I’ve been getting into the Christmas BIG TIME over the last few days… I mean literally, getting into the Christmas spirits, like rum and aguardiente. I wasn’t a huge fan of aguardiente when I tried it first in Sydney, but I’m slowly coming around. It’s anise flavoured and there’s one in Medellin that’s sweetened with sugar so it goes down very easily. And staying so close to the alcoholic Disneyland of Parque Lleras, it’s difficult not to partake. It’s legal to drink in the streets so you can just buy some drinks and sit in the park and get happy!
And hey… In Colombia it isn’t a party until the accordions come out…
From left to right: Robinson, Andres, Martin and Carlos. We went out to a bar the other the night in Centro Medellin. We went through two bottles of aguardiente until the bar closed at 4 a.m…. Then we came back to my apartment along with a whole bunch of other people we invited from the bar and ordered two more bottles. This city is really cool…. They have liquor stores that deliver to your home at any hour of the day, even at 4 in the morning! We continued going till about 7.30 in the morning… And I kid you not, they all went to work afterwards! I don’t know about the others but Andres started work at 8 a.m. I don’t how on earth they managed it but they did! They’re my heroes!
As for me… the partying, all the deep fried food and the constantly having to communicate in Spanish is taking it’s toll on me a weeny bit. My usual energetic, calm and tolerant self is feeling a bit fatigued and cranky. I had a little run in with this little chica the other day. I admit, it was possibly my fault…
Anyway… With service here, for me, I feel a bit of a cultural gap. Particularly in supermarkets and smaller, cheaper shops the staff seem to be on a mission aiming for the lowest possible stress factor, which is not a bad thing as long as you take a book along to read. And often, they don’t seem to acknowledge your presence in any way when you come up to the counter… Maybe the custom here is for the customer to just call out to them. I don’t know but it’s different to what I’m used to and my Spanish isn’t good enough to do it politely.
That shop is a kind of mini-supermarket, liquor store and cafe all in one. I went there the other day to buy a pineapple but when I go there I decided to have a coffee and bunuelo before entering and embarking on said pineapple purchase. I must have waited at least ten minutes at the counter and she continued about her business just ignoring me. Again, I don’t know if I was supposed to shout out to her or what but it felt a bit weird. Finally another staff member came to serve the customers but she served the people behind me first. So, eventually I gave up. I decided I didn’t really want a coffee anyway and went off and bought my pineapple. I may have accidentally let out a slight groan, rolled my eyes and flicked my nose in the air as I stamped my feet and walked off. Unintentionally of course. After I bought the pineapple I decided I DID want that coffee after all… I went back to the cafe part and this time just called out Un cafe Americano y bunuelo por favor”… This time she made eye contact… She looked me in the eye AND JUST SCREAMED at me. I don’t know what she said but she got the coffee and bunuelo and then walked off and wouldn’t accept the money. I left the money on the counter but it was a weird experience.