A Nut House

Medellin Travel Blog

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Botero - lady on top.

For the past week I have hung out in the City of Medellin, a place once the principal headquarters for Colombia´s cocaine cartels and home to Pablo Escobar, who was taken out of this world back in 1993.  It rains every day here, but I really dig this city, thus the reason for the long stay.  Part of it is the cooler temps, public transport and laid back vibe, but I´ve also found a great place to land for the week.  The hostel I´m staying in is a house in a chill neighborhood outside of the city center, and it is full of a host of characters who are all just a little off center.  There´s the guy from the states named Broadfoot who makes his own shoes and mopes around since his lady love left; the English bloke, a recovering alcoholic that wears his emotions on his sleeve who wants to save all the potheads here; the former Peace Corp.

One of his reclining figures.
gal who is one of the potheads and doesn´t want to be saved; the Swiss guy who speaks four languages, including Espanol, who cracks a beer daily at 10 and sucks on Cuban cigars by nightfall; the Japanese guy who speaks no other language, thus we know very little about him; the Korean mother/daughter team who make smelly food each night; the English guy who spends his days on the computer and goes out at night to work on finding his Colombian wife; and the myriad people who come and go on a daily basis.  I´m not sure where I fit it in all this, but the point is, I feel like I fit in here. 

But what of Medellin…it´s a large city flowing through a valley.  It has the country´s first metro system and a great one at that.  They even have two cable cars that take you up to different parts of the city with great views across.

The famous hand nearby an amazing church.
  There are plenty of churches and museums for those who can´t get enough, and lots more Botero, who hails from this city.  A group of us have been venturing out to check out this place, which has made life easy for me given the fluency of some.  However, there is nothing terribly exciting to report.  We´ve had some great days and long nights.  I find I´ve taken few pictures despite the length of my stay, but I´ve just really enjoyed my company.  I do feel bad though because I´m with people who are fluent in Spanish, so I haven´t gained much ground in learning it myself.  I find the people are super friendly if you do engage them in conversation in their local tongue, but on my own I invariably find myself being confronted about not being able to speak Spanish and bungling my way through a little just to deflect looks of disapproval. 

I must break away and get moving, however. Tonight I set off with my Spanish-speaking Swiss friend to Popayan on my way to Ecuador, but first I will partake of the free barbecue at the hostel and bid farewell to my favorite clan of Medellin nuts.      

sdbleve says:
I have been reading your blogs and have enjoyed every single one. Your comments about the locals frowning down upon you when you dont speak spanish is one of those things that make you say hmmmm.... I live in San Diego, working for a local Police Department. It is frustrating when we have callers that dont speak english...and you can here the "attitude" in their voice when they realize you dont speak spanish. Hmmmm....can you say role reversal? Maybe the US has just become to P.C. about helping everybody....

Enjoy the rest of your journey around the world.
Posted on: May 23, 2008
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Botero - lady on top.
Botero - lady on top.
One of his reclining figures.
One of his reclining figures.
The famous hand nearby an amazing …
The famous hand nearby an amazing…
This guy is a little small wouldn…
This guy is a little small wouldn…
His usual horse near a fountain
His usual horse near a fountain
These aren´t Botero but it is an …
These aren´t Botero but it is an…
The cable cars take you out over v…
The cable cars take you out over …
Children love to pose for pictures.
Children love to pose for pictures.
Adorable
Adorable
School children near the playgroun…
School children near the playgrou…
These boys were out taking their y…
These boys were out taking their …
Playing football in the street.
Playing football in the street.
The buildings are very colorful.
The buildings are very colorful.
This mangy mut enjoyed some of our…
This mangy mut enjoyed some of ou…
My Swiss friend enjoying a mean dr…
My Swiss friend enjoying a mean d…
At Pablo´s grave outside the city.
At Pablo´s grave outside the city.
Picture through the window of our …
Picture through the window of our…
I wish this wasn´t blurry but I t…
I wish this wasn´t blurry but I …
The inevitable daily storm making …
The inevitable daily storm making…
Medellin
photo by: caliphil007