25.04.2013 - 30.04.2013
We have spent nearly a week in Medellín, Colombia. Staying in a cool 17th-floor studio apartment with a washer and dryer(!) has provided a nice break from the road.
Once the center of the worldwide cocaine trade in 1990's with Pablo Escobar and his hit men running the show, Medellín is now a gleaming city with proud residents. Escobar met his demise on a Medellín rooftop in 1993.
Another son of Medellín with a less violent reputation (although he does like bullfighting-yuk) is the artist of all things chubby, Fernando Botero. The Museo de Antioquia houses a large collection of Botero's works as well as those of other Colombiano artists, all donated by Botero. The plaza in front of the museum is filled with Botero's sculptures. Neither one of us is a visual art expert, but we enjoy Botero's works. He seems to have a lot of gusto and definitely a sense of humor.
We are staying in a swanky neighborhood called El Poblado. Not usually our style, but we're making the best of it. One great perk of high-end neighborhoods: a lot of grassy spots for dog-walking. I have searched for days for a patch of weeds in some cities. Poor Sunny & Cricket have learned to use the sidewalk when necessary, but it embarrasses them. They are lovin' it here! And we have found the pseudo-funky (kind of like Charlotte or Atlanta trying to be funky) part of our neighborhood, full of bars and reportedly open until dawn. It's a great place to watch fútbol matches, plus we found some GOOD craft beer here in Medellín! A welcome treat. National beers are good for hydrating, but we are really missing Asheville beers.
Another title that Medellín holds is plastic surgery capitol of the world. As a man who showed us around the city said, "There aren't many ugly women in Medellín, but there are a lot of poor husbands." I surmise there are more plastic surgery clinics here than dentist offices. 'Course, a large percentage of the dentist offices are probably for cosmetic treatments. I am not well-informed about all the latest procedures, but there are a lot of the basics: boob jobs, butt jobs, tummy tucks, arm tucks, stretched faces, Botox-laced lips . . . I wonder why a person (sadly, this applies primarily to women) who chooses to have foreign objects installed in their body is at all concerned about whether they eat organic, non-GMO foods. What's the point?
Staying put for almost a week reminds us that we will soon be returning to a house and yard. It will be a reverse culture-shock, certainly. We really dig the Latin culture/vibe, and will miss it. We will miss the spectacular mountains and beautiful beaches and new adventures at every turn. But of course it will be great to see our friends and drink above-mentioned beer, and it might be nice to throw the toilet paper in the toilet again.