Saturday, December 28, 2013

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

Last night Reina showed up at 6pm and I found out where we were going was in Belen (much closer than Envigado which is officially a different town south of Medellin).

After she talked to the bus driver we took a Circular Sur 302 (3,400 pesos) bus and got off by the local airport.  We walked along the southernmost edge of the airport property for about 10 minutes until we ran into a local for her to talk to.  It turns out we are at the back of the airport and we need to be on the other side – too far to walk.  We caught a taxi and for 6mil we were at the entrance.  It’s called El Pesebre Mas Grande del Mundo (The Largest Manger in the World).  There were even signs, in English, stating “Guinness World Record” so I guess it really is the biggest.  The entrance fee was 20mil total for both of us.  It’s basically a recreation of Bethlehem at the time when Jesus was born.  We walked around the area and it was interesting although not very sophisticated.  

Afterwards we were looking for something to eat, and while there were many booths selling drinks, there was only one selling food.  Reina decided 6mil was too much to pay for a little individual pizza.  We exited the area, walked across the street to what I would call a BBQ joint.  A man was grilling meat right next to the street in some sort of permanent structure.  We got the only thing they were serving tonight.  We shared a plate with 3 types of meat (pork, beef & lamb?) with a small salad, a couple of little baked russet type potatoes, a pineapple Postobon soda for me and she had an iced tea for a total of 24mil.  It was a beautiful night – clear and not cold at all.  It was a nice outing for about $35.

I caught a taxi back to my apartment for 8mil and she caught a separate taxi back to her house.  Unfortunately, I also have to pay for her taxi which is another 20mil each way.

I asked Reina if Marcella has a friend that lives in my neighborhood and she told me she has a secretarial job in the area.

Reina also told me New Years Eve is going to be as bad (noisy) if not worse than Christmas Eve.

We’re going to meet at Sport Wings Sunday at 4:30 for the Bears vs Packers game.

I watched another episode of Lie to Me and then went to bed at 11pm.  I got up once during the night, woke up at 6:15 and finally woke/got up at 7:30.

It’s a beautiful morning, not a cloud in the sky so I skipped taking my umbrella with me.

On my way to LM I noticed a small group of people outside an apartment building looking at their garage door.  It is all metal, not solid, more like a fence and it had obviously been run into from the inside. The garage is like on the 2nd level of the building and it looked like someone tried to exit the garage without bothering to open the door.  I imagine it did a good number on the car also.

At the 2nd level of Exito the small kiosk with cell phone accessories is now gone, just the large one on the opposite corner.

I had my usual breakfast for 4,900 pesos ($2.58) at Bunuelo Express.  Those new men I had noticed working there recently were putting up new signs – another indication they might be under new management.  Wilson from the pet store stopped by and we chatted a little.  He mentioned he once owned a restaurant but he had to close when his food costs went up but he couldn’t raise his prices. ??

At 10am Augusto showed up and we played 5 games of chess: I won 4 and he won 1.  About 12:30 I bought a large empanada and Coke for each of us from Bunuelo Express for 8mil ($4.21).  The lady working there asked me something but all I understood was Picante so I understood it was about whether or not I wanted hot sauce with that and I said “yes”.  Augusto had to leave at 1:50 and he said he would call me about our next chess meeting.

A man had been observing our game so he sat down and we played one game.  He was kind of funny, he made every move in a very deliberate manner but he only lasted 20 minutes; he resigned after I took most of his pieces.

I stopped at the corner store for an hour and had a small bottle of water (1mil) and read some more of my Nook book.  I then walked across the street and bought a slab of pineapple for another 1mil to eat on the way back to my apartment.

Later I ran into Gloria on my way to LM and we had a brief chat.  I gave her a piece of Trident gum – what they call chiclet.  It doesn’t hurt to make friends.

Dinner was a small bowl of beans and mango juice at El Comedor de Chava for 6,500 ($3.42).

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