chip wiegand

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Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.

-- Mark Twain

In Barranquilla

Monday, 3 June 2013

I know I should have posted here a few days ago but haven´t had a very good time with internet cafe´s and the computers in them. I don´t have my computer here, as it was going to be shipped ocean freight with some other stuff, including my sax, but that wasn´t possible. Then I checked in to shipping air freight but that was prhibitively expensive (between $6000 and $7000). So I have no computer yet and am relying on internet cafe´s.

So, be that as it may, I made the trip to Colombia just fine. It was a long flight, with 3 layovers, but I am here and settled in a hotel on the south side of the city. On my flight I met a Colombian man who was in Houston on business and he recommeded a certain hotel in the city, which I was at the first two nights, but it was 144COP per night, too much. That is about $75 per night. That was the biggest hotel room I´ve ever been in, and also the most sparsely furnished. I then found a lower priced hotel in the south, one of my contacts has a sister who works here. This one costs 44COP per night (about $23). Much better. It is a very small hotel room, the smalled I´ve ever been in. The AC unit makes it feel like being in a frig so I just turn it off. And it turns out the owner of the hotel also has some apartments here so my friends sister will ask if they have any apartment available. I hope so.

The city is so alive here. You go out and the streets are full of people walking everywhere, the open front stores have PA speakers and blast out music, the park was absolutely packed all day long and at night had league basketball games going, performers, and two kids areas, plus food venders. And this is nothing special, just a regular day. Everywhere I have walked to so far is just alive, compared to the very much more quiet-subdued lifestyle of us in America.

My friend, Yamile, and I had dinner the other night. Well, I had dinner and she just drank lemonada (lemonaide) because she had already eaten earlier. Then we walked around the area and a mall, and just sat outside the hotel and talked. Her English is not great, but we can at least figure out what we are saying.

Today I have to find a phone plug-in adapter to charge my phone. And there is a shop nearby that sells used electronics, I think it is like a pawn shop. Anyway, he has an HP notebook computer he is asking 340.000 COP ($178), I am going to offer him 300.000 COP ($157). Oh, btw, COP means Colombian Peso. I just have to figure out how to get money from my Wells Fargo ATM card to cash. Supposedly I can do it at certain major banks. I will find out tomorrow.

The weather here is warm and humid, but not as humid as when I visited Ft Lauderdale some years back. Generally it is between 70% and 80% humidity here (according to weather web sites). The temps generally around 90. So for me it is not bad. It did rain a bit the first night here, but not since. They say rainy season is coming soon.

Some of the Colombian Spanish is different from Mexican Spanish. I know a little Mexican Spanish and have found that most if it is not quite right here. Oh well, I get it all figured out yet.

OK, so I have been at this internet cafe for about an hour now so I am going to sign off. It costs about $1 per hour, actually a bit less. Not much but I have to watch my money, it´s not endless.

So - so far, so good. I will keep this site updated.

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