Today Ekat woke up super early and began trying to make coffee – she went through every possible thing in the house! Eventually we all got up and it was only 9:30am – we had only gotten max 4 or 5 hours of sleep – we were all super tired.
We decided to go hang out at Parque Bolivar for the day instead of going to Monseratte – we were all too tired to climb all those stairs! Parque Central Simon Bolivar is a huge park in Bogota that is even larger than Central Park in New York. It has an outdoor amplitheatre, a boating lake, several restaurants, a library and ample room to hang out in the grass and relax.
We walked there after taking a short transmileneo ride. They were very excited to ride it – which I totally understand at it is very exciting and something unique to Bogota. I had forgotten how exciting it is – it can be packed and that is a cool experience coming from other countries who don’t have this kind of mass transit.
It was a nice walk on a beautiful day. We were really lucky with the weather this weekend. There was lot’s of sun and no rain at all – it helped the girls to fall in love with the city as much as I have. When they were here before for orientation it was rainy and cold.
We were tired by the time we reached the park. I had to pee and it was hot and we were sweaty. We sat on the grass in the shade and drank some water and relaxed. There were people everywhere and most of them had their dogs with them. It was amazing how many people and their dogs were everywhere. I was surprised that there were cats there with their owners there as well. There were a lot of cats, on leashes, hanging out and in their carriers. It was super sweet. At one point I saw a young girl with her hamster in its cage. She wanted it to get ‘fresh air’!!
We have been told time and again about the number of phones that are stolen in this country. Apparently it’s quite a problem. So I have always been very protective of my phone and watchful over it. We went to a little shopping area near the park to get a snack and a coffee and find a place to pee. We started walking back to the park when I realized that my phone was not in my pocket. I started panicking and then thought that maybe I had left it at the table. Rachel ran back for me and the phone was on the ground. It had fallen when I stood up. It was still there! I was so very happy – I feel so lucky! It was very freeing to realize that I could live without my phone though. I have gotten very attached to it here as it is how I stay in contact with my family and the maps guides me around the city. It has become a life-line for me – I really need to re-think how dependent I am on it.
After walking around the park and going to the boating lake, looking at all the animals, passing an area where guys were working out, we decided to look for something to eat. There were various stands in the park, but no real food. On Sundays in Bogota, there is a surprising lack of restaurants open in the evening. It is kind of weird. We looked around Chapinero, but found none, so were forced to go up to Zona G. This is a touristy area, so they have chain restaurants that are open later.
We found this Mexican restaurant called El Carnal. It was kinda divey, but we thought why not – they didn’t have Margaritas, real Mexican food, plates, silverware, etc., it was kinda fast food – but we were way too tired and hungry to keep looking.
While we sat there and started on ‘nachos’ Ebony saw a bug in the food. I complained and sent the ‘nachos’ back. They said that they were sure the bug had just dropped into them because of the lights up on the ceiling, therefore it was not their problem. They cautioned us to be careful and showed us other bugs flying around the lights. So I guess bugs could fall into our food at any moment. We chose to leave to avoid eating any bugs! They were difficult about us paying for our food but we got out of paying for the food we’d ordered but didn’t get yet, however, they still wanted us to pay for our ‘nachos’. I was upset with the lack of good customer service. The guy told us ‘have a good evening’ sarcastically as we left, will NOT be returning.
The cultural difference between customer service and waiting on tables is very notable. I am getting used to it, but still need to work on being more ‘tranquila’ even when I am tire!
We went to a Crepes and Waffles and had a satisfactory meal, went home and drank some wine and chatted before crashing. Another long and delightful day and some well earned sleep!