27 March, 2012

Where dreams come true / Donde los sueños se cumplen

Colombia has everything you could want.

Hot, sandy beaches? Santa Marta.
Snow-capped mountains? La Sierra Nevada (also Santa Marta)
Wild jungles? The Amazon.
Civilisation? The Athens of South America (Bogotá, obviously)
Rocky volcanoes? Quite a few, and active at that.
Grassy flatlands? Los Llanos.
Rivers, lakes, and lagoons? Try the Magdalena, Guatavita (In a meteorite crater! El Dorado!!), or Tota.
Oceans? They have two.
Deserts? La Guajira.
Traditional villages? Santiago, Putumayo.
Modern amenities? Medellin (Rolos don't hate. You don't have trains, and I've already included Bogotá in this list once!)
Festivals? Pick one.
Food? Where to start?
Drink? Learn to say 'Dos por favor,' even when drinking alone (it's that good you'll want a second)
And so on...

Now, quite a lot of that list is unavailable in the UK, but the following things are, and for some reason I never got around to them much while I was over there.

Of course, 'never got around to it much' doesn't literally apply to pubs, but that didn't stop a dear friend from taking me to an Irish pub in my first week in Bogotá.

London, the City of, is one of the world's greatest (= naughty?) financial service centres. How many issues of The Economist did I read while living there? None. How many have I read in Colombia? I'm on my fourth (thanks to an enthusiastic business student).

Growing up under Margaret Thatcher the Milk Snatcher, I should have seen The Iron Lady in January when it was released on home soil. Preparations for coming to Colombia meant I had to wait until last weekend when La Dama de Hierro was released here (thankfully subtitled, not dubbed) before I could get around to it. Definitely worth the wait, and much more emotional now that I'm 8482km away.

Having spent three years in Liverpool for university, one might think I'd had enough of the Beatles. As it happened, those three years were wasted trying to avoid all mention of them. I have now seen the light and have my fingers crossed to see Paul McCartney in concert next month.

Finally, I grew up in a part of London affectionately called Little Korea (officially called New Malden). That would have been the perfect opportunity for a martial arts-obsessed teenager to take up Taekwon-Do, the honourable Korean art of kicking people in the head (elegantly). Instead, my first lesson is tonight. I get sworn in as "a champion of freedom and justice." Wish me luck, I'm afraid my next post will be written from a hospital bed :D

So, Colombia... What else am I going to find here that I've always wanted?

PS - some of those links are, I admit, just google images, however the majority will take you to better descriptions, videos or articles of the things mentioned. Try some!

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