*continues singing Shakira* Oh baby, when you talk like that, I want, a piece of pizzaaaa...
Guys, I'm in COLOMBIA! Jumping continents quicker than the Sugarhill Gang. Honestly, I had low expectations. (I think I do for every city.) Bogota wasn't exactly on the top of my list (but Colombia was, because I'm silly and thought I knew a bunch of stuff about Colombia) But maaaan oh MAN. I LOVE IT HERE. For starters, my apartment is the bees knees. It's by far the nicest one I've had on Remote Year. In South America? That was unexpected. I've got an amazing kitchen complete with actual cooking utensils and...wait for it...
a remote controlled fire place. With actual fire. (not pictured above, but it's to the left of the couch.)
Bogota has been so great and has felt so completely normal. I do have to say, Mexico played a hefty food game. I probably gained a few pounds but there was no way I wasn't going to stuff 14 tacos in my face and then pay for it later. Bogota's food game? Ehhhh. Which is waaaaay better for me and my waistline currently, because now I can eat spinach and eggs every day and both save money and lose some weight. I've also been working out pretty hard in my apartment given that it's ambiance is that of an Equinox gym back home. I seriously could stay in it 24/7. It feels like a place I'd have back in Dallas. I'm cooking a ton, working out a ton, working a TON...feels like home.
The first weekend and week of a new city is always exciting. And while, yes, I'm currently being uber healthy (sorta), it started with Sunday Funday, as one's first weekend in a new city should. We arrived to Bogota on Saturday night and were ordered to get home, get dressed, and get to the club. Seriously. And while the last thing anyone was thinking after a 4 hour flight was, "let's rage", plenty of us did. This week I:
- obviously, went to the club. El Fabuloso was a name that I could get behind. After quickly rinsing the airplane smell off myself, we grabbed an illegal uber (yeah, apparently it's illegal here but we were still told to take it, so...that's a thing.) and went onward. We got in immediately and went straight to an elevator the size of a large SUV. This thing felt like a house. It was also covered in mirrors.
- moseyed up to the 6th floor into TOTAL CHAOS. I also have no photos of this because it was so packed and we were doing so much, but several bottles of Aguardiente were introduced to us this night, and for that, we are thankful/hate ourselves. What is aguardiente, you ask?
Via Wikipedia, Aguardiente is a generic term for alcoholic beverages that contain between 29% and 60% alcohol by volume. The word is a compound of the Romance languages' words for "water" and "fiery", similarly to the English term "firewater". FIREWATER, YOU GUYS. This stuff goes by the BOTTLE, not the shot. And there are no shot glasses. There's just your mouth. Under the spout. All night long. And you'll soon find out that our first meeting with it would definitely not be the last. Colombians love this shit.
- woke up the next morning, post-shower, looking for a hairdryer. Mine tuckered out in Mexico, so I was scouring the apartment to see if we might've gotten lucky. My roommate, Erica, wasn't in her room and her door was open, so I assumed she was responsible and went for a morning run or something as I laid a bit helpless in my bed all morning. My bathroom is in my room, but hers is in the hallway, so I opened the door to check under her sink for said hairdryer. Instead, I found a sleepy Erica under a blanket. On the floor. WHAAA? Poor thing. She got sick and instead of going back and forth to the bathroom, she just decided to settle in on the tiled floor next to the toilet. :( Just another raw, real, part of Remote Year - we all get sick. Kind of a lot. And it's not fun. But Erica handled it like a trooper and even asked me to snap a pic - she posted a great blog about it. Read it here!
- ventured out for our first Sunday Funday. The first Sunday of the month typically involves brunch and day drinking. We got really lucky with some great weather, had brunch at this awesome spot, and wandered around Usaquen, a super artsy and hoppin' neighborhood north of the city. Note: if you want a great brunch, go here.
- wandered around the neighborhood, found Bogota Beer Company (which we assumed was a great tiny craft beer place but we have now come to know that it is indeed the largest chain in the city with a billion locations everywhere. But, it does have decent beer, so whatever.)
- wandered even more into this amazing burger restaurant for dinner in which we had possibly one of the best burgers of my life. THERE'S CHEESE IN THE PATTIES SMOKED INTO IT. IT WAS INSANE. Also, Anu ordered wings and we found out that any time finger foods are ordered, gloves are given out. (As Jenna also found out on her first order of fried food at BBC).
- actually headed home early from Sunday Funday to prepare us for the insanity that is "going out almost every week night because this is Colombia".
- woke up and went to the workspace, Work&Go 95 (there are two this month) in which this adorable lady offered me this weird fruit that I ate. Mmmm, weird fruit.
- worked a bunch on the 7-Day Startup, a model that Jenna and I decided to follow (along with a group of remotes from a bunch of different groups) on starting a company. We officially launched and you should check us out if you need any digital advertising!
- Had our welcome event, complete with dancers from Carnaval. Here's a screen shot from a not so great video I took, but I was busy dancing!
- attended Gringo Tuesdays, in which a bunch of Gringos (non-Colombians) get together and dance like a bunch of white people. There's a language exchange beforehand that I didn't make, but plenty of Agurdiente was consumed and a lot of dancing to artists like "The Spice Girls" happened. I'm not complaining.
- got ramen with my roomie, Erica, and then went to the grocery store where we learned an important fact:
Colombia loves bagged items. EVERYTHING is in a bag! *thinks about how she'll spill water down herself after buying bagged water*
- discovered our rooftop (which I have yet to use because it rains all the freakin' time...but it's nice to know it's there, just in case.)
- went to, yet, ANOTHER club because apparently I'm a clubber in Colombia. This one is called Campinero, and a bunch of us went and danced all night. There are 5 clubs in this one, and us being dumb, stayed in the same one the whole night. Oh well!
- woke up the next morning and did some work. Met Sami at a Mexican restaurant because we were both desperately craving tacos...ended up at Chili's because we're horrible people who go to Chili's in Colombia.
- attended a pub crawl with a ton of remotes, which was super fun! Also, we drank out of a beer bong because one of the bars had an Octopus looking one and six of us were keen on making our college past times a reality once again.
- chilled out the next day until it was time to explore. A few of us agreed to go bowling and a FEW of us bailed. So Sami and I, the only left, ended up at this bar called Divine Baby Jesus, and, well, it was just that. We killed a bottle of Aguardiente because Jesus would've wanted it that way.
- went to DISNEY KARAOKE with the group which was entirely too much fun.
- woke up early the next morning (somehow) for a very WET scavenger hunt. A ton of us met up with locals and did the Septima Challenge, soaking wet, in the rain. We got second place and I was way too disappointed. But that's okay, because I still scored a hat as a prize from someone on the winning team who didn't want one. (Thanks, Mikko!) There are more photos somewhere but I didn't take them and I can't seem to locate them. Eh.
- ended up at an Irish bar afterwards to celebrate. Also, while we were there, we played this ridiculous game called Slack Jaw where things got a little...weird. You start off back to back and have to turn around and dance with the person with a super loose jaw and no smiling or laughing - all while making direct eye contact the whole time. Needless to say (or needed?) people took clothing off to win.
- went to a Colombian restaurant where we all ended up eating lunch and they refused to give me a side of tomato juice to make my own Michelada. (Serious Mexico withdrawals, clearly.)
- headed home for an early night in bed with my amazing Smart TV and Netflix. Little did I know it'd be a ridiculously busy month in every aspect...but the comfiest bed I've had so far and sweetest TV setup (er, only TV) have really made Bogota feel like home. *rewatches Friends for the 15th time*
aaaand wow now I'm super behind on my blog again guys, sorry. It's been a busy month and it's almost over! I'll catch up the next couple weeks, but until then, here's my favorite gif of the week:
Coming up! A new business, a lot of matchmaking, more aguardiente, and freaking out at the amount of travel plans I have in May. Eep!
Professional writer, designer, and do-it-aller. Remote Year citizen/alum. Currently living in San Francisco and probably trying to avoid the terrifying amounts of pigeons.