Monday, November 5, 2012

I Blame Sexismo

In the beginning of September Griselda Blanco was shot and killed outside of a butcher's shop in Medellin. She was born in Cartagena and at the age of 11 kidnapped a rich little boy for ransom. When his parents failed to pay up, she killed him. By her early teens she had moved on to petty theft and prostitution. It was not until she emigrated to Queens, NY in the mid 70s that she found her true calling- cocaine. She was really good at both smuggling it into the country and selling it. She was the first Pablo Escobar. Escobar may ultimately have moved more product and had a little more flair, but I'm pretty sure Griselda was way crazier. 

In 1975, she was indicted on the biggest cocaine charges in history and fled back to Colombia. She returned to Miami a few years later and was involved in the Cocaine Cowboy Wars that plagued Miami in the 70s and 80s. Griselda became known as The Godmother and was credited with the invention of motorcycle sicarios (hit men). She was suspected in masterminding around 200 murders in Dade County, helping to make Miami the murder capitol of the United States during this time. At one point there were two many bodies to fit in the Miami morgue and the city had to rent some refrigerator space from the local BK. In the very male dominated world of narco trafficking she was a real trailblazer. 

However, she was more than just a very successful drug dealer. She was also a total psychopath and absolute nut. She had a son named Michael Corleone and a dog named Hitler. She once tried to organize the kidnapping of JFK Junior in order to hold him hostage to secure her release from prison. Her three husbands? She killed them. However, while Pablo Escobar went on to become a huge cultural icon, very few Americans have heard of The Godmother. Why? Well, I think it is largely to do with the fact that she looked like this:


Even as a younger woman, The Godmother was not excatlty a sex kitten.


While The Godmother's lack of hotness might have made her less famous, it certainly did not get in her way. She bought some of Eva Perone's diamonds, built a bronze statue of herself other drug dealers would rub for good luck,and beat the worst charges leveled against her in the US because her hit man was so sexy the secretaries in the Miami Dade State Attorney's office couldn't resist having phone sex with him making a plea bargain seem like a good idea to the prosecutor. When she finally went to prison in California she continued to run her empire from behind bars with the help of this young Oakland dealer, Charles Cosby.

Now,at the risk of sounding cynical, I am sure that the fact that she made this dude a millionaire a month after meeting him helps explain how he also became her lover since they weren't exactly an obvious match. Each time Senor Cosby came to visit she paid guards $1,500 dollars to let them get busy. 
All of her accomplishments add up to a special kind of crazy that I think has been really over looked.Unfortunately, people don't seem to be so interested in female criminals unless they are also super  hot. I  have a sneaking suspicion that if The Godmother had looked like Shakira she may have usurped Escobar's title of Colombia's most famous drug dealer. However, people were not as interested in a female criminal who looked a lot like some one's little old pee paw. Often time when bad girls get famous they look a lot less like pee paws.

For Example:
The Manson Girls

The Manson Girls weren't all super hot, but they looked pretty damn good considering they spent most of their time dropping acid, creepy crawling, looking for a giant cave filled with gold in the middle of the desert, and preparing for a race war. LSD must be a very powerful drug if a dude who is 5'2" (yes, Manson is 5'2")can convince you that all of this, plus bludgeoning some innocent strangers is all a very good idea.

Amanda Knox

I am pretty sure that the idea of a young, sexy blond having some sort of sex orgy with a couple of African bouncers and her roommate was part of the reason this case got so much press. If Amanda Knox had looked like a young Bea Arthur I am sure none of us would know who she was. I know she was exonerated and everything, but those look like crazy eyes to me. If I was planning a sex orgy involving knife play she would not be on my guest list. The Godmother was rumored to have hired Miami hookers for cocaine filled orgies at her Florida mansion, but I guess that image isn't really all that titillating and probably wouldn't sell too many magazines.

Casey Anthony

Unfortunately, there are more than a handful of horrible mothers out there who decide that their life would be better if they kill their kids. However, most of these moms do not get the media to cover their trials 24 hours a day for months or inspire Nancy Grace to talk about the Devil dancing. I have a feeling if Casey Anthony didn't like to spend her pre trial days doing body shots and wearing half shirts she would not have gotten nearly as much press.

Bonnie (&Clyde)

Even Bonnie looks like she was pretty cute in an old timey way.

There are other bad girls that kill people and rob banks, but we only seem to hear about the ones who are also good looking. This leads me to believe that it is really hard for women to get any respect for being homicidal maniacs, lunatics, or psychopaths unless they are also sexy.

Sometimes, it is easy to forget that perhaps feminism didn't really work out. I can see how the traditional grumpy and dumpy feminist is sort of a no fun image. However, it seems to have been replaced by ladies working 40 hours a week and taking classes on both BJs and pole dancing in their spare time. I have a feeling this was not exactly what Gloria and Betty had in mind. 

 Even though I hope Christopher Hitchens RIPs, that ridiculous article he wrote about women not being funny was just published in 2007. So, just 5 years ago enough people thought that an article whose main premise was that women weren't funny because humor is a male province used to seduce women and women don't really understand that "life is quite possibly a joke to begin with" because they have babies and want life to be "fair and sweet" was reasonable enough to publish in magazine. I can think of at least a couple of moms who must have realized that life is at least a little bit absurd. I mean at least the mothers of The Menendez Brothers and Ted Bundy must have thought that life was not all fair and sweet, right? 

To make matters worse Naomi Wolf, who I think used to be considered a sorta serious feminist, wrote a book about her vag. I don't have a problem with that per say, but the fact that she felt the need to describe her big Os as "mystic" and "oceanic" seems a little troubling and a little gross. She went on to describe how she believes vag slander (like the see you next Tuesday word and "the awful feline moniker")can negatively effect the very tissue of bagingos as as a result prefers some Sanskrit term that I am sure is also really mystic. Uh Oh. In a world where women are often times still expected to cook dinner and laugh at bad jokes, I think Naomi has gotten a little off topic. Especially, since I am pretty sure I would not want to date any investment bankers that would greet my ladyparts with a "Welcome Goddess" each time they entered the boudoir like she did. If this is what serious feminism has been reduced to at the start of 2000s, maybe the Mayans were on to something.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Ironically, since coming to Colombia I have embarked on one of the squarest periods of my adult life. It might have something to do with the relatively conservative nature of the organization I am working with. I am not complaining, since I am not totally sure I would be ready to party it up at a Bogota dive bar and I have little interest in being given any of that zombie drug. However, it has made blogging a little bit more difficult. While I have enjoyed elements of being a fancy bitch who goes to five star restaurants (Ok, probably just three and four, but they seem like five to me), I have had a hard time coming up with hilarious stories about appetizers, moderate drinking, and returning home at reasonable hours.

Cartagena, a city on the coast 

However, a while back I had a stroke of luck! I was at a party and some locals started talking about a tradition the men have on the Coast of Colombia. They claimed that many, many men on the coast love having donkey sex. At first, I was not sure how accurate it sounded since many Colombians from the capitol don't think the Costenos, people from the coast, are super classy. In addition to this, I am really not an animal person and the idea of wanting to have intercourse with a member of the animal kingdom under any circumstances sounded absolutely bananas to me, not to mention unsanitary and more than slightly depraved. I thought that perhaps it was just a rumor perpetuated by negative stereotypes about that part of the nation and that my Colombian amigos were exaggerating due to the fact that most of them (meaning Colombians in general, not my amigos specifically) like to drink like they are at a freshman party. Given different comments that I had heard, it seemed that the Coastenos were viewed sorta like the American hillbilly, only much, much sexier. And since I don't think that EVERY hillbilly is missing important teeth and married to their sister or brother, I was not convinced that tons and tons of muchachos on the coast were trying to get into the bone zone with the hottest donkeys in town. I've heard about these type of things in Mexico, but weren't those Donkey Shows just a way to make money off of perverted tourists, not for fun. Right???

Of course, I kept trying to get some more info because curiosity really does kill the cat.  One Colombian explained to me that the men enjoy sexo with the donkeys on the coast because they have "magic baginas". He described how the MBs do all the work enabling the hombres to just stand their doing almost nothing except maybe tickling the donkey's back with a stick. Perhaps I lack erotic imagination, but I was having a really hard time believing how anyone could enjoy any of this.  It just did not sound very sexy to me. Certainly not sexy enough to have an entire part of a country ( a country where you can legally hire a prostitute of the same species, BTW)  all into it. After hearing about these sultry burros and their MBs, I simply had to know more. So, I took my doubts and my questions to Google and according to Google it was all TRUE. Aye dios mios!

The first thing I found was a Vice Documentary that made it seem like a pretty popular thing to do in the smaller villages on the coast. The people were pretty open and talked about how it was a real old timey tradition. They seemed to have no problems discussing how many donkey lovers they had had (some dozens, some 100s) and what moves worked best (YUCK).  Groups of young teenagers described how they liked to get together and  get some hot donkey action as a Sunday Funday Activity. What is so wrong with a nice game of soccer or throwing back a few cold cervezas???

   If you don't believe me check it out for yourself (Shockingly, I am pretty certain this link is in no way safe for work):

 According to the documentary, adolescent boys are encouraged to have sex with donkeys in order to become better lovers and increase the size of their members (which is why one man claimed his doctor recommended it). I'm no Doctor Ruth, but I have serious doubts that donkey sex will actually help either one of these things. I can't see how doing it with a donkey would make a guy more in tune with how to please a lady and I can't see it increasing the size of his manhood unless those MBs are really, really magical. They suggested that because Colombia is such a Catholic nation it was hard for the 14 year old set to find willing human partners because the girls are waiting for marriage because of God. However, since it is also a pretty macho nation, virginity is seen as not very cool. Therefore, it is better to do it with some burros than to hold on to your V card. I am pretty sure that Jeezo did a big one of these when he heard about all this.

Apparently, a few villages even have an event called the Fiesta del Burros to celebrate boys losing their virginity to some really sexy donkeys.

Now, from what I've heard 14 year old boys can get turned on by just about anything. But, this? Really? If any of my dude friends would care to weigh in I would greatly appreciate it, because I am really at a loss. Is it the wig? The oh so fetching eye make up?

I tried to find out more about the festival, but there was very little about it on the internets. I guess Lonely Planet has not found out about it yet. However, while trying to get Google to tell me more I discovered that Fiesta del Burros is also the name of a Mexican restaurant in Myrtle Beach. Even though they seemed to have a pretty decent happy hour special I hope never to go there even if I find myself in the area with a powerful craving for some guac. I don't think I would be able to enjoy even the tastiest of burritos with visions of tarted up donkeys and horny 13 year old boys dancing through my head.

After finding all this info on the Internet I thought it was still best to check with an actual Costeno, just to make sure. Because honestly, I still was having some big trouble wrapping my head around all of this. Well, my amigo from the coast confirmed it all. He even told a story about a man from his village who was carrying on with a donkey even after he was married (guys are sorta expected to stop it after they get a real live girl, but some discover that they really like it and continue). The wife became crazed with jealousy because the donkey would follow her husband through the streets hee hawing at him seductively. Now, I am no relationship expert but it would seem to me that this would be a sign of some very, very big problems in your marriage.

I try to be open minded and accept that all people are into different stuff. Some of it is weird, but if it is not hurting anybody and does not involve me personally, who cares?

If people want to dress up like fuzzy animals and get it on, then so be it.  I just reserve the right to laugh at said people and to think the entire idea is completely bonkers.

If people want to act like babies and wear diapers and look for a nice "mommy", I guess that is OK. However, I would maybe like to suggest that they think about seeking some professional help instead of finding each other in online communities and thinking it is simply a different "lifestyle choice" because I am pretty sure that they are insane.

However, I must say I can find no way to rationalize donkey love or any other kind of bestiality for that matter.  As Dan Savage, an extremely funny sex columnist,  pointed out it is never OK since animals can't consent which makes it all pretty rapey. Besides, it's really gross and I am pretty sure I don't feel that way just because I believe that all animals belong in the zoo.

I even think all this donkey business is even creepier than having a clown fetish. And I really hate clowns (I just found out this even existed last week while watching Gigolos and I have not really recovered yet. My friend Sofia tells me that Dan Savage also finds it really scary. I knew I liked that Dan Savage.)

Perhaps at the end of the day, I am just a bougie white girl who, try as I might, is just not all that open minded.

I am going to the coast in a couple of weeks. Between all the chicks who look like Shakira and all those sassy burros, I don't think I stand a chance.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thank You Very Much, Regina Morrow

Before I begin, I would like to readily admit that I in no way have my finger on the pulse of Bogota night life. There are a few reasons for this.

Firstly, I have met a lot more people who look like this:

And this:

Than this:

While it is probably good to have the numbers of a few sergeants in my celly in case I ever find myself in a pinch, it is not real helpful in finding out where the party is at.

In addition to this, I have been a little less enthusiastic about going out since somehow finding myself in my 30s. My younger self would never have believed that there would ever come a time when I could have a perfectly nice Friday night with some yoga pants, a glass of Cabernet, and an episode of True Blood. But that time has totally come(and I am loving Pam even more than usual this season and I already loved her a lot).

Often times when I do force myself to put on a pair of pants that has both a button and a zipper, I find myself feeling more like an observer than a participant. I watch the youngsters dancing around to bad electronic music and start to feel a lot like a chaperon at a high school dance. I start to watch the kids in action. I see slightly snarky, but flirty faces and think "that should work well, good job little guy." I also watch the same snarky flirter buy his new lady friend a shot and think "that should wrap it up. Well, played, dude, well played". And yes it has crossed my mind that this type of almost lurking could come across as potentially creepy, but since I am not looking to pull a Demi Moore or a Linda Hogan I don't really care.

When I am not kept busy semi-creepily observing the dance moves and the pick up attempts like a borderline lurker, I can easily become a grump. All it takes is a single stepped on toe or an unpleasant bump and I can start to look like this:

Or this:

Obviously, there is probably a lot more partying going on in this town that I know about or am interested in participating in. However, I think that I would have to search it out or at the very least stop making those damn faces. However, I think that there is a misconception about Colombia that the streets are paved with cocaine and that everyone is constantly gnashing their teeth and making group trips to the bano when they are not busy salsa dancing. Sometimes when people ask me what it is like here they sound as if they envision that there is a Tony Montana (who, yes, I know is Cuban and not Colombian) hiding around every corner waiting to tell you to sat hello to his little friend.

If anything, I find Colombia to be far more conservative than I imagined. The few times I have come home a little bit late I felt like the guards at my building were silently saying "Tsk Tsk!" and everybody seems to be constantly hanging out with their families in much larger quantities of time than I think the average American could handle without bloodshed or therapy.

Am I bummed that I am not experiencing more late nights and danger while I am living here? Absolutely not. While I have a deep affection for wine (which, like most Irish Americans and people in their 30s without a sponsor, I do not really consider a form of alcohol but more like something that all grown ups should drink with dinner and ,no, I do not truly trust people over the age of 6 who drink milk with their meal unless they have spent some time at Betty Ford or they are Amish.) I have never really been interested in anything else (except for sometimes beer and the occasional whiskey). 

Have I abstained from the white stuff because of a strong moral fiber? A deep respect for the law? Out of fear that even those who love me the most could not tolerate my already loquacious self talking even more? Because I have terrible luck and get caught every time I do anything even slightly wrong and after watching Oz and Locked Up Abroad felt life in the big house was probably not for me so it was best to just be a law abiding citizen?

Well, I'm sure all of those things play a part. I would say that Punky Brewster also has a little bit to do with it. She was abandoned at the mall with nothing but her bandannas, mismatched clothes, and a mangy dog. She knew about danger. When she chanted "Just Say No with Punky Power!", I listened. I figured she knew what she was talking about.

But really it's mostly because of Regina Morrow. If you don't know who Regina Morrow is you were probably not a tween in the 80s who read EVERY SINGLE SWEET VALLEY HIGH BOOK. I was.

My best friend Elizabeth and I were very competitive. Each Easter we would compete to see who could eat the most Cadbury Cream Eggs (it is shocking we were not exactly skinny minnies). We would compete to see who got the best grades in school and we would compete to see who could read the most books. For several years we were in a race to see who could read the most Sweet Valley High Books and it was always neck and neck.

The series was about these two beautiful blond twins, Elizabeth and Jessica, who lived in Sweet Valley, California and shared a red fiat. There was something about this that sounded pretty magical to a brunette growing up in Worcester, Mass. There was the smart twin and the bitchy twin and the series followed their adventures as the two most popular girls at their school in Southern California.

Regina Morrow was friends with the smart twin, Elizabeth. She was deaf for most of the series. However, thanks to a radical surgery somewhere around book 30, her hearing was restored and she started going out with rich, bad boy Bruce Patton. However, their relationship was not built to last. Regina did not handle their break up well and fell in with a bad crown and began experimenting with drugs and alcohol.

On the Edge, SVH #40, detailed how she started making bad choices in attempts to mend her broken heart. At the end of the book she is at a party and tries just a tiny bit of cocaine. Guess what??? It triggers an unknown congenital heart defect and Regina dies on the spot. I remembered thinking it was so no fair because A. she had just gotten her hearing restored a few books ago and had barely any time to enjoy it and B. she had spent the majority of the series being so good and the one book where she is a little bad she ends up DEAD.

Being somewhere around 4th or 5th grade (Elizabeth and I were really good readers, so sometimes we read books that we were a little too young to understand. Around this same time we also read Less Than Zero and learned what a snuff film was.)we knew nothing about drugs and were shocked at Regina's untimely demise. We discussed it at length in hushed tones. Could we have secret and mysterious heart defects that could suddenly kill us? Is this what went on in high school? Were teenagers just dropping dead all of the time? We were terrified. Since this was pre-Internet, we didn't have many tools determine how plausible this scenario was. There was only so much we could figure out using a dictionary and some old Cosmos.

When I look back and try to figure out why I am pretty square I have to say it is largely because of Regina Morrow. I was never tempted to do much experimentation because I always pictured Regina being carried out of the party in a body bag THE ONE TIME SHE WAS BAD. When I would hear stories about wild parties all I could think was "DON'T YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO REGINA MORROW??? WHAT WERE YOU GUYS THINKING??? DO YOU HAVE A DEATH WISH OR SOMETHING??? It just seemed like too big a risk. I bet if Lindsay Lohan head read the Sweet Valley High books when she was little everything would have turned out differently.

As a result, I am more than happy with my very tame night life in Bogota. I am sure there are people living it up right now doing a variety of things that are dangerous and possibly illegal. Since I have no interest in pulling a Regina Morrow and I am pretty sure that the places where these things take place probably don't allow their patrons to wear yoga pants, I am more than fine leaving all of that a mystery.

Maybe if they really want to win the drug war down here they should try translating the Sweet Valley High series into Espanol. That's some scary sh*t.

Friday, July 6, 2012

In Stitches On Lake Titicaca :(

I began my trip to Puno by visiting a farm on the outside of town, eating some edible clay on some potatoes (not for me), looking at some Alpacas, and watching Soul Surfer at the hotel. Once my friends arrived, we set out for Lake Titicaca where we visiting three islands. I was excited since I had never been there and my mother has been talking about a clay model of the Lake she constructed for a projects fair in the 60s ever since I can remember.

Our first stop were the floating islands of Euros. I was not so sure about them. They were constructed by piling a few layers of reeds over some floating sod and didn't really seem that stable. They also didn't seem incredible authentic. As soon as we arrived, the islanders whipped out some looms and started weaving (I think they had just been sitting around before we got there). When our guide began describing how they also ate the reeds they made their islands out of to prevent goiters (which I didn't know were that common) and as a good source of iodine, on cue one of the women jumped up and began chomping away. I got the disturbing feeling that I had stumbled on to some sort of zoo for humans and it made me pretty uncomfortable. 

I then noticed that our boat had pulled away. Our guide told us that to get to the next island, if we wanted, we could buy a ticket for a ride on the traditional read boat. I was confused as to what our option would be if we decided that we were not interested in the traditional reed boat. Swimming? 

However, before our departure we were told we must buy something from the islanders. We were assigned to the islanders in groups of two. They immediately began crying at us to buy their crafts (which honestly were not that good). While the crying made me feel even more uncomfortable than the reed chomping, the not very good crafts were also pretty expensive. I settled for two necklaces and then hightailed it to the reed boat. 

Once we boarded the boat the women of the island came to sing us a good bye song. I can only presume that "Row Row Row Your Boat" is also a traditional song of the Euros Island. They then followed it with an "Hasta La Vist Baby". I was left sorta wondering how they were watching Arnold Schwartzenegger movies from the 90s on the floating islands. Maybe there was a floating island wreck center? I was left unsure how I would enjoy the rest of Lake Titicaca.

However, once we arrived at the next island. I was pleasantly surprised. The islanders were far more laid back. Instead of crying at us they told us that they had some hats. We could buy them or not buy them. I was so impressed by their sales technique that I bought one. I was also cold. 

We were each assigned to a host family who took us to their homes and fed us boiled potatoes and friend cheese by candlelight. My group had to use a combination of our 8th grade Spanish and mime in order to make dinner conversation (I think the miming may have been more successful). They then dressed us up in some native clothes and then took us to the town hall where they pulled us around in a circle while some teenagers played the pan flute. After my friends and I bought a beer our host families sat down and started looking incredible bored. However, the island we were on had no electricity and seemingly few choices of leisure activities so I thought it was possible that they might just always look like that. How many hats can a person really get excited about knitting?

We then returned to the house where it was time for bed. I, however, was unable to sleep very well. This was because after settling in to bed wearing my hat and fluffy alpaca sweater I realized I had to pee. Since the thought of going outside in the cold, dark night to use the outhouse armed only with a flashlight was nothing short of awful, I decided to hold it. ALL NIGHT LONG. Luckily, for my roommates, David and Mayumi, I was unaware that our room came equipped with several bedpans. It could have turned into a Bridesmaid situation and possible put a damper on the rest of our trip.

The next morning it was time to head back to the boat. I am not sure if it was my lack of sleep or my natural clumsiness, but on the way I stepped in a ditch (while talking of course) and fell on a rock. When I took a look at it on the boat, it looked sorta bad and deep. However, since I was in the middle of Lake Titicaca there was not much I could do besides clean the cut with a baby wipe, dab some anti-bacterial ointment on it, and throw a band aid on it. I then tried to enjoy the scenery.

The problem was that I inherited a touch of White Coat Syndrome, an irrational fear of doctors and health problems, from my mother. When she goes to the doctors she usually breaks out into a cold sweat and her blood pressure spikes to heart attack levels (My mother's White Coat Syndrome has actually improved since she has become pals with her doctor. She might be one of the few ladies charming enough to make friends with someone while profusely sweating and wearing only a johnny). My symptoms are more mental. I just become convinced that the doctor has very, very terrible news for me. Luckily, I am usually pretty healthy (yes, I am knocking on wood right now) so my condition does not show itself very often. 

I checked my cut a few hours later. It was still bleeding. All I could think about this was this girl:

I was soon convinced that a Peruvian superbug was in the process of devouring my knee and probably my entire leg.

I knew I was being nutso, but that didn't stop me. I remembered a conversation I had with my best uncle (by marriage) who told be my entire family was completely irrational. At the time I had feigned confusion, but I knew exactly what I he was talking about. However, it is not entirely our fault. Almost all of our ancestors don't just hail from Ireland, but from the West of Ireland. In addition to being inhabited by people who believe in fairies and alcoholism, they also have the highest rate of schizophrenia in the WORLD (the Internet told me researchers blame the misery of colonial oppression, malnutrition, and old sperm {apparently a lot of guys did not get married until they were almost 50 because of property laws and old sperm gives you a much higher chance of making a crazy baby. Again, mom you were right about the dangers of bunk sperm}). This just can't be DNA that gives a person a talent for logic or reason. But I am afraid it is DNA that can make a person predisposed to something like White Coat Syndrome.

When I returned to the mainland 7 hours later and my knee was still bleeding I knew that I was going to have to go see a doctor. Luckily, we were traveling with a guide who was able to take me to the local tourist clinic.

When I went in to see the doctor she told me that the skin was muerte and I needed stitches. Not only had I never had stitches before, but I was not exactly thrilled that I would be getting them in Puno, Peru for the first time. It is a dusty and ramshackle town where more than an average amount of its people appear to be suffering from a variety of serious, serious medical problems. In addition to this, when my friends arrived and stepped off the bus, the first thing they saw was a pool of blood. Therefore, upon hearing my diagnosis translated to me by my guide I did what any grown woman and seasoned traveler would do. I cried. At first they were just big silent tears, but once the needle came out I added some whimpering that increased with volume each time the needle got closer. This is when they turned up the volume on the TV in the waiting room where my friend David was patiently waiting for me.

As I was trying to pull myself I looked over and saw a toaster over. All I could think was, what the hell is the toaster oven for??? Have I stumbled into some kind of tourist clinic ER/ tuna melt station? Just as I was trying to forget about the mysterious toaster oven I looked on the table that held all the doctor supplies and saw a bottle of Aqua Net. If there is a medical use for Aqua Net I surely couldn't come up with it. I tried to start reading the board filled with all of the post cards from all over the world thanking the doctors for their good medical help while they were traveling, but all I kept thinking was that the patients they had not helped successfully probably weren't around to write any postcards.

I could feel that the anaesthetic was starting to wear off a little bit on my knee and I was starting to feel the stitches a little more. However, since it is the needles that really get to me and I felt I had already reached my quotient for crying and whimpering for the day, I decided to just power through. In an effort to distract myself I started chit chatting with my guide. He began to tell me how his girlfriend had lost her eye as a child due to lack of health care in Peru and was about to loose the sight in her other one. Her last hope was to get on a list to be seen by a team of Colombian doctors volunteering in Lima. I found this story to be a great source of comfort.

After the stitches were finished my friend David treated me to a glass of red wine, like a true friend (antibiotic be damned!). I would love to say that after it was finished I became less crazy, but that would be a lie. I had nightmares for several nights. One of which was about me being unable to graduate from high school because the Burger King drive through was so slow I could never make it to class on time. This felt frightening Young Adult of me. 

I started feeling better yesterday because I was able to see an American doctor who took a look at my knee and didn't seem to think it was about to fall off. I guess I'm just an American American after all. One who likes doctors that have attended med schools I have heard of and who don't use their offices to make tasty sandwiches and fix their hair in between patients.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Shasay! Shantay!

Keeping up with my blog in Bogota has proven to be a lot more difficult than it was in Borneo. In Borneo, every time I turned around there was something totally bizarre going on. There was vagina chalk, black magic, fish pedicures, and headhunters. My blog practically wrote itself. Life in Bogota is actually pretty normal except for the fact that I don't know what anybody is saying (it might be time to admit that I am just not a linguist). I can meet friends for dinner, I can drink wine, I can go to the movies, and I can do yoga. In addition to the fact that there are fewer things that strike me as bonkers, I also spent the first two months here with no friends and became increasingly certain that the rocking chair in my living room was laughing at me. I had a pretty hard time thinking of a way of how to spin that into stories that were anything close to hilarious. 

However, after a lot of hard work I did find some friends and told my rocking chair to shut the hell up.  I must admit after spending the first couple of months watching lots of internet television I forgot how to go out at night. The thought of leaving my house after 9 pm had become a strange and exhausting concept. However, since I finished watching the entire seasons of Revenge, The Killing, and Mad Men I really had no choice.  

I must confess that my first time going to a club in Bogota I was immediately skeptical. I blame this on the dancers at the clubs who looked a lot like this:

and this:

Am I alone in thinking that little people forced to dress up as clowns and oompa loompas and then dance around do not really create a party atmosphere? This might be related to the fact that I have a lifelong fear of LPs (which I don't support or condone). However, just as I was getting over the LPs dancing around in hot pink wigs, I spied a giant mime. Who the hell was managing this club? Clearly some sort of lunatic or sadist.

I would like to take this time to warn all my fellow grumpy brunettes out there with attitude problems about something. If you go out to a club in Colombia with a Swedish blond who is cute and nice and cool, she may be a little bit more popular than you. You may also be cornered several times during the evening by small Latin American men who, using their best broken English, will demand to know how they can better impress your nice, blond friend. Then they might also look in the direction of another potential suitor and declare that he is a "PAYASO". Since this means clown in Spanish you may become concerned that one of the LP dancers may have overheard and hope that they haven't since their job is clearly hard enough. Then said suitor might also come back from the bar with drinks for everyone but you. It won't be like you will be unable to afford your own $4 dollar beer, but you may in fact end up feeling a little butthurt anyways and consider that maybe your mother may have had a point when she told you that you catch more bees with honey.

It's not like I mind being a wingman, but at certain points I was afraid there might be some sort of riot and I was not sure what my course of action would be. Then some gays showed up. I heaved a giant sigh of relief! Finally, some dudes that usually appreciate ladies with bad attitudes. They were doing a lot of dancing and pulled me onto the dance floor. While it usually takes a lot to get me onto the dance floor I am usually OK at gay dancing. This is because it is all a big joke. I am someone who would never consider sexy dancing for real since I am not a teenager or a pop star. However, the rules are different while gay dancing. The sexy dancing is usually accompanied by a giggle fit since it's all so funny! Make no mistake chicas: Your gay friends love you, but they also find you totally sexually repulsive. Therefore, sexy dancing is all an incredibly, big joke. Since I like jokes, I am totally OK with this. 

However, when I found myself in a gay sandwich something felt off, and not just because I was at a straight club. Where was the giggle fit? Where were the sarcastic faces you make to let each other know that you are all in on the joke? Why was it feeling vaguely serious? I suddenly found myself confused. 

Macho? I get it! No convincing needed!

Then the older guys wanted to dance just the two of us. He wanted to dance really, really close. Again, there was no laughing. He started to try to look deeply into my eyes and I had a sneaking suspicion that I could feel something on my thigh. What the hell was going on? I had this strange feeling that he was trying to show that he was still an hombre, even though he had just finished making out with his adorable boyfriend. Either that or Latin American are just so seriously sensual they have trouble understanding the concept of sexy gay dancing as a goof. Maybe down here sexy is always serious? Aye dios mios! Either way I found myself wishing my Spanish had progressed enough  to say something like "Sir, no judgements here! I am clearly a dedicated sister to the community, but could you please back up off me?" or just flashed him a copy of this photo to prove I was totally down and in no need of proof of anyone's masculinity. I have been to The Folsom Street Fair and hung out on Christopher Street- I'm cool!

It was one of the first times I was confused by my gays! While living in Bogota really is pretty normal, I suppose there are a few cultural differences.  Maybe the G men of Colombia just need to watch a few more videos like this: