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  1. you’re a brave girl. i just spent a month in bogota on a volunteer assignment. my 1st living situation was in a hostal-like situation. was offered lines of coke, delicious-smelling weed and all the licorice tasting colombian medicine i could ever want to ingest, but for me, that was 30 years ago in a different life. i only felt sorry for the random backpackers and hanger-ons who had to numb themselves to the stage of mumbling each evening. the situation got dicey, and i had to leave. next stop, Mundo Aventura and life on the Transmillenia……..how do they do it every day? sardines, and even tighter with bad breath and loud cell conversations and women who seemed to enjoy unexpected closeness with un-named males. almost made me see some validity in the lifestyle of the backpackers…….not! the noise and the hustle/bustle of boyaca and it’s intersection with avenue of the americas. the constant noise, the barrage of cars and buses seemingly never-ending. where do all these people come from? where are they going? the numerous alarms at all hours, the whistles of private security, the persistent tapping of construction workers at 6:00 a.m. i was going out of my mind. and then i got sick……drab, wet weather and cold nights…..coughs and indescribable chunks of bodily fluids coming up regularly. the doctor at the clinic says go lay down for three days and take lots of vitamin c. are you kidding me? so i decided my bed in warm Florida outweighed toughing it out in the unforgiving cold climate of bogota. came home early. now on strong antibiotics. walking pnuemonia the docor here says. free from all those people pushing shit in my face….cards, flyers, jewelry, empty cans, lotto tickets……it’s an assault on the senses. how do they tolerate it every day? they have to. one has to learn to roll with it, i suppose. but i’ll always resent the unscrupulous cabbies who went out of their way to screw me on their prices, taking into consideration i can drive across town there for less than $10. US when i came home, the cabbie took me from the train to my humble abode – all of 5 miles. he charged me $28.00 and expected a tip. i was happy to be done away with it all. so much to reflect upon.

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