It took about 20 hours to get here, but my sister and I finally made it to Bogotá. You would think we would be upset with American Airlines, but they have apparently launched a new positive reframing campaign, so it is hard to get too angry. For example, we were not able to land in Miami due to a fog situation and did not have enough gas to circle around Miami Airport, so we had to fly into Ft. Lauderdale to refuel. And instead of apologizing, the PSA went something like this…(p.s…I have not figured out this Spanish keyboard, so I apologize for the lack of contractions)…
Captain…ladies and gentlemen, the crew here is so thankful to the refueling team, who got us fueled up and on our way back to Miami in just 25 minutes!
(Meanwhile, we missed our connecting flight from Miami to Bogotá and instead of leaving for Bogotá at 9.35 we ended up leaving at 5.25. But I was thankful to the refueling team.)
Then when we finally got on our 5.25 Bogota flight, there was yet another delay! It turns out the communication system was missing some non-essential piece, and instead of apologizing, the PSA went something like this…
Captain…Ladies and gentlemen, I just want to express my sincere gratitude to our wonderful mechanics here at American Airlines. Instead of dealing with a two-hour delay, we only have a one hour delay! We are so very grateful for our excellent mechanics here who got us off the ground so quickly!
(And when we finally arrived in Bogotá, my bag did not arrive!!! But thank goodness for the American Airline mechanics.)
We also witnessed a couple examples of Colombian style minimizing…
(American) Captain…Ladies and gentlemen, we should be out of the gate here in about 20 or 30 minutes.
(Colombian) Flight Attendant…Senoras y senores, the captain has informed us that we will be leaving the gate in about 5 or 10 minutes.
(American) Captain…Ladies and gentlemen, our gate is currently occupied, but we should be able to pull in in about 10 or 15 minutes.
(Colombian) Flight Attendant…Ladies and gentleman, the captain is currently trying to find us a new gate. We should be pulling in in just a couple of minutes.
Flight troubles aside, I have made the following observations about Bogotá this time around…
1.) The price of a McDonald’s meal has gone down substantially.
2.) There are a lot more foreigners in Bogotá now. Like normal looking foreigners, not just the hippie kind who smoke too much weed. Americans, Japanese, Koreans, Scandinavians, French…they are all over now, at least in the north.
3.) There are a lot fewer buses than there were just two years ago.
4.) The sidewalks are still a disaster. Seriously, I do not understand how sidewalks can get so messed up. Are they made of play dough???
5.) It feels like there might actually be a (relatively) large middle class now.
6.) The sun does, in fact, exist in Bogotá. We had a beautiful day today!
7.) The taxis are still tiny. And drivers do not necessarily stop for pedestrians. My sister and I had a near death experience trying to cross the street today.
8.) There are lots of nice little city parks and pocket parks, at least in the North.
9.) The price of books is still astronomical.
10.) My grandma is still a pretty cool old lady.
I will post a photo essay of our first full day in Bogota in just a little bit…