Thursday was so one of these very Colombian days: problems with the bus in the morning and in the afternoon, and at work problems with alternating internet, air conditioning or electricity. Very efficient working, so I spent the whole morning singing with the kids. The temperature in our office went the whole day from very hot to very cold and as result I am now sick with a sore throat. Then my Colombian sim card stopped working and without me knowing, my phone managed to connect to the internet with my French sim card (100 euros to pay, thank you). I was tired and frustrated and, in addition, still feeling anxious about what happened in Brazil. All I wanted to do was go home and cry so I left from work. I know that these are just minor first world problems and that for example the people who live in La Boquilla don't even have things like internet, air-conditioning or smartphones. But still, you get my point. As if this was not enough to make me loose my mind, in the evening my Lumia suddenly started blinking in green an yellow lights and then died completely. So from now on, this blog is without pictures, except if take some very bad ones with my old iPhone, which stills works but barely. Yesterday morning I woke up exhausted (mum, I had the stress dream again, the one that you have as well, where you try to travel but never get there), and I was not excited about my surfing class. However, I figured that it could not make me feel worse so I went. Of course, there were not enough waves for surfing so I couldn't have my class. My teacher F suggested we go paddleboarding instead and I'm happy he did because it was a lot of fun and made me feel so much better. Thank you F!
I am back in Cartagena, and happy about that. On Sunday night we went with S and some other friends on an evening cruise around the city (it really is great that she works at a travel agency and is my personal tourist guide). The cruise was for free but all passengers had to buy rice and diapers that would be sent by boat to Ecuador, to help the victims of the earthquake. Thus it was for a very good reason that we spent our evening chilling on a catamaran, dancing and admiring our beautiful home town in the evening light.
Rooftop terraces in São Paulo are starting to become my specialty. I explored two more with M, and have now seen the São Paulo skyscraper view in daylight, sunset and darkness with millions of lights. In addition to that, we walked on the central main street, Avenida Paulista, travelled some more with the metro (no bus this time), went shopping and ate sushi, like we always used to do in Paris.
Our time in Rio was full of ups and downs. I'm not sure yet if I will write a Rio part 2 - post, one about tourists who were not happy at all but more like terrified and scared to death. And well ok, quite happy and relieved in the end. I think I will, when I'm ready. But this one is about us exploring Rio's famous touristic spots, going out a bit, and for most of the time, having fun and enjoying our time.
São Paulo is big. No it's not big, Paris or New York are big cities. And Bogota was a lot bigger, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it from high up. But São Paulo is massive, gigantic, whatever word you want to use. I spent two weeks in Shanghai last year and yes it felt similar but somehow I'm even more amazed now than what I was then. I'm giving you some facts so you get my shock:
So here I am, in Brazil (!), and I've been exploring São Paulo for a day. I've seen skyscrapers, street art and stunning views. I went strolling in the central park, Parque Ibirapuera, learnt to use public transportation and tried São Paulo's signature cocktail, a Pisco Sour. Not bad for one day I'd say.
Day 108, airport time: My life in Cartagena is starting to look like a happy routine, so it is time to go for a little adventure - in Brazil!
I haven’t been blogging for a while, I know. But thanks for all the page views and (Facebook) likes every time I post, it makes me happy!
After Semana Santa my life in Cartagena has fallen back into it’s routines and it feels like if I had been living here for a lot longer than two months. However, now it is time to take a turn and explore a new country. And not just any country, but Brazil! I’m writing this post at the airport in Bogota, and soon I’ll be boarding the plane to Sao Paulo. From there I will travel to Rio de Janeiro and reunite with two dear friends of mine, M and M: The Spanish M who you already know from this blog, and also Australian M, whom I haven’t seen since December, when she came to Finland for my graduation. I’m so looking forward to this trip and I can guarantee that with these two girls it will be fun!
Or certainly not only but at least. Day 100 of my Caribbean travels and the 58th day in Colombia, wow, time flies by! I think I have been long enough now in Colombia to call myself a true insider and to share with you some facts about the everyday life here in Cartagena, and among the Colombians. ;)
As always when moving to a new country, there are small, simple things that are different. Things that surprise, annoy, and at times drive one crazy. But that is what makes each country special, and living abroad such an enriching experience. What is funny is that with time you get used to almost anything. Even if I could still think of many many things that are beyond my comprehension in France compared to Finland, I now feel so at home in Paris that they don't bother me (that much) anymore. The same would probably happen in Colombia as well if I lived here for longer (or not, ask my boss N, who has been here for some 15 years!) but right now I'm enjoying life as a foreigner and trying to just laugh about it when something gets complicated. Here comes a non-exhaustive list of my first learnings and observations:
This weekend I took some time to walk around in the historical old town of Cartagena, like a tourist again. Even if I like the ambiance in Getsemani better, the Walled City is very pretty. I took some pictures on my way, let me know what you think! (#phototraining #awannabephotographer #tryingtotakecoolpics)
I'm Emilia, Finnish-Parisian, a recent Master's graduate. I'm currently traveling around the Caribbean and on a volunteering mission in Colombia. I'm passionate about writing, music and different kinds of sports. I can't wait to discover new places and cultures - and share my adventures with you!