Day 1: Everything is Illuminated

I left my parents’ house at around 11 AM on Monday and arrived to Bogotá at around 10 on Tuesday. Needless to say, it was a long trip. The whole time, though– three hour layover in Boston, nine hour layover in Ft. Lauderdale– I wasn’t THAT excited or nervous. (In part, the exhaustion drained me of all emotions.) I was just focused on getting from point A to point B successfully and without losing anything. That’s kind of been the essence of the past few months: prepare to leave Minneapolis, prepare to leave Chicago, entertain myself in the airport…

… then, suddenly, I’m here. And everything is magic, just as I remembered it.

My friend, Javi, met me at the airport, where we took a van (to fit my giant duffel and bicycle) back to his apartment in one of the downtown neighborhoods called “La Candelaria,” one of the most colorful and romantic neighborhoods of the city. After getting set up in the spare bedroom he’s letting me stay in and washing the layers and layers of grime off, we got lunch and started walking around the neighborhood.

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Everywhere has color and history and life! Meanwhile, the fog swirls over the mountains to the east, a way to always figure out which direction you’re facing. Currently, it’s “winter,” which translates to about 50-60 degrees. Truly, there isn’t much of a winter here, just rainy seasons and seasons that are slightly warmer or cooler than others. As you can tell by the thick clouds, it’s rainy season. However, there’s an expression here:
“If you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes.”
The clouds are always moving and the weather is always changing.

One of the places I encountered yesterday was an art center, which is also the home of the director, who states that the place is “siempre abierto;” always open. The shutters were open and Javi and I simply knocked on the door. Telling them that this was my first day and that I am an artist, too, they immediately led us to chairs and invited us to sit and chat with them. I have a feeling this place will be just the beginning of what Bogotá has to offer in terms of the arts. Here are a few photos I took inside:

The director, Silvia, lives in this "doll house" inside.

The director, Silvia, lives in this “doll house” inside.

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Javi had to go to a meeting, but I walked around as long as I could, before I had to pass oooouuuut. I got home at around 6:30pm and by this point it was already dark. I asked Javi about it this morning and he said that all year round the sun rises at around 6 AM and sets at around 6 PM. Who knew? I took this last photo from my bedroom window before I went to bed:
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I slept about 13 hours straight.

Today the only plan so far is to get a phone and get settled a bit. I think it’ll take a little bit for my head to catch up with my body. More later! –Xena

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One thought on “Day 1: Everything is Illuminated

  1. Hey there Ms. Xena!
    I am going to enjoy your travels there thru your blog….I am at your parents house
    (obviously) and you are going to love how that LLevel is going to look soon. He is
    demoing it all right now. It is cleared to the studs in the main two rooms. Take good
    care and have a wonderful time!
    Ciao Bella,
    Diane
    p.s. I love your portrait!

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