Saturday, June 23, 2012

Another quiet Saturday morning in Bogotá...

Yes, it's a great day to consider sleeping in a little...until Tamale Lady makes her rounds.
She comes around early Saturday and Sunday mornings, announcing her presence with:

I'm told that they're not as good as Paula's tamales, but not bad.
We have been impressed with the pragmatism of Colombians.  There's not much of a safety net, and so people figure out how to get by.  And if that means waking up the Gringos on Saturday morning, tough.
We hope your Tamale Lady waits until at least 9:00 AM.
Dave & Paula
(P.S.  Unfortunately, you only get the audio player for full effect (and if you REALLY want the full effect, crank up the volume) if you are using the Chrome or Firefox browser. I can't get it to function on Safari.) 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Protest graffiti in Bogotá!

Graffiti is alive and well in Bogotá.  In fact, the city is specifically known for it's often-skilled wall artists, for good or evil.  (see future blog post for some honestly outstanding work)
Sentiments of protest are frequently expressed in graffiti form.  For instance, this sardonic work:
Translation:  "Bullfighting is art and graffiti is vandalism."
Below, on a university wall:
Meaning, "The students in our country have struggled divided, but now they are resolved to form a front!"
The following ominous-appearing example reads: 
"Without women, there is no revolution."
And this one, generally celebrating the power of students protesting together: 
However, this one caught my eye today, obviously from a Bogataño who has been driven to poignantly scream:
 (And I am not making this up) "No more intestine soup!"  
May all your graffiti be so rich with meaning, and may your mother stop feeding you stuff like that.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Calorie Count of Monty Crisco

My Spanish could stand improvement (see previous entry).  To this end, I've been reading books written in it, looking to improve my vocabulary in a - hopefully - enjoyable way.  
So, I downloaded this big book by a guy named Alex something, and plunged in.  And almost drowned.
As far as I could tell, the book was about some guy on a boat who was going to marry some girl, and I think Napoleon was mentioned, and then he was in jail, I think.  Not Napoleon; the guy.  So anyway, then he got really rich and it seems like he did some nice things, and then he got even with other people.  I mean the guy, not Napoleon, although he got even with people sometimes, too. 
Look, this was a really, really big book, and I'll bet it was confusing even in English.
So, I'm going to tackle another book now.  I'm thinking this time it's going to be another classic, like El Gato En El Sombrero, by the famous author Theodor Geisel.
May all your books be classics, and your calorie count be lower than the Alex guy above.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bad Spanish leads to great sausage!

Having inherited some spring-roll wrappers from a departing Mission President's wife, we decided to make pot-stickers, requiring a half-pound of ground pork. Off to the nice little neighborhood market!
I said "quarto kilo," meaning, "one fourth kilogram."  He heard "quatro kilos," meaning "four kilos," so instead of one half of a pound, by the time I'd realized the misunderstanding, we'd bought a bunch of great ground pork.  That's a lot of potstickers!
 So, what do you do when life hands you too much ground pork?  You make sausage!
I won't put in any images of the actual making, because as they say, "Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made," (John Godfrey Saxe, ca. 1869), and because I forgot to take a picture.
Anyway, here's the finished product!  One more S. American delicacy conquered!
We hope that all your foreign-language mistakes turn out so well!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

24 Reasons Why I Love Colombia. . .

. . . and they only cost $4.98 (at today's exchange rate, including the greenery and baby's breath) at the BIG market today.  More on the market to come.

Friday, June 8, 2012

FLASH!! New Medical Theory stuff!!

Last week, I had a cold.  This should come as no surprise, considering the number of hands we shake, grab-bars we grab in the buses, etc.   
For many years, it has been believed, supported by many so-called 'studies,' that the transmission and symptoms of an upper respiratory infection were due to 'viruses,' little teeny, tiny, eensy, weensy things you can hardly see, even if you are young and don't have to use reading glasses very much.
So being a Doctor, with its accompanying wisdom, I was careful to wash my hands, use a separate hand-towel, divert my sneezes, and so on.  I felt that I had been a success when Paula didn't suffer from the same infection.  Little did know...
She informed me this morning that the difference was that I lacked the will power that she possesses. 
Will power?!  Will Power??!!  Why didn't I think of that??!
In the end, hundreds of years of medical science, turned on their head.
We hope you can muster the will power to remain healthy.
Dave & Healthy Paula