To baby powder and fireworks...

... from cocaine and hand guns.

So, Medellin, Colombia is a pretty hot place. Not temperature wise though, the weather is quite perfect all year round from my point of view.

Like I'd mentioned, we found a pretty sweet flat up in the El Poblado barrio of Medellin (if you're in Montreal, think economic scale of Westmount but urban development style of Ville St-Laurent). We've got 2 nice bedrooms (I let David have the master room, since I'm such a caballero and all), 3 (!) bathrooms, and a nice full kitchen, along with a big, shared dining / living room and a couple balconies. It costs not much more than a third of what a place like this could cost in Montreal, I imagine.

After having settled in some, I was able to get (finally) getting some work done, when all of a sudden my laptop stopped charging. Turns out the power supply for this $120 Toshiba Portege overheated, and I spent the next day or so trying to find a place that could help me, finally giving in and paying the $80 to a repair shop for 10 minutes of work in the Monterrey shopping center down by El Poblado metro.

Speaking of the Metro system here, it's fantastic. It's basically just one main line (overground) which goes through the heart of the city, in addition to some new "Metrocables" (funiculars) lines that to up to the hill neighborhoods of Santo Domingo and Aurora. Not for the claustrophobic or people afraid of heights.

One of the first things I did in town was head to a local rock concert (which turned out to not actually happen because of poor planning) in Itagui, which is the 'end of the line' on the metro. I wasn't feeling that good that day either, so maybe it's a good thing that we turned in early and came back to the apt.

I went with David and Eddie to a presentation / session closing on HiperBarrio, which gave me a chance to learn more both about the project and the way that Rising / Global Voices operates.

One of the craziest nights was when we managed to go to the futbol game between Medellin and Bogota (Medellin won). The game itself sucked pretty bad, but the stadium was packed, and the atmosphere was great. We found tickets from a scalper, and had a pretty good view of the game. I found it funny that they had riot police in full SWAT gear with shields held up to protect the opposing teams' players from debris and thrown objects during a free throw or corner kick, but then hey, I like hockey. On the way back things got a little rowdy. It seems that a fun thing to do to party in Colombia is to throw baby powder / powdered milk on strangers, so everyone (including myself) got powdered on our way back up to Parque Lleras for the party, replete with crazy dancing people and sleeping drunk people. Also, like every other night, fireworks are going off left and right... unsettling for my first time in Colombia to hear that all night long.

The next day we headed to Santo Domingo on the metrocable. It's great that they're building these great libraries and metro extensions in barrios that maybe didn't have the same level of service as others, and will probably help these areas grow economically very soon. It's way cool that it's a library, and not, say, a shopping mall, that will be responsible for this growth.

Finally, just a couple days ago David and I went to visit the botanical gardens, which were underwhelming (both the botanical gardens in Laval and Montreal dwarf this one, in comparison). The nearby Parque de los Deseos proved to be a nice place to get a bite and people-watch, though.

So I'm in a bit of a rush writing this, as we're heading out soon. :) But Merry Christmas to everyone, "je vous souhaite de vivre avec des gens vivables". ;)

Comments

Monday, December 24th, 2007
oso's picture

When you say that everyone got powdered ... don't you mean everyone but me? I think the boys and girls alike both realized you don't want to mess with perfection.

You on the other hand were looking much more dignified with white skin and grey hair.

stevenmansour
Tuesday, December 25th, 2007
stevenmansour's picture

You think so? I just think the girls took one look at you and told themselves "Ese mono no vale my polvo, mejor jugar con el lindo caballero arabe, me parace mucho mas amable."

Not that you being covered in white powder would change anything about the way you look, of course.

Friday, December 28th, 2007
elizita's picture

jejeje! Pues acabo de leer tus dos ultimos post y vieras que me hiciste reir, llorar, sonreir y casi romper un vaso de vidrio por la rabia de lo inaceptable.

Pero justo acabando... leo sus comentarios y debo admitir:

no sabia quel lindo caballero arabe tenia pinta de poeta! JA! Pa cuando tu primera lectura publica querido? No solo manejas las metaforas... lo tuyo tiene rimas e ritmicas!;0)

Oye!! Oso... no seas malo... aver una foto de Esteban el anziano?

FELICES FIESTAS compañeros,
Élizita

P.S. El proyecto de Rising y de Global Voices es FENOMENAL.... cuando ustedes tienen tiempo... me encantaria saber como se puede empezar uno. Como podria yo ayudar? Tengo gente que seria muy interesada en participar...

Friday, December 28th, 2007
elizita's picture

I had to "souligner" that too. I am so happy to read and learn about that:

The next day we headed to Santo Domingo on the metrocable. It's great that they're building these great libraries and metro extensions in barrios that maybe didn't have the same level of service as others, and will probably help these areas grow economically very soon. It's way cool that it's a library, and not, ay, a shopping mall, that will be responsible for this growth.

Thanks for sharing Stevo!

é.

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