Life in Colombia (Querida Ta)

 

“So, for real, when are you coming back (to Canada)?”

“Okay, I think you’ve had enough time to get back on your feet. What’s your next step?”

“What’s after Colombia? Have you decided? Where are you going?”

All the when, where, what. Two months ago, it was a lot of why’s. However, as of now, I only have clear answers for all the questions asked awhile ago.


Querida Ta,

You’ve been here for awhile now. You are doing what people called “taking time off.” But do you really feel that way?

Life is so different yet the same.

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Bogotá La Candelaria

The first evening at the airport, you saw a face you hadn’t seen for a long while, and you felt like everything would be okay. Then it hit you, he is also a stranger, a warm-hearted person who could take you around and show you the rope. First day, he took you everywhere to get things sorted; you were overwhelmed. All your brain cells and your broken soul screamed: WHAT DOES HE WANT? So you fenced up. You decided to be polite and distant. It was difficult, since he seems really trustworthy, and he’s your emergency contact for everything. Two days later, you met his family in a pouring rain. You were drained, because you could barely understand anything or pretend to be part of the conversations. His family are all very nice, overwhelmingly welcoming. They took you to their home and showed you around, they said you could go into the bedrooms and look. And then they showed you the guest bedroom, telling you, we’d like you to stay with us, so we could make sure you are safe and sound in the city. All of a sudden, you felt protected. You never thought you’d need a home, but you do.

That moment, you also realized that David would be the link between you and the rest of the city. Thanks to the fall of Babel Tower, you are a useless soul who doesn’t speak Spanish. You met more friends of his. All very bright and nice people. Pubs and bars are supposed to be your place, but not here. You couldn’t get anything when they conversed in Spanish, and poor David would have to trasnlate for you. You felt bad for dragging him. And that was when you started doubting, is this the right space? One of his friends told you, “You two would really get to know each other.” God knew that two weeks later, that same friend told you, “don’t trust anyone else, except David.” Both times you took him as a drunk, while you couldn’t help but be alert.

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Everything is strange yet strangely familiar. You started crossing the streets like a local, or what your friends call, “someone who’s ready to die.” They don’t know that’s the way you crossed the street to go to primary school every morning. You enjoy the rush of adrenaline, when things are still in control. Every single creepy man stares at you, and some even say things. You pretend to be deaf, so no one gets to you. You want to pretend that you don’t speak the language, but the cold truth is, you don’t. You are a foreigner, an Asian, a tall girl who looks lost, an outsider who doesn’t understand whatever is going on. You started questioning everything, and yet, you didn’t want it to show. You couldn’t go to your friends and tell them that you were lost. So you cried, in your Spanish class. You let it out: The real reason you are in Colombia.

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Usaquen

You were tired, distracted, and extremely lost. You were torn inside because you miss your family, after living in a cozy family vibe; you mistakenly liked a guy who you were not supposed to date, since he’s your bridge to everything. Most importantly, you realized that he was only being friendly, because long time ago you offered him food. Doesn’t this sound like Hunger Games, where Peeta gave Katniss bread. You still couldn’t figure out a way to communicate with him, but it doesn’t matter anymore. This is not the reason you came here.

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So your new friends gave you some idea: why not start dating? You didn’t get why you couldn’t be the odd one on dinner tables, but you said, sure why not. They helped connect you with a model, and then get on blind dates with people you actually already knew. And for some reason, it just doesn’t work out for you. in the meantime, the guy you actually like is on Bumble and meeting other girls. Fork it, that’s no the reason you came here, either.

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Envy Rooftop Bar in Medellín

You travelled a bit, but getting away doesn’t make your existing feelings go away. Medellín is breathtaking, its beauty is in its resilience. Despite what has happened to the city, it stands still and tall, showing its best to the rest of the world. You met some amazing people, went on a few dates, and went out every night. Everything was unbelievably easier in Medellín than it was in Bogotá. You were challenged to be better at your work, you realized what you cared the most, and you didn’t want to leave.

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Comuna 13 at night

You gained a few pounds coming back, and then you went to a finca coming back with pink eye.. You are living a real adventure! All this time, you were worried about every single bit of your life. You dad started calling with sharp questions, and you are thinking about moving again. Why couldn’t you just settle? You keep asking yourself that question, and there’s no answer whatsoever. You see everyone running in circles, chasing after something non-existent, and you wonder, do you need that as well? Keep thinking, keep swimming. Things might just work out the way they should be one day. As of now, be the best as you can. Stay healthy, hydrated, vigilant.

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Monserrate in Bogotá

“This is one more piece of advice I have for you: don’t get impatient. Even if things are so tangled up you can’t do anything, don’t get desperate or blow a fuse and start yanking on one particular undone. You have to figure it’s going to be a long process and that you’ll work on things slowly, one at a time.”

– Norwegian Wood by Murakami

That’s it for now. Good night Ta-Ta, hasta mañana Bogotá.

 

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