Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I knew I was back in Barranquilla when...

  • I got to the Avianca desk in Miami and I had to pay $53 in airport taxes
  • I was on the airplane and no one stayed in their seats, the kids behind me were playing videogames with the sound on and turned up loud, and the lady sitting next to me said the airplane food was "delicious" (hint: airplane food is never delicious)
  • In the baggage claim area, passengers and their kids were jumping over and on the conveyor belt. On the conveyor belt
  • I smelled the gas fumes from all the cars in the 5:00 traffic and wanted to gag.


Anonymous said...

While reading your blog I could feel how sad sometimes you are. I think that what you need is to explore the different places in the Atlantic Coast near Barranquilla.
Most of these places can be easily afforded by bus, which is the common transportation mean: the more you travel the more you will know the culture. And, maybe one of the most important things you need to do is to interact with people. Out of 1000 people you may find maybe 1 that has something interesting for you, so please talk with more people, and be open to meet them. Remember that we belong to a different culture, so it takes time to get accustomed to us. How long? It would depend of what you are looking for...
Regarding what else can you do, I think that you may offer English training to students, executives, and professionals who may need it. You can charge them according their expectations,and your services.
Maybe you can offer consulting services to other universities.
I invite you to open a blog where you can criticize Barranquilla´s life. It is true when you say that in Cincinnati there are 10 times more things to do. But what it is also true is that you are now in Barranquilla, and we need people like you, who can show us what things are wrong, for example: the lack of parks, and places where you can run, and chat with people. Barranquilla is for some people: an unfortunate place where you only find loud music in many corners, and people talking or masking their problems while drinking a beer.

Dancing is another story: if in Cincinnati they know how to make turns is because you got accustomed to dance in they way they do. That doesn’t mean that we do not know how. Here, in Barranquilla, we got accustomed since teenagers to dance very close to our couples. So, is it wrong? There is nothing wrong about it. It is just a matter of style. Puerto Ricans dance turning themselves all the time, and if they enjoy it I think that’s fine for them. I shouldn’t criticize them for that.
I seriously recommend you to look for options to go out, enjoy your life, and motivate yourself. You have a difficult job: teaching, a job in which it is much easier to lose motivation that to gain it.

Erin: open your heart to the town where you are working and living now. It is different to the rest of the civilized world, but that’s what we need to change.
Yoga is an exciting activity, and I hope you can practice it every day. So, when you go to work you will feel much more relaxed.
Maybe one of the most important things you may remind: it may have taken you 10 years or more to make “friends” in Cincinnati, so if it takes you here a year to make a real friend it would be a good approach (a smooth beginning).
Next time when you arrive at the airport or purchase a ticket: ask the salesman if all taxes are included. You paid 53 dollars: 50 for leaving USA, and 3 for security reasons. Normally, the 50 dollars are included when you purchase the ticket in USA, so be aware of any mistake.
I recommend you to buy all the tickets in USA. It is cheaper!
If there is a “next time”, when you arrive at the Barranquilla airport take an air conditioned cab, so you won’t smell the gas fumes from all the cars.
Finally, and not least important: open your heart to somebody who wants to share with you all expectations, goals and dreams. Love is a complex word: it takes a life to get to know somebody; it takes time to learn what others want and think. It takes time, and it is hard to start again. It takes time to understand that we all make mistakes, and are afraid of new challenges.
Maybe somebody is out there just trying to share his life with you. Just give the opportunity to him. Life is a box of surprises, and it is not easy to love, and to be loved. It is beautiful when you open your heart, and feel the support of somebody behind you. There would be mistakes in the process, but I am sure you will be able to solve them with his help, and move on.
My final advice: try to feel well with yourself, define what your problems are, and design a plan to make your life a little more pleasant in a city where there are too many things to be done and said, but nobody speaks out.
Good luck!

T. Zac. R. R. said...

That is funny to me, reminds me of flying to Santo Domingo.