Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tuesday March 1, 2011 Travelogue

Monkey Brain Fruit

Tuesday March 1, 2011
I woke up to a torrential downpour and  had to wear my rainjacket and cap to breakfast. These showers only last a few minutes but what they lack in duration, they make for with volume and lingering humidity.  I have decided to pick up a vice and I don’t mean a big heavy cast iron one for my shop. I have been watching the other guys and I have my choice between cigarettes, whiskey or wild wild women and all things considered, booze is probably the safest. I’m already coughing enough without smoking anything.  So with thoughts like that, my waiter Carlos slipped me a couple beer last night. I found my 1st Columbian beer really bitter and it tastes dark though I can’t see it in the can. I don’t know if I can keep up this new life of sin but at least there's something waiting for me when I get home.
Dinner was large extra thick pieces of sirloin steak and mashed potatoes last night, salad on the side and a jello custard dish for dessert. No complaints from me and Carlos slipped me an extra steak too so the whole idea of losing weight is seeming less likely with every meal. Oh and they finally found some real Columbian coffee and are supplying us with an urn in the mornings.  For reasons I don’t understand, they also provide scalded milk and a bowl of sugar but no complaints. Its no Starbucks but its strong and its black and I delighted myself with several cups this morning.  Lunch at the cafeteria was potatoes and chicken and a side of curry and beets/tomatoes/cilantro salad. Not bad.  Yesterday I asked for a second piece of chicken and the lady took my scoop of rice away so I am learning to take what I get. Too funny.
Last night, I researched Columbian history and found it interesting that the CIA took out Pablo Escobar just down the road from here.  He was the 7th richest man in the world at the time, worth $25 billion and change and all he had to do to get from rags to riches was fly a plane back and forth to the states.  He had a policy with politicians that boiled down to “plata o plomo” which translates to “Silver or lead” and he is credited with the death of over 600 policemen and politicians who stood in his way. He even bombed a plane (107 deaths) and a government building (52 deaths) and stormed the Supreme court (killed half the judges) at Bogota which is where I flew in.  In fact, my passport is in the very same building he bombed as I type this… hmmm. (The most common cause of death in Columbia is traditionally from violence) Anyway the CIA tracked him down and shot him in 1993, though they haven’t openly admitted it yet.
It turns out that Jesus is running the show down here.  The top dog for this project is one Jesus Sanchez (pronounced “Hesuse”) and I’ve met with him twice now. He looks nothing like the one in the bible as he has a shaved head, is as white as me and has large round glasses. The things is, and maybe its just the name, but when Jesus speaks, I listen.