yes, i could keep moaning on here about all the things that wind me up about this country im in, and probably piss off every Colombian whilst doing so, but every once in a while something happens here that really makes me laugh so i thought id share that too! Its not all bad……
Yesterday i began my 2 hour bus journey to work, bored stiff as my headphones broke so i was staring aimlessly out of the bus window (you never know what weird and wonderful things you might see on the streets of Bogota)
So on gets a guy in a suit, clean and smart with a nice watch, therfore probably not going to try selling something, or playing any weird music for a few coins. PHEW coz those people always make me feel sad and like i have to give them money. He pays his fare and sits next to me. FINE.
10 minutes after sitting there, he gets up turns around and starts welcoming all his happy colombian family on this beautiful day. He was one of those can make anybody smile types. So he starts asking how people are, making jokes that had the whole bus engaged and laughing and blessing each of them. Scared to get picked on, because im a wimp and i also dont want the whole bus to know im not Colombian, i instantly closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep, a regualr trick for me!
He was selling something afterall, medical books, how to use natural remidies to cure various diseases etc, something i like to call witchdoctory here. if you have a cold, its ok, just drink a plant infusion, if you have mosquito bites use pure alcohol with talc to make a paste and rub it on the affected area, if you have high cholesterol keep eating animal fat and bones because its a standard colombian diet, but drink a ginger and tomatoe infusion and youll be reducing your cholesterol, hahahahahahah. i still think its ridiculous bu hey some of them seem to work.
But then things get embarassing. During his game of having people answer questions correctly about the body “what is the longest bone in the hand?” “what is the function of the kidney?” etc, i open my eyes. He sees me and thats when my humiliation starts…………
He leans into me and says “ohhhhh you have “ojos claritos” (clear / blue eyes). I reply “si señor” and look away, but thats not enough.
He invites me (literally pulls me up) to standing position and tells me to turn around so the whole bus can see, and then asks the entire bus to applaud if they think my eyes are beautiful! Everyone was clapping and i went bright red. So then he embrasses me further by asking everyone to clap for the embarassed gringa!
He at least gave me his medical book for 1,000 COP (about 40p) instead of 3,000 COP, something i shall be giving to my mother in law! although i wasnt going to buy the book but ended up doing so, maybe i underestimated his talents as a salesman!
Just when i thought my day couldnt get any funnier, a young guy got on about half an hour later, maybe about 20 years old, and starts rapping for money. Something really clever they do here is adhoc their rap about the people on the bus. obviously kinda tricky to do without stopping bearing in mind people get on and off and yet they keep up with the flow.
He starts with the lady infront of me being on her phone, then starts rapping about my eyes being so blue and pretty. (this must be the only thing i have going for me here!)
With that the people who were still on the bus from the earlier embarassment start clapping again and whistling! WENT RED AGAIN!
I know i moan alot about the things i dont like in Bogota, but days like that really make me smile and laugh.
As funny as it was, im hoping to get new earphones and “be asleep” for further journeys, I just dont like sticking out however flattering it might be!