Monday, August 27, 2007

Oh, the Comforts of Colombia!

Like anywhere else, if you have money you can have all material possessions and comforts you want in Colombia. So far the language barrier has been the most noticeable difference between living here and the United States. There are, however, a few differences I’d like to briefly mention for my beloved readers:

1) Hace frio. It’s cold. I normally don’t wear or carry a jacket with me in August. In Bogota I’ve had to. Granted I am living 8,661 feet above sea level. But Bogota is north of the equator, so it is summer right now. The locals tell me September through November are warmer months than August as the weather is moderate year-round. They also tell me it’s been abnormally cold this summer.

2) Hace frio adentro tambien. It’s cold inside too. The idea of indoor heating is foreign to Colombians. Many people have air-conditioning, but when it’s cold outside, it’s cold inside. When I asked my friend Luis Carlos where I could buy a heater for my apartment, he told me two girls would do the trick. So far I haven’t taken his advice; I woke up today with the one thin jacket I brought.
There’s nothing like a nice warm shower when it’s cold. When I’ve gone to wash my hands or face, virtually every hot water faucet doesn’t work. Ok, ok, I can live with that. As long as I get a nice warm shower at night, I’m pleased. I’m now staying on the second floor of a hotel rented week by week. (It’s two blocks from my job and fully furnished). My floor only gets hot water in the morning, thus I’ve taken two ice-cold showers as a result.

3) El sanitario. The toilet. So I’m a little cold. Big deal. As long as I have a good toilet, I’m happy. The toilets here look like the ones in the U.S. Don’t be fooled. Like much of the world, you can’t put toilet paper in the toilet. You have to put it in the waste bucket. I first learned this when I was in Habana, Cuba. I saw a sign above the toilet with a stick figure dropping something into the toilet. Above this picture it said: “NO.” I figured it meant don’t throw paper towels or other items into the toilet. Hence, the plumber came to the house where I was staying and fixed it. My bad.

I know I’ve gone on a rant, but I think I deserve it. After all, it’s my birthday.