It seems like I missed a day already! Well today, I have decided that I spend far too much time in my apartment, and will be working on my first article at a new cafe close to my home, called Cafe Tomada.
Without giving anything away, the first story while I am here is about a particularly interesting new development in Colombian politics, one that might have a big impact on the ongoing peace process between the government and the rebel insurgency.
It’s a very monumental process to witness, as a successful peace deal could mean the beginning of the end of a devastating 50-year conflict among guerrilla groups and state-sponsored paramilitary and miltiary groups. It has left thousands dead, tortured, and missing.
If you’d like to catch up a little on the peace process, the Washington Office on Latin America has a great English-language website here. Also, the correspondent I’m working with, Juan Forero, has been providing insightful coverage since the beginning here.
Anyways, so don’t get me wrong, I love my apartment – it’s in a neighborhood se llama “Acevedo Tejada”, and it’s very near the National University of Colombia.
I’m sharing a wonderful apartment with a lawyer, and it’s actually ridiculous how little I’m paying per month – it’s less than one-fourth of what I paid this summer in D.C. I have a nice kitchen, bathroom, my own room, and a spacious living room with an office area. Also, we have a beautiful view!
There’s a very nice convenience store across the street with ice cream and snacks, and five minutes away, there’s a great gym with Yoga, Pilates, spinning and “Rumba” (the Latin American version of Zumba, I think!) classes.
Sidenote: They also have Aeropilates classes, which I really want to try!
It seems like a typical PIlates class, with the addition of an apparatus that hangs down from the ceiling and lets you suspend part of yourself in mid-air! For example, if you’re doing a plank, you could hang your legs in the apparatus instead of leaving them on the floor. I can’t imagine how hard this must be..
However, today, my intention is to do work in a new place! Being cooped up in my apartment all day long is no good.
So, I am in Cafe Tomada, a lovely bookstore and cafe about a mile away from my apartment.
Outside, the cafe has a bulletin board with list of upcoming events and other news clippings. I saw an article regarding the recent death of famed Colombian-born poet Alvaro Mutis, known for his use of magic realism and his well-known character Maqroll the Lookout, a “modern-day philosophizing, seafaring adventurer.”
A student-type let me in, seeming a bit harried as he returned to a group of murmuring intellectuals sitting at a picnic table. Once inside, I was a bit confused about where to go to, until a woman came down and showed me the cafe area.
After logging into the Wifi and finding an oulet, I ordered a chocolate croissant and tea con leche, and am enjoying them with some strawberries and a banana I brought from home.
The collection seems electic, and interesting: Sin City and Hellboy mangas interspersed with novels by Salmon Rushdie, Oscar Wilde, Chuck Palahniuk, Paolo Giordano, and closest to me is the “selection of the month” with books by Argentinian Jorge Luis Borges. Tonight, they will have a book club about Borges’ views and perspectives on the police in his works.
Its a very nice atmosphere here, and I’d highly recommend it if you ever come to Bogota.
I got the idea for coming here from a list of coffee shops to try while in Bogota, and my goal is to try them all within the coming weeks!