Colombia, 3 Weeks In

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***

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***

There isn’t enough room in Florida, so Saint James and I head south to further escape the wrath of winter that is already distressing most of the United States.

Just like when I jumped on a plane to China, nearly the entire Delta flight bound for Bogota is full of Colombians. This is a unique experience to have, especially as a white male, the feeling of being a minority. I believe it’s good that everyone feels this at some point in their life, if only to understand how it feels to be looked at differently.

After getting ripped off for a taxi at the airport, Saint and I settle into the Airbnb. It’s hosted by a woman in her fifties, the downside being we accidentally booked this room thinking we had the whole place to ourselves. Instead, we not only are sharing the apartment with this woman, but Saint and I are also sharing a room… and a bed. Time to get cozy.

This booking is killing my opportunity to have a member of the opposite sex over for a nice home-cooked dinner, but it also presents an opportunity to practice Spanish every day.

You might be wondering: why did we set our coordinates for Colombia?

Earlier this year I was talking with my buddy Jeremy about going somewhere where the currency is in our favor, a return to an economy similar to that of countries in Asia (minus South Korea and Japan).

“Bro, we could rent a house and fill it with hookers,” he told me.

The prospect sounded enticing but coming to Colombia is more about conserving the little money I have and making it work for me. Typically, people talk about making their money work for them when they’re discussing investing in assets that will one day offer ROIs.

I thought I’d take the notion a step further. Being poor in America is no fun, but being lower-middle-class in Colombia is enjoyable. It’s similar to when I lived in China and was making $2,200/month. You might think $2,200 is not a lot of money, and you’d be right, if you live in America.

But in China that money pays for rent, eating out every night, six vacations, and a lump sum deposit into the savings account.

To see where I went, check out my Instagram

The downside to being someone willing to travel is that I am not building for my financial future. At 27 though, I don’t care. I figure life has to be lived. I’m not guaranteed anything but the present, and this motivates me to keep moving, to see as much as I can see before global warming is considered real and everyone is placed on flight restrictions.

That’s a little about why I’m here; but let me tell you what’s happened.

***

I always wanted to buy a bottle in a club, just to appease my tin foil ego. Saint and I are out at a club in rural Bogota, the only two white people in a club filled with attractive women.

The drinks menu has an array of options, but only a few of them are available. As the server stands over me with a flashlight, it’s time to go full boar pig.

Aceptas tarjeta de credito?” I ask, needing to know if the establishment accepts credit cards.

Si, senor,” he says.

I order a bottle of Absolut and he comes back with a bottle of raspberry vodka. I look dumbfounded at the bottle because never in my life have I ordered raspberry vodka. It’s no Grey Goose, but after I splash a little Gatorade inside my cup, the vodka is potable.

“This is fucking disgusting,” the Saint tells me after a few sips.

I shrug my shoulders. The bottle gets passed around and I’ve just bought the affection of people whose names I don’t know. Doing so offers an empty feeling, their smiles and adulation only present because I’ve lessened their financial burden.

Saint James is later mixing it up with a few Colombian women, his Captain America look and defined chest muscles that are squeezed into a medium sized T-shirt a huge hit with the females. He dances like a robot, but he’s certainly deriving pleasure from the women grabbing his waist to show him how to properly move his hips.

A bit later in the night, one of the women in our group asks me if I want in on a bottle of aguardiente. Sources say it contains between 29-60% alcohol, which is sort of like the person who wrote the article saying between 2-10% of rape accusations turn out to be false. Needless to say, there is some room for interpretation here.

“Sure,” I tell the woman when she says my portion is only veinte mil pesos, or roughly $7 USD.

As the group dances until the early morning hours and proceeds to move on to a different club, I’ve had about eight of these shots. I don’t know why. I had every intention of getting drunk tonight, but at this rate I’m going to end up on my knees clutching a toilet that hasn’t been cleaned in weeks.

Getting older means I rarely get drunk anymore, the comforts of my blankets much more appealing than an evening that extends into the early morning. Even writing that sounds lame because I used to do anything for the bright lights of a discoteca, but now I’m partial to Netflix and NO chill.

This is a likely consequence of overdoing it earlier in my twenties, when turning down a good time was as sacrilegious as using profanity at my mother’s dinner table.

Being an old man has its perks. I now prefer the simplicity of a goodnight kiss with a woman instead of taking her back to my apartment and then having to answer a million questions both internally and externally about what it all meant.

It’s about 3 A.M. now and Saint is chatting up a redhead whose eyes cannot stop from gazing into his. Rumor has it she has a boyfriend, but that’s a story for another time. Uber is useless so seven people pile into a five-seater taxi. The driver is none too distressed, unlike in America where if you pull this stunt the driver makes a YouTube video about you.

Cien mil ($34 USD),” the driver says to me around 5 A.M. when we pull up to my apartment complex.

Cien mil?” I question, having never paid more than 40 mil ($13 USD) for a ride.

Si,” he says, and for one of the few times in my life being white has been detrimental.

This is what I asked for when I decided earlier that day to get hammered and subject my stomach to the wraths of aguardiente. I look at the driver, having drooled on my shirt during the brief nap on the ride home. An expression forms on my face. I don’t give a damn. We out here.

***

After 48 hours of leaving the window open for people to follow my blog and comment on their favorite blog post, it is with a tinge of sadness that I inform you no one participated in the contest.

Whether through poor marketing or a downtrodden social standing, unfortunately I am not able to announce a winner.

I could probably go into why this promotion was such a failure, but there isn’t much to say. After sitting on the idea for a week, it seemed like a good strategy. Looking back, the execution and timing seemed to be there, but the results were not.

It’s all good. Life goes on, and I’ll catch you in the next post!

***

Interested in buying or selling a home? RE/MAX agent James Eason can help with all your real estate needs.

Get in touch with him today by clicking on this link!

 

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