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Long route home Our trip all the way home, trying to catch no planes and stay on the ground like civilised people. It's taking us via India all the way to Europe from Japan, the furthest of the Far East...

A special(s) update...

COLOMBIA | Tuesday, 22 May 2012 | Views [409]

The streets are empty. Hardly a single business has shutters up. We're too high for tumbleweed, but if we weren't, it would surely be blowing down the road. Yet today is a day when few work and most have free time. This is hardly one's idea of a Latin holiday. It seems, much like Sundays, holidays are a time not to enjoy oneself but to rest. This leads to a sketchy feeling on such days – the police and military are taking a break and so the undesirables move in to the centre once more. Once lively streets are turned into abandoned, menacing alleys akin to something from a zombie movie. Bogota is not a morning city at the best of times but on Sunday mornings it borders on the absurd and holidays are even worse.


Th only public gathering seems to be on the Seventh street for the Ciclovia and in the parks. The Ciclovia is a closing of 120km of road for biking and walking. On Sundays this is quite fun, with families out and a general feeling of festivity although as holidays are typically Mondays, this undercuts the 2nd Ciclovia and one shop in eight or so is actually open. The parks are open but one is expected to drive it appears as the public transport is perversely limited especially close to parks on Sundays and holidays.


It seems bizarre that on a day when everyone could be out spending money the shops choose to shut. Although a prime reason for moving was to experience a different culture, this is going to take a little while. Whilst I'm ideologically opposed to public holidays anyway (and Colombia has far too many) it is probably made worse by not having a house/fully developed social scene. After all, without the ability to invite a load of mates round or idle the afternoon away playing games it is harder to kill time in the hostel. The presence of semi-evolved neanderthals from various parts of the world make things close to unbearable in the common rooms and with the pubs closed...no more will I complain about the ridiculous hours of British pubs!


On some holidays things are different, we spent most of May Day in a traffic jam, for instance. We'd left town in search of the sun with a friend for the afternoon. This was somewhat preferable to the morning which involved the police teargassing the nearby worker's march. It was hard to know what was worse, the endless boredom of carbound inertia or the stinging of gas in one's throat. At least it had the feel of a special day about it. No doubt escaping the city will prove to be a typical Sunday activity, to hike, bike or just explore this seemingly fine city. It's clear that there's little going on in this normally pulsating city.

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