Friday, December 20, 2013

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Last night I watched another episode of Lie to Me.  I went to bed at 10:30, got up several times during the night (once I was awakened by a telephone ringing somewhere), and finally woke/got up at 8:10am.

Breakfast was a coffee & croissant from Los Mejores bakery on Calle 35.
I stopped at the Tinto Store and Gonzolo told me my laundry should be ready for me to pickup on Friday or Saturday.

I took a Simon Bolivar bus and was downtown by 11:25.  Reina arrived a minute later.  First we stopped at Magifoto at Calle 53 #49-147.  This time I had a blue short sleeved shirt on, they took the picture in a little closet with a white background and 10 minutes later I had 3 3cm x 4cm pictures, 4 5cm x 5cm pictures and 1 on a CD for 10mil ($5.26).

We had lunch again in the food court at the same mall (Patio Union CC) not far away.  (It’s the same mall where I used to call to the US from an internet cafe.)  Reina ordered a Pechuga for 14,500 which we shared.  It included a big piece of chicken, a small salad and a small baked potato.  She also ordered Consome (chicken soup) for 3,500 but she only ate the broth.  And we each had a mango juice for 2,500.  The receipt also shows a “Dept 15” charge of 1mil – maybe that’s a charge for a shared meal?  The total came to 24mil ($12.63).

I made up some directions and translated them to Spanish so Reina could see my plans to take a Circular 303 bus to the EAFIT soccer field, walk up the hill to my dentist’s office and then walk about 15 minutes to Santafe CC.  But when she saw my plans she told me we can take a bus directly to Santafe without all the walking.

We walked a few blocks east to Avenida Oriental (Carrera 46) and then walked a few blocks south to Calle 49 where we got on a Ruta 135 San Lucas bus which took us all the way to Santafe CC.  Again the traffic was pretty heavy but at least this time we weren’t under any time pressure.
We were both almost dripping from riding in the bus with almost no airflow so the first thing we did is find a place where we could have some ice cream.  I had 1 scoop of pistachio and she had 2 scoops of some kind of chocolate swirl for a total of 9,500 ($5).

I showed her the place where they had ice skating but when she checked on the price she told me it was 50mil for each of us for 30 minutes – too expensive.  We walked around some more and finally found Santa’s sleigh but he was on break for another 30 minutes.  I decided I wanted Reina to have a Christmas to remember so I told her I would take the money out of the ATM and then we would go ice skating.  She thanked me but the next problem was finding an ATM – a Davivienda or ATH.  We asked several people and they kept sending us down to the lower level where there was only a garage.  It appeared they have something like 5 or 7 underground parking levels.  Finally we got the right instructions and found an ATH ATM and I took out the required 100mil.

On the way back to the skating rink I noticed Santa had returned so I quickly took a picture with Reina in the sleigh.

Next we had to find the location where you buy the tickets for the ice skating.  We had to go up 2 levels and then in the back of a corner of the mall was standing what looked like an igloo.  Inside are tellers who sell the tickets.

Here are some other Christmas decorations we found on our way:

We only had to wait in line for about 5 minutes and we were let in.  They took my hat and umbrella but they wouldn’t take my fanny pack (with my sunglasses in it) or my Techbag with my iPad in it.  They gave each of us a helmet and boots with ice skates attached.  I got a size 9 but I should probably have gotten a ½ size larger.  The boots reminded me of ski boots in the way they buckle.  And before you put them on you have to put plastic booties over your socks.  For some reason Reina was just in front of me getting on the ice – mistake – because as soon as her skates hit the ice she did a nose dive.  She scraped her arm and bruised her thing.  She sat back down on a bench for about 10 minutes and a lady gave her a gauze pad to stanch the little blood that started coming out.  (I wanted this to be memorable for her but not this way.)  I wasn’t very steady on my feet either; I didn’t fall but the ice was pretty cut up from skaters and I was pretty shaky on my feet.  I am proud of the fact that I didn’t fall but it was close.  They had little “penguins” that kids could hold onto and push around the rink and I managed to grab one for Reina and she came back onto the ice.  We skated for about 10 minutes and then we decided to leave.

Included in the price of the ice skating were the bumper cars.  There was a longer line for that.  After 30 minutes it looked like the next turn was going to be ours and they told Reina that they needed to take 20 minutes to recharge the cars.  While they did that the guys played “zamboni” and used shovels to try to take off a layer of ice.

When it was finally our turn she really enjoyed the bumper cars although she seemed not to be able to figure out how to get herself out of a corner.
We took a taxi back to my apartment where I changed into a long sleeved shirt.  I didn’t want her to see where I have hidden some of my extra money so we stopped at an ATM in Viva mall where I took out a small amount of cash.

We had dinner at Frisby in LM.  Again she had chicken soup (consome) for 5,500, 2 pieces of chicken for 8,700, and cole slaw for 4,800.  I had a Frisburrito with ranch dressing for 6,100 and we shared a large Pepsi for 4,000.  The total came to 29,100 ($15.32).

We took a taxi down to the east side of the river to see the city lights.  We used a crossover bridge to get to the other side of a busy street.  Besides the lights it was like a street fair with LOTS of booths set up selling food, drink and other holiday items.  The way it is set up is that (from west to east) there are lights on the far side of the river, lights over the river, a sidewalk, lights on the east side of the river, a dirt/stone path, and then the booths.  I decided we would first walk along the path and check out the booths and then at the other end we would turn around and come back on the sidewalk and focus on the lights.  

I wish I had timed it because it must have taken an hour to see everything.  There is a lot of uncooked food (mainly meat) on display and I couldn’t tell if there was any ice or refrigeration under it to keep it fresh.  I asked Reina if she didn’t want anything and all she asked for was a bottle of orange juice.  I even tried to put a Santa Claus hat on her to see if she would like to have that but she declined.  A number of people are selling little toy “helicopters” with lights on them that they shoot up into the air with what must have been a rubber band of some type.  At one point there were a lot of people standing around a group of paintings on the ground and the 2 owners were quickly making more with cans of spray paint and a brush.  It was very interesting.

When we got to the other end we turned around and walked back on the sidewalk.  This seemed to be a mistake as 90% of the people were walking in the opposite direction.  At different intervals there were stations with different special light scenes and even a very involved nativity scene with moving characters.  It took 45 minutes for us to get almost back to the beginning.  Reina said she was tired of walking so we took the crossover, she got me a taxi.

I was back at the apartment by 10pm.  My back had been a little sore all day so I took 2 Excedrin Migraine.

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