One weekend I went with my new friends to Tocaima. It was a “Goodbye-Party” because one of them is heading to Italy to study there for 2 years. We all went with Bus to the place. Normally it takes 3hours, but because the traffic was really bad, we only arrived 5hours later. But during the busride I really enjoyed the view. It was really interesting and I wanted to leave the bus every few minutes to take some pictures, but of course this wasn’t possible. Instead one woman tried to earn some money during the ride. She introduced us to her singing skills. Her personality was kind of impressive but not her singing talent, so I didn’t pay for that entertainment. Moreover we lost a lot of altitude. I think the “finca”, village and other words, is only a few hundred meters high. So the climate change was immense.
When we finally got to our hostel, the first thing we did was to change clothes 😉 It was really, really hot and humid. So after lunch we just spent the day in the swimming pool and afterwards we walked to the village Tociama, which is really sweet :). Some impressions of the day:
Afterwards we celebrated in our hostel….drinking & dancing until night time. At 3am there was a really heavy storm so that we didn’t have any electricity in the morning. In the morning it was a bit colder but that changed really fast when the sun was out fully. A friend and me we walked for a little while after the breakfast. Very strange: soup for with potatoes and meat for breakfast. But that is really in common in this kind of villages. Moreover, besides the soup, it had scrambled eggs, hot chocolate and some pan. Except of the soup it was really good. But back to our walk on the side of the main street….loads of people were out, enjoyed the sun, had beer or were just sitting there ;). We tried some fruits of the trees and enjoyed the warm weather. But after a while, we only wanted to get in the pool ;). Really sticky the climate outside Bogotá and it has obviously a lot more insects…but it was a enjoyable trip and I really looking forward to my time at the coast, the Caribbean 🙂 .
Daily life in Bogotá…it starts and ends easy but between there are something which are a bit annoying and strange for me. So let’s start with the university. The university ( Escuela colombiana de ingenieria Julio Garavito) not only has a too long name, but it also not really is a university in the German sense. It feels like school for me. In the university there are three exams during the semester, moreover homework, “entregas” and of course control of homework in form of tests/quiz. Moreover the physical presence in the classes is important as well. All in all it makes university kind of difficult, but not the level of education, it’s more all in all. But of course it is not a bad university, it is just a different way of education and of course it is useful for the Colombians students because they are so young. Many of them start their studies with the age of 16. Probably in this age some persons need the daily pressure, the daily push and discipline. But one big advantage of this system is that it offers a much personal contact to the teacher/professor. The classes aren’t allowed to be bigger than 30 students in one class. When you compare this to German schools, it actually makes you wonder why our classes in school, not university, are bigger than that. 30 students are enough and in this kind of surrounding I have a good opportunity to learn and practice Spanish. The teachers are in general very nice with me, but of course I do have to write the same exams like the other students. But two teachers I don’t really understand, one didn’t want me allow my dictionary during the exams, only after the students in my class complained about this. The other teacher just doesn’t have an interest, if I can follow the lecture or not. I asked him to send me the homework or at least to write it on the board, but no. But besides this it is really great. I met a lot of really nice people and all of them are so nice with me. They support me in everything and take their time to help me with homework or other problems. (Thanks so much for that :)). Moreover I met the professor for German, French and English classes. One time per week I meet with this professor to practice and especially to improve my Spanish. That is really great and helpful! As well, she offered me to come to her office or classes, if I have problems with some homework or other understanding problems. It is such a good feeling to have so many nice persons around one. Well it seems to be that my daily life here only consists of university. But that is not actually true …alright a bit. My university is 45min (with two buses) from my home away. So it is not worth to go home during my courses. Most days I’m free for three hours during midday. One course is at 10am, the other one at 2.30pm…not too bad. I get a lot of possibilities to talk to the students 🙂 . I enjoy it very much. After my last course I practice some sport, which is awesome as well. For these reasons I’m most of my time during the week in the university.
Moreover the infrastructure, especially the Transmilenio, which I have to take every day, is kind of hilarious…
In my first weeks I wanted to be in time in the university and I always had to squeeze in the bus. It was so full, that I really could feel every bone of the other person…If you need human contact very intense you should live in this bus.
Every body part of yours is stuck to another body part of someone else. Actually you can’t fall because they are plenty of people to pollsters your fall around you. And that is not even the worst. On my way back home from university I actually have many problems to exist because these people in the Transmilenio, don’t move a bit. They are just staring at some point which doesn’t exist and ignore everyone and everything around them. So I only have a chance if I just jump into them, crawling, struggling and pushing the people myself…horrible for me. I’m always proud of myself when I’m outside :). So far I’m good…nowadays I realized that in the morning it is better to be late with the school times, because then the Transmilenio is empty and more enjoyable. But unfortunately I couldn’t think about a solution for my returns. Waiting to night time is no solution…There is a life beside university, I would say. All in all I’m happy but many things are different of course…next time I try to make some exciting photos of my adventure trips in Transmilenio. Only one thing to add, the Colombians are really nice, warmhearted and friendly people but as soon as they enter the bus they are just one statue of person. Ignoring everything and not moving…but well, the infrastructure will improve soon. It is really necessary. Bogotá is the only big city without any underground system. But there exists plan and the infrastructure of the Transmilenio is expanding too. Bit by bit the Colombians can be like my friendly Colombians in the public transportations as well. Would be great to see that soon.