Sometimes in Colombia, as a teacher, your students just want to dance Ras Tas Tas. This is OK. Have a little Ras Tas Tas break, and then back to work.
Sometimes in Colombia, even in the third biggest city in the country, there are horses and chickens hanging out on the street. Don’t question it.
Sometimes in Colombia, you don’t realize you are getting an assigned seat at the movie theater, and you end up sandwiched between two large families, even though there are plenty of empty seats. This is not that big a deal; you only paid $3 for the ticket. Besides, the movie is in Spanish and you don’t always know what’s going on. When in doubt, ask a small child (if available) to explain what is going on. Your Spanish is approximately at the level of a small child’s, so this will work out perfectly.
Sometimes in Colombia, you find your way to work blocked by yellow caution tape and a construction zone that has seemingly appeared overnight. Don’t worry about it. Much like red traffic lights in this country, yellow caution tape is only a suggestion. Duck underneath and carry on your merry way. Additionally, keep in mind that if you are walking, there is ALWAYS a construction zone. So remember your comfortable shoes, and avoid wearing anything that you don’t want to get covered in dust.
Sometimes in Colombia, people stare at you anywhere you go. This may be off-putting at first, but it is just curiosity. Sometimes strangers will come up to you at a restaurant as you are about to eat lunch, only to welcome you to Colombia. This is pretty delightful.
Sometimes in Colombia, strange men talk to you on the street. They usually say things like:
“Hello, I love you”
Sometimes in Colombia, you look around and realize you are the tallest person in a crowd. Similarly, you are definitely the blondest person in the room. This is strange for you because you never thought of yourself as a particularly tall or blonde person. But rest assured: in Colombia, you look like a Viking princess. This has the awesome benefit of being the perfect excuse never to wear heels, because heels are terrible.
Sometimes in Colombia, old men will approach you in line at the grocery store. They might ask you for English lessons. Answer as you will. Alternatively, they might ask you why your face is so burnt, even though you have not spent any daytime outside in the sun in over a month. Colombians are not, as a rule, a very red people. Just shrug, smile, and assure them, “Solo tengo una cara roja” and carry on.
Sometimes in Colombia you have no idea what’s going on, so you just have to smile and roll with it. Actually, that’s all the time. But then you look around and see something that makes you feel right at home, and you know that everything is going to be just fine.