Friday, January 28, 2011

Bogotá Colombia- Bull fighting, flea market, Gay gym, $1 juice

Bogotá Colombia


So I’ve been here in Bogota Colombia for the past few days taking a little break, fixing up the motorcycle for the long trek ahead and relaxing in my own special way.

It’s been a fun experience, living in this metropolitan city for almost a week.

The majority of the people here, are business orientated, walking the streets in suits and business attire all the time.

I even enrolled in a local gym for the week. My body has slowly been getting weak from long days of travel, and needed to build back some muscle and strength for the rest of the journey, as when the road gets rough, your physical endurance and strength on controlling a motorcycle is life or death.

I must say it was thoroughly impressed by the gym, $10 for the week and it was big. My favorite part was the food bar inside. $1.60 protein shakes with fresh fruit in a huge 36 ounce container. To give you an idea, I had a melon protein shake, and the entire melon was blended and used for my one drink. It was beautiful. Also had plain pasta with plain chicken that was boiled, I’ve been craving something that isn’t cooked with immense amounts of cooking oil.

My least favorite part of the gym was that apparently Saturday mornings from 9am-12pm is “happy” hour aka. Gay hour. Out of 50 people there more than half of them were consistently messing with their hair, talking in high pitch voices, doing the girly hand gestures and walking like women shaking their booty from machine to machine. It didn’t help when they all noticed a tall new face at the gym (that would be me), to which I was checked out, talked to and even asked out by the guys. I kindly declined of course.


It seems there’s quite the large gay population in Bogota, I saw some chicks making out on the street along with other acts of public affection with the gay population in public, something I never expected with such a Latin place.


On a pretty funny note: you know when you don't fit in with the average demographic of physical proportion of the region, when your at the gym you can't even do one pull-up without your knees hitting the floor. I couldn't stop laughing when all the equipment didn't fit me, I used the largest setting that were never big enough, my head hit the machines, I maxed out a few machines, and I had issues running on treadmill as my head slammed the ceiling every time I took a stride, I took off the plaster ceiling tile so I could run without hitting my head on the roof. Obviously I was the main focus at the gym with the first thing people see walking in is a really tall guy with his head through the roof running on a tread mill.

Leaving Bogotá soon, I can tell you that I will miss the freshly squeezed mandarin orange juice stands littering the streets, $1 dollar gets you a huge glass, reminds me of my days in Merida Mexico with my $1 carrot juice stand.

Also littering the streets are vendors of tennis racks that have electrical currents and metal wires to kill mosquitoes, one walk through the streets you’ll find 15 to 20 of them zapping a wet toothpick demonstrating its use. It’s a daily sound show when I walk by.

I will also miss my 50 cent per slice of pizza truck that rolls down the street.

Will miss the dressed up people in costumes like solders, cartoons, or robots standing absolutely still for some money. There was even one lady completely topless in all white paint.  

This country is so amazingly beautiful and so are the people. Very kind and courteous everywhere I go. I love that when you buy something or are near a vendor they say “a la orden”, which is a polite way of saying at your service. Everywhere I go; it’s said to me and everyone else.

Colombians are so courteous, as I sat in restaurants or places to eat, homeless people came by all the time, and they would actually give them food. This happened various times.

Throughout this trip I’ve gotten constant comments of the dangerous of places. Like Colombia, many people have told me not to stay here long and just drive straight through, that it’s very dangerous and there’s lots of kidnappings, etc. Obviously I don’t listen to anyone, I fight off all the negative comments, otherwise I would never be on this trip.

The dangerous that people say exist are mostly not true. There are dangers everywhere, if you walk down a dark alley at night looking like you have money, yeah you’re looking for trouble but that’s in any city in the world.

My suggestion to everyone is not to be deterred by people’s comments of places and their dangers and avoid places because of what others say, mostly others who have never visited those places are the ones expressing their options and concerns to you. The media is also a horrible creature that misrepresents the true nature of a city of country. Everywhere I have been to, has been amazing, taking the proper precautions in any place well get you by, any place, dangerous of not, is a jewel to visit and see. Travel for yourself and no one else.
So travel people, do not be afraid, and see what the world has to offer.

So it’s now Sunday, and I went to the local flea market.

There was so much crap it was crazy, antiques, useless stuff, it was amazing.



Saw some type writers from the 1900’s, and almost even bought myself a super Nintendo system for $3 dollars.

So like I mentioned before I bought a ticket for a bull fighting event. I have honestly been very skeptical about contributing to the slaughtering of a bull. I even went outside the stadium this week to try and sell my ticket as I thought I had a change of heart. Unsuccessful, I went in with a learning state of mind, as an experience to behold and study first hand, humans and animals alike.

As I made my way through the protesters, the stadium was filled with white and red colors of clothing and that cool traditional water pack you see in the movies.



The stadium was absolutely beautiful, and the crowd was filled with what seemed like the “high society” of Bogotá.





As I sat down in my cheap ass seat, in the last row of the stadium, in the nose bleed section, I noticed I was behind a pillar, I felt like I was in a cartoon or movie, got the lucky seat behind the pillar.



As people got to their seats, they walked by a few steps down from where I was, and stepped up the steps I was on to pass me to get to their seats. As you can see there was a pillar in the way above their heads they never saw.

So the first people to cut through the crowd and go up a few steps to reach my row were welcomed with banging their heads on pure concrete at full force. The aching sound of a human’s cranium smashing at full force on a concrete pillar seemed worst than the killing of the bull I was about to watch and made me cringe.

After the first people sliced their heads open, I stepped in and became the medic and preventer for the head banging’s. I warned the people before they stepped up, but they never listened. I kept hearing and seeing the heads bang the cement pillar. It was like a repeat video over and over again of a clip from America’s Funniest Home Videos of people smacking their heads on a concrete roof.

I eventually just shadowed my hand over their head as they stepped up, knowing they were going to hit the pillar no matter if I said anything to them or not, so they crushed my hand in-between their head and cement pillar, it was better than seeing people knocked out from their unobservant behavior. Regardless I think I saved a few lives that day, things to do for the day, save some lives, check!

As I mentioned before the courtesy of the Colombian people is amazing. The lady next to me was so nice; she fed me chips and peanuts the entire time I was there, just because I made some conversation with her. She even explained the entire bull fight to me, from the customs, history and culture of it.



So the first bull came out. They poked it with a big sharp stick in the spine to make it bleed. They then proceeded to stab the bull with feathered spikes and exhausted it enough for the Matador to stick a sword through the bulls back and eventually have it bleed to death.

Viewer discretion advised






Yeah there was traditional stuff involved, fancy moves and showmanship for the crowd, nothing too fascinating to me to watch a few guys gang up and kill a bull.

On the third bull, apparently the world’s best bull fighter on a horse was introduced, I forget the official name. He rode around on his horse doing the same things the Matadors did, but was phenomenal at calling it close with the bull and horse. He went straight on with the bull and turned at the last second. He also worked around the bull with his horse with his back turned at the bull. I must say I was impressed, I saw why he was the best in the world.


Animals are slaughtered all over the world bleeding them to death, euthanizing them or knocking out the animal with a metal rod to the head. How this is any different or worse is up to you to decide. 


I was pretty much done after the third bull and left, there were 3 more to go and I didn’t feel like continuing watching. As I walked through the people, I got looks from people in disillusion; not being able to comprehend that was leaving on the third bull. It was quite interesting to see their reactions.



Personally, although they use the bull for meat and parts, the cutting of the ears and hoofs to give to the Matador, and the matador to give to the crowd, wasn’t my cup of tea. As they did that right as the bull falls and is still slightly alive.

I have lots of video to put up, but my internet is has been extremely slow the past week and is impossible, keep posted for them



The next day I packed up my stuff from the hostel, I was pretty tired of sleeping on awful cushions that felt as if I was sleeping in a curved egg shell.

I went on my way to Cali, where apparently some of the most beautiful women in Colombia reside, well, I’ll be the judge of that.