After a week of basically watching the World Cup during every waking minutes in NYC with DT, Amanda, and Mary, I’ve finally arrived in Bogotá! In what would appear to be a good omen to start my journey, I somehow was able to maneuver my way into first class for the flight from JFK to Bogotá. Wow! First class is just ridiculous. Calling it a luxury would be an understatement. Some of the benefits included a welcome glass of fine champagne (not Cooks or Andre unfortunately), a 5-course meal, moist towelettes to clean your hands both before and after meals, seats that reclined almost horizontally, an open bar, and my choice of any new release film to watch on my own personal screen. Unfortunately, my flight was at midnight so I didn’t get to fully max out my benefits.
Arrived in Bogotá at 4am and groggily made it to my hostal by 6am. Caught a few hours of shuteye and was up by 9am to watch more fútbol. Do I sense a trend? Probably. Had to track down a few small locks since my combination locks were too big for the hostal’s lockers. I panicked for a few minutes, but was finally able to track down a couple locks at a local hardware store. That put my mind back at ease. When did I become such a Nervous Nelly? In an attempt to be more productive, I went to the Botero Museum which includes all things chubby (people, animals, fruits, etc.). The Chubby Mona Lisa and Jesus Christ were some of the highlights.
My first day in Colombia made me quickly realize that I am VERY rusty with my Spanish skills. I guess 3 years of virtually no Spanish will tend to do that. I’m still able to get around just fine, but I need to step my game up if I want to be a productive volunteer-math teacher in a few months. Watching the World Cup with other backpackers probably isn’t the best way to get my skills back… but it sure is a lot of fun.