Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Reminiscing about the “motherland”

For the first time in four years my family will not be traveling to Colombia over the holidays. I’m feeling a little upset about that since I will be missing many things:
  • Screaming at the TV while watching soccer club along with my futbol-crazed cousins.
  • Being able to enjoy a taxi ride in what can be described as a golf cart with windows but for a small fraction of the cost compared to NYC.
  • Heading to the corrientazos and savoring a hearty meal along with everyday people.
  • Eating at El Corral and Crepes & Waffles with the not-so-everyday people.
  • Holiday shopping at San Victorino in lieu of the ultramodern new shopping malls.
  • Reading El Tiempo as a tangible newspaper rather than straining my eyesight reading online.
  • Playing cards with aunts and cousins straight through the evening (and winning!)
  • Partying into the New Year but not before everyone gets blessed by grandmother at midnight.
  • Watching the sunrise on New Year’s Day after dancing and drinking far more than one should.
  • Visiting my family which lives in different neighborhoods around Bogota instead of being stuck around a hotel in the more affluent northern part of the city.
  • Trying my hand at sapo and tejo after taking a delightful swim in the pool at Murca.
  • Getting up at the crack of dawn to eat breakfast, whether it is the complimentary one at the hotel or the one made with lots of love by my grandmother.
  • Arguing over which team is more “cursed” - Millonarios or Red Bull New York.
  • Quarreling over domestic politics such as the best way to handle the hostages kidnapped by guerillas or how corrupt the Uribe administration really is.
  • Regaling cousins with descriptions of South Park episodes that have not aired over there.
  • Not freezing my assiduous self off in NYC by sweating profusely in La Palma or getting drenched by the latest rainfall in Bogota.
  • Watching Citytv, Señal Colombia, and the CM& news while making fun off some of the sappy holiday adverts, Jorge Baron, and dubbed Hollywood films.
  • Trying to convince others that reggaeton and rancheras are not the only types of “good” music by making them listen to Los Amigos Invisibles, the Pixies, TV on The Radio, and Airiel.
  • More than anything listed above, being surrounded by loving family members who are appreciative and unbelievably nice.

Not everything there is paradise and there are certainly some things I miss when I was over there. (i.e. not using my motorized wheelchair, not having Internet at all). Yet as I gradually realize that I will not be spending the holidays there I have become increasingly appreciative of the Colombian people, customs, and culture. It will be difficult to cope not being there this year though I have faith that by this time next year I’ll have my bags packed and will be ready to travel!


Gina Homolka said...

Hi, I happened upon your blog because I was looking for the correct spelling for huevos pericos for my recipe blog. I liked your article about motherland. My mom is from Bogota and I have visited Colombia at least 10 times. I love Colombia and miss it terrible, thanks for taking me back. There is nothing like it!

Erwin C. said...

Thanks for your comment!

I hope to write more about Colombia in the near future so please don't hesitate to stop by again!