Friday, April 16, 2010

Colombia es pasion

My heart is still breaking as I spend my last few days in Colombia.

I have had to explain over and over again to my Colombian friends why I love this country so much. They understand why they are passionate for their own country but me being a foreigner it’s a bit strange for them, especially coming from such a peaceful, clean country like Canada. Colombia has its problems and it doesn’t have the best reputation in the world.

There is such a soul and passion to Colombia like no other place I’ve been. You feel it deep within yourself. Colombians don't take things for granted because at any moment it could all be taken away from them, unlike some people I know...cough cough Canadians cough cough. Come on, you know its true we have it too easy. Happiness for them is like sitting on the edge of a cliff at any moment you could be tipped off balance. For this reason they revel in their happiness through their distinct history, culture, music, dance and festivals, you can feel it in the music of Carlos Vives.

I don’t know if it was the strong coffee I had just drank in a Juan Valdez coffee shop or the soul of Bogota reaching within me but as I was walking the streets of the Candelaria my heart starting beating faster. I passed beautiful colonial buildings that looked like backdrops to a movie. I dashed into a bookshop to find refuge from the pouring rain that Bogota is known for. I had to brace myself as I was faced with an entire wall of Gabriel Garcia Marquez books. Cien anos de Soledad, an autobiography of the famous writer, Of Love and other Demons, Love in the Time of Cholera.....
I wanted to buy them all. As an aspiring writer, literature is one of my passions. I get overwhelmed in book stores and libraries. The smell of an old book is like a sensory passage into the past. My passion for literature combined with my love for all things Colombian was too much to handle in this store. I dragged myself away from Mr. Marquez but was caught by books about the guerrilla, the history of Colombia, politics, coffee, Botero, nacrotraffic....I rushed out to catch my breath and save myself from buying every book in sight regardless of my level of Spanish.
I was not safe on the street either; the beautiful Colombian men passed me on the streets with their dark skin, stylish clothes and Latin demeanour. They teased me with the smell of their wafting cologne.

I was infatuated with this country; I had butterflies just with the thought of it. As time passed, as I got to know her better, as I accepted the good, the bad and the ugly, my passion for the country stayed but the butterflies left and what remained was a deep love. A love I feel within my soul. As I got beneath the skin of Colombia she snuck up and got deep inside me.

Colombia es pasion

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