I was glad to leave turmoily Colombia and travel to Buenos Aires for a holiday and look what happens. I think I made the same mistake as a Colombian friend who was robbed in Amsterdam. He thought that in Holland you didn’t have to be careful. Wrong of course. And I? I trusted in a guy who would help me to find a taxi. He and the driver sewed me. They asked a far too high rate. I was naive and believed their explanation. Colombia is less awful than it seems.
The friend of the friend, where I am staying, is a young Colombian woman. I will call her Sandra. She came to Buenos Aires because it is cheaper to go university here and she feels it is very hard to make a living in Colombia. She tells me that there are a lot of Colombian youngsters in Buenos Aires who work and study. Colombians need a visa for almost every country in the world and Argentina has a big advantage: they don’t need it. But of course Sandra lives all the trouble immigrants have. She has two jobs, found after lots of hard and desperate searching. She can’t go to the wedding of the friend we have in common because she would lose her jobs. The other day she asked the evning off for an exam. Her boss gave his permission, but at nine they were calling why she hadn’t come. She just can’t take a day off.
What a strange city, Buenos Aires. It looks like a Mediterreanean European city but it is Latin American. The buildings, the features of the people, their way of dressing. I don’t know yet if I like it, although I like the Mediterranean very much.
It struck me that the guy who tried to sell some booklets about food in the metro didn’t say a word. He just distributed them, hoping that people would buy them. In the buses of Bogota people tell about all their misfortunes in order to move the passengers or they say they saw Jesus and are no longer a drugsaddict, but that they need you to buy their stuff in order to keep them on the right track. Of course you are a bad christian if you don’t buy it.
But returning to Sandra. She is so courageous and well tempered. And life is not at all generous with her. She has debts from the period she was out of work, she pays twice as much rent as her friend with whom she shares the appartment. Because her ‘roommate’ is a friend of the owner.
Once again I admire the ability of Colombians to adapt to whatever circumstances. Perhaps that is why they are better sellers in the public transport 😉
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