I have wanted to blog about Bogota for a while, but the problem is, I don´t know what to say about the city. Our time here has been more defined by the people we have met than the city itself, which makes it a different experience to write about. I thought that my days of hanging out with other hostel people was sort of over, but apparently it´s not. Each night we find ourselves back in the common area drinking and playing cards and talking about all sorts of things. It is a real community here, albeit a transient one. But when you are in Colombia, you realize that the backpackers trail is limited and you will end up seeing these people again and again because, well, I really don´t think there are that many people traveling in Colombia. However, the ones that are here are extremely interesting and we find ourselves liking pretty much everyone that we meet and this never happens! We´ll go to dinner with a couple of people, to lunch with some others. In fact, we have had only one or two meals with just the two of us since we got here. Not that I am complaining, but it hasn´t given me the time to feel the city like I have in the past. The other roadblock is that it is so huge. I know we will leave here today after one week, having not seen even 2 percent of the city. It´s overwhelming.
What I can say about my time here… I didn´t think I was scared to go to Colombia. Even with all the warnings that had come right before we left Seattle, I thought I was fine. But while we were packing for the final time in Miami, I started to get really nervous. At the airport, I can actually say that I thought for a second about not getting on the plane. Short story short, when we landed in Bogota, I was once again pissed at myself for buying into any of it. The airport was modern and efficient and friendly and when we got into the cab without a hitch and he drove us into the city, I did start to cry a little. It was so beautiful and full of life. For 15 years, every Sunday, one of the major roads is closed to car traffic and opened up to bikes and pedestrians. There were families and friends out together using the public space and I thought about how silly it would have been not to get on the plane, how if I hadn´t we would have never seen such a wonderful event.
Later that night, as Mike has said, we came upon a crowd of probably 10,000 people in the street and it struck me as special because it was for no other reason than to be out together and celebrate the lights and the time of year. Since then, we have seen that it happens pretty much every night, which makes it even cooler. It is quite the experience to be in Bogota leading up to Christmas becasue they decorate with so many lights and trees and everything is beautiful at night.