14 August, 2012

Things I'm grateful for this week

I gave in completely to the Olympics last week, and watched as much as I could in every spare moment I had, this was helped by the gymnastics (I'm convinced that they were all bitten by radioactive spiders as children) and the Taekwon-Do matches that I'd been waiting to see. (Hurrah for gold!) This week I was so happy to see Team GB doing well, and even happier to see the Colombians get a record breaking 8 medals (one gold, three silver and four bronze) - there are posters of the eight champions in al of the shopping centres, newspapers, magazines... Everywhere! Well done! I was happiest to see the end of the Olympics though - not because it's over but because it ended so well. That was an amazing concert :D (and for Christmas I want one of the Spice Girls' taxis please - best car ever after the Batmobile)

A little closer to (my temporary-ish) home, I owe plenty of gratitude to the kind strangers of Bogotá. In one day I managed to get on the wrong bus four times! Twice! (that's a total of 8 wrong buses...) Apparently 'straight down the Boyaca' does not mean 'straight down all of the Boyaca,' instead it means 'straight down the Boyaca until two blocks after I get on, then it goes West.' Oh, right... Similarly just because 'CAN' is written on the bus, doesn't mean that it will actually travel past CAN (unless I'm totally wrong about what CAN is. Quite likely.) Thankfully I have yet to find someone on a bus who doesn't enthusiastically give directions and advice on travelling in Bogotá in general. I've just got to learn to take advantage of this before I go through the turnstile and pay! 

Finally, although this is something I could say every week, I'm really glad I have internet access. This week it's helped me to reconnect to some lost acquaintances, get some extra classes to teach, and given me the inspiration and information I need to get some important (but boring) things sorted out. Thank you Britain for inventing the web (hey - it was in the opening ceremony for the Olympics - it must be true, right?)

Have a good week guys, there's only three days left until the weekend!

A random photo of the 'Summer Festival' in Simon Bolivar Park. This was taken just before the wind picked up, the sky filled with thousands (possibly literally) of kites, and my battery ran out, so I went to get barbecue instead of taking more pictures. I regret nothing ;)

06 August, 2012

It's the little things / Las cosas pequeñas

Most of the things I've written about here (or are planning to write about) are not Bogotá-based events - trips to the countryside, holidays in other countries, etc. 'My life in Bogotá' has become 'my life' faster than I'd expected. This is good (obviously) as I feel at home here, but I don't want to forget that I am, essentially, on holiday :D I also don't want anyone who's reading this outside Bogotá to miss out on the everyday pleasures of living here, or for me to forget what I get up to when I'm not having 'big adventures.' So, I've decided to post every week on the things that have made me happy. They may be specifically related to Bogotá, or they may just be cool things in general. They may even be completely forgotten about by the time next week comes along and it's time for another post :D

As everyone is talking about the Olympics, let's start there. One of the reasons I'm in Bogotá is to escape the Olympic madness that was predicted to descend on London this summer: the crowds, the transport problems, the even-more-expensive-than-usual prices, a shameful opening ceremony... I'd been planning to leave London during the Olympics since the games were first announced! Actually, it's not that bad! The opening ceremony was sweet, lovely, nostalgic, and just 'nice' in the way that I think only the English do so well. I'm so grateful that they didn't try to outdo the showiness of Beijing. Apparently the crowds in London aren't that bad either (everyone's probably escaped, as I have, or inside watching the games on TV) but I'm still glad I'm not there at the moment. Here I'm relatively unique, and one of the few Londoners available to be interrogated about asked whether we really do stop everything to drink tea at 5 o'clock, and if everyone is as tall as I am (I tell them I'm considered short in my country, heh heh). In London, I'd just be one of many, and all the foreigners would be able to see for themselves that actually we stop for a coffee break nowadays, and not just at 5pm.

So, although I'm glad I'm not in London right now, I'm even happier that I can still stay in touch with everyone over there. For the first time since Christmas I got to 'go' to a family reunion at my grandparents' house - travelling via Skype. I was sure I'd cry but in the end I was just so happy to see the majority of my family together, be able to listen in to my cousins fighting, hi-five my brother, and catch up on all the gossip that I completely forgot to be sad or nostalgic (I also forgot to wish my uncle a happy birthday, despite that being the reason for the party - sorry!). It was just lovely to 'be' there (although why did you all have to eat cake in front of me? Come on Skype, I want a cake/tea and biscuit transporter released in time for my birthday!). As much as I'm enjoying my time over here, I'm really glad that we are able to keep in touch. 

I've already put this on Facebook, but it's the best photo I've taken in 6 months, so I'm putting it here too:
My family: love you guys