My Trip to Colombia (i)

This is a letter to my Spanish teacher Mónica talking about my Colombia trip.

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Hola Monica,

Hope you’re doing great.

Finally I got some time to sit down and write to you about my experience in Colombia. I always make random decisions in my life. For example, I randomly decided to move to the US so I prepared the graduate school application. I randomly decided to have a tattoo when I was traveling in Miami last year, so I randomly walked into a tatoo studio and picked up a random lion graph and randomly put it on my upper left arm. Learning Spanish was also a random decision so I walked into your class, and after I learned something, I randomly chose Colombia as my first South America adventure.

The weather in Bogotá is as cool as San Francisco, which was some ignored information when I packed up a lot of shorts and tank-tops thinking that I would go to a tropical country almost on the equator. The plane touched down on a cool morning and I was shocked when I saw people wear dawn coats. I bet they were also shocked by my tropical outfit… jajaja.. But as a cold-resisting animal born and grown in Inner Mongolia, the ‘fresco’ in Bogota is totally bearable.

My first stop was La Candelaria, a.k.a the old town of Bogota, and I spent the whole day there. There are a lot of ‘ things to do’ in La Candelaria. The Plaza de Bolivar reminds me of the Tiananmen Square in Beijing; huge auditoriums, museums, and authoritarian government center are quite in common, but the difference is that Plaza de Bolivar got a church, and that Tiananmen Square got the memorial hall of Mao Zedong… oh, one more thing, the pigeons! Countless pigeons are living there freely to waiting for corns scattered by the tourists. A pigeon just landed on my head when I was feeding them. Maybe he thought that my well-combed hair was his moving nestle…

The best part for La Candelaria is the Museo de Botero. It really WOWed me! I saw some of Fernando Botero’s works before and thought he’s a painter good at ‘fattening’ up all his predecessors’ masterpieces and makes them his own. I was wrong! All his voluminous works bestow different meanings to what he portraited. He’s definitely the national treasure of Colombia. I spent two hours in the museum.

Saturday night I went out with a friend’s friend to a gay club called Theatron, which is claimed to be the largest gay club in South America. The club again astonished me since I think they’re being modest when they claim it’s the largest in South America; It could be the largest on the planet!! I don’t think there’s another five-storied gay club with more than 10 theme-lounges in any other country. Ceaseless dance music and unlimited free drinks (Yes, with about US$16 cover you drink as much as you can with your cup got at the entrance.)made the night life extremely fun!

Museo de Oro is the 2nd recommended museo in Bogota. Museo Naccional is just so-so… I’ve been thinking if most of the collections were been carried away by Spain during the colonial period. Monserrate the best vista point to overlook the whole city even though it’s so spread-out as LA.

I arrived in Medellin yesterday. Now I’m in the right warm equatorial place. I’ve explored the whole city already today, and I love it more than Bogota. The city is so green, has a lot of nice parks, and it looks more international than Bogota.

Frenando Botero was born in Medellin, and he gave a lot of his imporatant works to the Museo de Antoquia. I spent anther two hours in it. Four hours of my trip is on Botero. lol.

Tomorrow morning I’ll set out to Parque Arvi by cable car. And I will visit Pablo Escobar’s house after that. Then I will spend a whole day in Guatape.

I have to say that I’m so glad that I learned some Spanish, without which I can’t imagine how terrible my trip would be. Most places including the museums don’t have English services, so what I’ve learned really helped a lot!

My random exploration is still continuing. I would love to keep updating with you.

Have a great night!😄

Best,
Stuart

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