Well let’s start a bit with my flight: it was long, although it took only 10, 5 instead of the announced 11, 5 hours, and it was exhausting. Anyway I got here with many thoughts to my beloved ones, who I had to leave behind. But nevertheless I try to distract myself as good as I can …so first thing to do is to learn Spanish! Although the Colombians have the reputation to speak a really good and clear Spanish, I can’t really follow them. So far I’m happy to get at least the context. Sometimes this is really easy…for example in the taxi: the taxi driver asked me something and I just gave him the directions to my home and said. Straight, right, left…and here we are, thanks. Not so much of an effort, but still. “Mühsam ernährt sich das Eichhörnchen”.
Moreover the city and its people is more interesting….and of course really difficult to describe. In my view its crazy, different, strange, cold and dirty but at the same moment it has such warmth and such generosity, that I’m just overwhelmed. Today we went in a bus to a big shopping center in the south of Bogota. The bus was full of people – a Colombian guy compared it with “sausages in glass” – but still there was a woman with her child, who was sitting on the ground and having the deepest sleep I’ve probably ever seen so far. It looked really peaceful.
The other amazing thing is the traffic here – it seems to have no rules! Why do I need to change into the right lane if I wanna turn right, I just do so…so he turns right, the other steps into his break and let him pass by. No one seems angry with each other…they take care on each other and just do what they want. As I said, I’m not yet able to understand or describe this kind of equivalence better. But it is something which got my attention.
And so far everyone was really, really nice to me. They offer their help and try the best to comfort me. But though everyone seems to be nice, there are many guards, policemen or military on the road or in public place. I think that’s normal here, so that everyone can feel more secure. It could be a dominating picture now because of the Fifa world cup 2011 (U20), which began on the 29th of July.
More impressions: At the airport they offered us straight away a tourist map and the same happened in the city. It’s really nice. One of my tutors told me, that Colombia suffers a lot from its bad reputation to be dangerous and unsafe, although it’s really improving. But because of the bad reputation he thinks that everyone who is coming to visit Colombia is brave. But still he asks the same old question (everyone asked me that) why Colombia? And of course it is not that easy to answer.
One reason which I just found out: The people hear loves their tradition, their music, their way of life and they don’t like rules…they just do what they think is the right way to do and they just call it “the Colombian way of life”. Moreover they are mostly hearing their own music and really live and love it. I only can tell now from my first impression but it is still amazing for me. So I’m curious to see, hear and learn more about that unknown country.