Some observations on being back in Cali, Colombia again
I’ve been back in Cali for 6 days now. I’ve noticed a lot of changes, but a lot of things remain the same. I’m back in the same house where I lived the 5 1/2 years or more that I was in Cali. I have my same room, but the window screen is gone that I had put in. The electric shower head that had controls for tepid and cold water is gone. Only a pipe comes out of the wall now and provides the normal cold water. I’m trying to get used to cold showers again. Ugh! It’s not too bad when the weather is hot, though. The bathroom sink was clogged and the water wasn’t going down very well. I soon fixed that. My room was robbed of all the clothes hangers that I had bought and kept in the closet. I need to find some soon. I can live with the changes for the two months that I will be in Cali. It’s still better than camping and the price is the same. With the better exchange rate, it’s even costing me less. The other news is that the house is going to be sold. The owner, Esperanza, who lives in the house and her daughter, who lives in France, want to sell. This will probably be my last time staying in the house.
Traffic in Cali seems worse. I enjoy walking again on the crowded sidewalks. I enjoy having food available everywhere and anywhere at anytime. However, I need to watch what I eat. My first day, I ate something bad and I was sick to my stomach all night and feeling miserable all day Sunday. I couldn’t eat that day at all. Day by day, I have gotten better. I joined my gym again and worked out two days now. That place has changed. My bicycle by the upstairs window is gone. They’re all in the third floor room now without windows. They are also charging 40,000 pesos a month now, about 10,000 more than I paid per month last year. That’s a little under $20 with the good exchange rate I have now.
Already, I have seen most of the people I know in the neighborhood. They all call me amigo or vecino, friend or neighbor. They ask where I’ve been and are happy that I hadn’t died. When I arrived at the airport, my friends, Natalia and Javier, were there to pick me up at the late hour of 11:45 p.m. On Monday, my friend, Liceth, came to the house to see me. It was so good to see her again and to visit together. Other than those three, I haven’t seen any of my other friends yet. I was supposed to get together with some Saturday evening, but I was already too sick. I hope to get to Siloé soon to see Pichi. Today, I went and walked around the bottom area, Nave, taking some photos and visiting with my friend, Correa, there. Siloé hasn’t changed much. It’s still a little crazy and like the wild west. Horses still are used as transport on the streets. It’s still loud and full of people everywhere. Correa is still repairing radiators on his spot on the sidewalk across from the cemetery.
It feels a little strange to be back after 10 months away, but it feels good. I’m trying to enjoy my 2 months here and do a lot of photography. But, I’m happy that it’s only 2 months this time. Things are a little different and I seem to have even fewer friends here then in my first several years.
So far, I haven’t hiked Las Tres Cruces yet. The rainy season is this month and the weather is a little unpredictable. I almost went this morning, but I thought it was going to rain. It didn’t and it turned out to be a sunny and hot day. Maybe, I’ll try tomorrow. I’m slowly getting used to the humidity, heat and my sweating. It’s getting better every day.
The photo was taken in Siloé today.