Medellin – the Long and Shart of it… ah Forget it, Just the Shart

MedellinWell, what can I say about Medellin really?  Life was good, life was fabulous.  The truth is that I don’t really know what normal life is really like – there were the rebellious teenage years when all energy was devoted towards battling my parents, then there were the hazy drug-urchin days where it was all about finding the next high, and then there was crazed academic obsession coupled with workaholic tendencies – from six in the morning till midnight every day.  Oh, and of course, that somehow transitioned into a mad bicycle pilgrimage down through the Americas and back to the “fatherland”.  So yeah, I don’t think I really knew what a normal life felt like until I got to Medellin.

Alright, so given, perhaps being unemployed for a few months in an urban South American garden of Eden isn’t really reality, but hey, its not for lack of trying!  I’ll be honest with you, I spent almost every day out on the hunt – following employment leads, networking, extending visas, and desperately struggling with national work permit laws.  Yeah, you could actually say that trying to get hired in Colombia was like my full time job… ok, a little pathetic… but true.

Well anyway, I was living on the cheap – I had an apartment for $280 with meals included, laundry service (you mean I get to just throw it on the floor and it comes back clean…??), daily room cleaning, a pool and penthouse views.  I couldn’t really complain, thats for sure.  Add to that a kick-ass burger joint with the tops in cheapy burgers only a block away (and open 24/7!), a quick walk to the metro train station, and stumbling distance to some of the best watering holes in the city (which is important for me, since I like to do a bit of pre-gaming to stick within my budget… and then stumble to the bars.  Is that wierd?).

Nevado del RuizSo yeah, life was good.  Add to that my little friend Elkin, and the practical in-separation of the two of us for almost the entire of my stay in Medellin, and yeah, I kept pretty busy.  We had a lot of country to visit together as well, and although I didn’t know it at the time, not much time in which to do it (couldn’t have predicted the dry job market and consequent short stay).  So, over those sweet few months in Medellin, somehow we managed to climb the snowy Nevado del Ruiz, lounge around in the delicious coffee growing region of Eje Cafetero, collapse in exhaustion from excessive salsa in Cali, fiesta in Cartagena in honor of the national beauty queen, chill out in Santa Marta like Colombian tourists (ok, given, one of us was), and ruin ourselves while hiking through the jungle and back in Parque Tayrona on the Caribbean coast.

Hmm, so why exactly did I leave?  Oh thats right, I was still unemployed – after three months, had only distant prospects – my oil field was drying up, and my visa was about to expire (again).  So, after two previous visa extensions (yeah, its a really short stay in Colombia) and no dice, I wasn’t willing to shell out the extra cash and fill out the dreary paperwork to keep myself in the country and harboring false hopes for any longer.  It was time to go.

After all of the time, energy, and funds that I had invested into starting my new life in Medellin (temporarily, of course), it was a shame to go, but I knew that it was now or never if I still wanted to have even a prayed of paying my way back to Brazil.  I said goodbye to my wonderful new friends in Medellin – sweet little Elkin, crazy little Mary, and quirky little Kristen –  ok, I suppose thats a bit redundant, but when you’re as big as me, that’s generally how you see the world.  And then there was Marisol and Sonia as well – goodbye my sweets!

Colombian Coastal WipeoutIt was hard to pick up and go, even harder since I had pigeon-holed myself into virtually having to flee the country by bus just in order to escape before the expiration of my visa, but as the day of my departure grew nearer I found myself renewed, rejuvenated, and re-invigorated for the journey ahead.

I would miss Medellin and the wonderful people with whom I had shared my life – but it was time for family – and time to continue onward to the destination of which I had dreamed of my whole life – Brazil.  And so, as with most difficult decisions in life, I said goodbye to the wonderful things that I had managed to fill my life with while living happily in Medellin, and pushed forward to the divine light of the future, and hopefully the fulfillment of which I had eternally longed for.


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