Sunday, March 30, 2008

Chiva! (Big Fat Party Bus)

Uh, that's my translation, not necessarily the literal one. :)

Me with the Chiva

What an adventure last night - we got seats on a Chiva - which is basically a big party bus with a little live 3 or 4 piece band, that drives from bar to bar and lets everyone off to dance for an hour or so and then move on to the next place. We went to 4 bars in one night, and thank they lord they weren't smokey, and two of them were right on the beach!

I Freaking Love This Picture

We also took A LOT of pictures, if you go to my flickr set you can see that I was pretty insanely happy for most of the night. And that's with only one sip of rum, just to see what it tasted like (pretty much like all alcohol tastes to me - like burning! :D ).

Last Time Getting On the Chiva

Part of the deal was, beer on the first stop, rum on the second, little empanada snacks on the third, and at the end of the last stop there was a little dinner of steak, potatoes and salad (I think my ticket was cheaper because I only ate the cheese empanada things)

Final Bar, on the Beach

Yeah, I'm not really ready to go home yet.

Earlier in the day I was standing next to a stand full of traditional Colombian sweets, and G's mom and her cousin were "arguing" about which were the best ones to get for another cousin who is going back to his house in the states, and how much of each, and Vivi (the daughter of the cousin) was buying sweets too and asked me if I wanted anything. I grinned and pointed to the big coconut clusters I had my eye on (and had been ready to buy one myself after the other transactions were finished). G's mom asked why I hadn't asked for one before and Vivi said something about how I was her buddy and gave me a big kiss on the cheek. And I stood there with the sweet taste of coconut on my tongue, feeling welcomed and taken care of, drinking in the tropical colors and trees, listening to the "Negra" (it's not an insult here, it's even a term of endearment. They also call people "Gordo" (fat) affectionately.) packing up the sweets saying things like "Honey, help me out with this. Sister, hold this for me."


Then a little band set up on the corner and started to play, and as their harmonies melted together my full heart spilled over the brim and I almost, almost cried for the sadness of leaving this place, these people in just a few days.

It doesn't seem fair that it's so far away, and that even if I had the money to come here often, that traveling puts such a strain on the planet.

And lest any of you fear of my staying here forever, I'm quite clear that I've been on vacation, and if I DID want to stay long term I'd have to get a job and that would change the dynamic completely. The time off has done me good though. A few people have even commented that it looks like I've lost weight. I don't have a scale, and my clothes don't feel all that different that I notice, but it seems like I've been eating less, so I guess I'll find out when I get home. But it makes sense that it could be something, because an emotional weight has been lifted off my shoulders for these two months, and I haven't been doing the stress eating I used to do in the office. I hope that some of the things I've learned about how to relax and take it easy will stay with me when I go home, because I've been so happy here.

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