Thursday, February 7, 2013

Reflections on Bogota

Or more accurately, this neighborhood in Bogota. (I haven't really seen much else of Bogota.)

I've finally gotten brave enough to take Sara out by myself. Usually we try to walk for about an hour each morning. She's in the stroller and I'm getting all the exercise. I keep thinking I'm adjusting to the altitude but I'm usually huffing and puffing early on in our walk.

We are staying in a rather wealthy part of town. It's the safest place to be and it's where the adoption hotels are. I'm sure my observations would be different in other parts of the city and country.

•You never see a stroller pushed by a mom. Always by a nanny. You can tell because the nannies wear scrubs. I've never seen a nanny out alone with a child. Always a nanny pushing an empty stroller and a mom carrying the baby.

•Anything can get a license plate here. Motorcycles, dirt bikes, four wheelers. Even horses and trailers. They all mix in the traffic with taxis, busses, and cars. It's crazy. (Lima, Peru was worse.)

•People here have no personal space. I think they walk that way because they drive that way. It's not uncommon to have someone's shoes touching the back of yours while you wait in line at a store. They will also shove their shopping basket between your feet while you wait.

•If you go to the grocery store right after breakfast, you will be the only person jn street clothes in there. The maids that are there shopping all wear scrubs. Every job here seems to have a uniform.

•The dogs in this neighborhood are all well bred and trained. (Nothing like the mangy dogs in Baja.). It's not uncommon to see a young man walking 8 to 12 dogs at once. They all walk nicely. It's the weirdest thing.

•All the cars here are small. You almost never see trucks. I've seen people carrying and using wheel barrows down the city streets to transport all kinds of things to construction sites. (There is tons of construction in this neighborhood right now.)

•On Sundays, the major streets close down to cars. There are bikers and roller bladers everywhere. (Most with their dogs.) It's a nice day to take the stroller out. You can walk easily in the smooth road. The sidewalks tend to be a challenge.

•The stores in the mall seem to open whenever they want.

•Just because it says its a Boston donut at Dunkin Donuts does not mean it has Boston cream in it.

I'm sure I will come up with some more things after I post this or tomorrow when we go out.

I think the big difference for me is that I'm not used to being in the nice neighborhoods in foreign countries. (Or in the US for that matter.) When I've traveled, it's almost always been on missions trips. Missions trips don't usually go to this kind of neighborhood. Maybe if I went to the south side of Bogota it would seem more like the Latin America I know from Mexico, Peru and Costa Rica.

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