All posts tagged: Colombia

Language immersion in Medellin

The lights blink off briefly on the plane as I’m shaken awake by a particularly violent patch of turbulence. There’s an announcement, too rapid for my waking mind to process. It’s not translated. The ground beneath my window is dramatic and strangely close. It’s not long since we took off. The aircraft continues to shake itself from side to side and I sense too the definite lurching sensation of steady descent. The lights fade to blackness and I’m left without the means to search for panic in the eyes of my fellow passengers. Only to look into the inexplicably approaching mountains. I sit back in my seat and close my eyes. Such are the fictions we create for ourselves when travelling alone. After six frustrating hours waiting in Bogota airport with few distractions, I fell asleep into my window frame as soon as I boarded the plane. But I hadn’t really understood how short the journey would be and awoke bewildered and, without reference points, convinced myself of a different fate for that journey. But Google …

Taxi rides in Bogota: a brief stop in Colombia’s capital

I say farewell to the US with another long bus journey back to LA and one more rather jaded day in suspense of my onward flight and what awaits me in Colombia. My third couchsurfing host takes me to an open mic night straight after I arrive in the city, where I originally planned to perform some poetry, but I’m a little relieved that a considerable delay in my journey has made this impossible. We watch a wonderful mixture of poems, comedy, music, nerves, oversharing, and like any open mic the quality meanders between sublime and tragic. I try to lap up what more I can of LA in the hours that remain to me, and manage to explore some of downtown before the heat forces me back into air conditioned cafes and the absorption of writing. I even fit in Venice Beach in the daytime before my flight, as it’s on route to the airport, but sunbathing properly proves difficult with all my belongings in tow. As I walk down the strip and look …