Whenever I do absolutely nothing (productive) in a day, I get this restless, guilty feeling that I can’t really shake until I do something productive. So I decided to get out of the apartment and head to my current favorite cafe to look into the possibility of some freelance writing jobs, because I’ve decided I’d rather figure out ways to increase my income than ways to decrease my spending. So if anyone out there knows of any writing/translating opportunities, let me know!
When I woke up today it was rainy and foggy and very reminiscent of a Bogotá afternoon. Bogotá mornings weren’t usually too bad, but throughout most of the year, if you weren’t up by 9 am, you missed your chance to see the sun. Anyway, my mood is very sun-powered so I wasn’t feeling very inspired most of the day. After waking up I went back to bed, then watched four episodes of Orange is the New Black, made some lunch, went back to bed, made a half-hearted attempt to clean up my room and then thought very seriously about going on a walk but ultimately decided against it because walking in the rain when you don’t own an umbrella or rain jacket just doesn’t sound like a good plan. But I do have the following very exciting personal updates:
1.) I’ve prepared myself for any car-charger iphone emergency. I have a tendency to break everything I buy and last week I reached a near-crisis situation when my iphone charger refused to work. So I did what anyone would do in my situation and got myself six extra USB cords and two extra charges so I don’t find myself in any precarious iphone-less situations in the future. I hate myself a little right now for the words I’ve just written but I guess it is what it is…my cellphone has become like an extension of my body. Is that a horrible thing or is that just part of what it means to be alive in this particular place/time I live in??? I was thinking about all the things I do with my phone, things I lived without perfectly happily a few years ago but which seem so necessary now. For example, I have extensive text conversation with people, check my blog stats, watch Netflix, Skype with my grandma, check Facebook 400 times a day, take (too many) pictures, read the news, watch the news, watch music videos, check the weather, read, gchat, Facebook chat, look stuff up…the list goes on an on. AND I can actually go places without living in perpetual fear of getting lost because my phone has not ONE but TWO GPS systems so now a wrong turn is just a wrong turn, rather than an anxiety-provoking crisis situation. I don’t really know if all of this is good or bad, but I guess it’s just a part of life nowadays.
2.) I purchased a lot of thermal socks in preparation for the polar vortex. Unfortunately, they didn’t arrive on time. And unfortunately, I chose the warmest day of winter so far to wear them, so my feet are feeling pretty hot. But in general, I feel very pleased with my thermal sock purchase.
3.) Vietnamese coffee is delicious. I went out to dinner with my sister and my brother on Thursday night and we decided on this Vietnamese place near Courthouse. The place was freezing, so I ordered a coffee with milk, and let me tell you, it was one of the best coffee experiences of my life. Basically, you get a cup that operates on a drip system so it takes about 5-10 minutes for the coffee to be ready and at the bottom of the cup is a generous and delicious portion of leche condensada. So naturally, I went home and ordered a Vietnamese coffee set. I think I’ll give it to my dad for his birthday. In any case, I recommend everyone try Vietnamese coffee sometime.
4.) Trader Joe’s flowers last forever. Last Sunday was cloudy and rainy so I needed something cheerful and alive to brighten my mood. As I’ve mentioned before, one of my favorite things in the world is going to Trader Joe’s right when it opens, before it’s overly crowded and while everything still feels fresh and new. I picked up some flowers (just $3.99) and it’s been almost a week and they still look like this:
5.) I was doing some Amazon-ing and found a really cool picture of Bogota circa 1911, back when el Centro was THE CENTER of Bogotá’s cultural life. Nowadays most people warn you to stay away from this section of Bogotá because of its reputation for danger. And I did in fact experience danger when I lived in el Centro. I heard a shooting followed by heart-wrenching wailing, was robbed at glass-point by a mentally ill tiny old lady and met my ex-husband there, but I always found it so beautiful/ugly/dismal/inspiring/fascinating. Whatever words you might use to describe it, el Centro was definitely my favorite Bogotá neighborhood and I really enjoyed my time living there. It made me feel like I was experiencing the past and present simultaneously, if that makes sense. It was vibrant and alive and constantly evolving (some might say decaying, deteriorating, rotting, crumbling, fading, withering — choose your adjective ) but whenever I’d walk around in el Centro, I felt I was experiencing Bogotá as it must have been throughout every century of its existence. Read more about el Centro here if you are interested. I’m going back to Bogotá in February and I’m really excited to see Bogotá again after being away for two and a half years. Bogotá and I didn’t end on the best terms, but I’m starting to experience Colombia nostalgia again. A certain smell (usually the perfect combination of diesel and fried food) will instantly transport me back to Bogotá, and some parts of my current neighborhood remind me of the Chapinero neighborhood of Bogotá where I lived with my then-boyfriend, later husband now-ex husband for a year before I left Colombia. I guess you could say I still haven’t figured out what Colombia means to me or what role it plays/will play in my life, but I’ve found myself thinking more and more about Bogotá and Colombia in the last few months. Anyway, here is my new photograph:
6.) It just dawned on me that every one of these updates pertains to a recent purchase. That makes me feel kind of like a bad person, so here is an update of Alfie taking a nap recently: