time, but twice a day for three weeks has finally burned me out. Today I was planning on politely decline the rice before it hit the plate, but someone else serves my plate for me here, so before I got to the table I received my healthy lunchtime portion. But I just couldn’t eat it, seriously! I’m burned out! And I felt so guilty about leaving it untouched on my plate that I spent and extra half hour in conversation with Dr. J’s father so I could leave the table last and maybe they wouldn’t notice. I don’t know why I feel so guilty about it. I still feel guilty!! Why else would I be ranting about this on the internet!?
Colombia does one thing fantastic – every time there is a holiday, the move the day off work to the next Friday or Monday. So it is ALWAYS a three-day weekend or in some cases, a four-day weekend. In the three weeks I’ve been here, we’ve had two, three-day weekends. Rock on Colombia.
So in our three day weekend this weekend, we are going to be going to the pool, touristy things, and going to a lake on Monday which I hear is very cold. I haven’t gotten much sun here because I spend all my time in class or running errands … check that, my feet have an AWESOME tan … anyway, so I’m looking forward to a weekend in the sun. I can’t visit the equator for two months and come back my normal pastey self.