Monday, October 13, 2008
Ok, my first story - getting lost in Bucaramanga, and the vultures
Well, I decide I had to get out on my own. I have been a little apprehensive about this. But, I realized I had to do it. I walked over to the local bus stop and waited for a #27 bus. This bus takes you to the center of Bucaramanga, where the Mercado Central is located. It is a four story building square block of commerce. The 1st floor is full of veggie stands, the 2nd floor is fruit, the 3rd is eggs, meat and fish, and the fourth is restaurants, shoes and clothing stalls. This building is surrounded on all with streets of vendors selling everything imaginable. It is like the Orange County, Orange Coast College, and Golden West College wrapped up in to one. And, then injected with steriods. The first time I went with my roommate Sterling the first time, and he said, "I finally feel like I am in a third world country."
So, back to the story. I get on a #27 bus, and start my journey. However, 2 stops down the line the bus drive decided to change his bus route from #27 to #22. Not knowing, I thought that #22 would still be close to where #27 goes, Wrong! After about a half hour I realize that I am on the opposite side of Bucramanga and lost. So, I get off the bus and start cruising down the street the way I came.
After a few minutes I spot some veggies and fruits stands, so I go over to buy some stuff. After talking to some locals, I find out that this is the market for this area. There is a single story building full of stalls down the street. SO, I decide to take advantage and buy some more goodies.
As I walk down I notice that there is a fish monger on the corner across from the entrance to the building. It is around 12:30-1:pm, this is the time when stalls and vendors start closing shop. So, this fish monger is running a lottery for selections of fish. I sit and watch and am amazed at the sight. Then I turn and head towards the building, and I am stopped in my tracks. Above the entrance are about 8 to 10 big, and I mean big vultures. They are stareing at the fish, food and people. First, I get a creepy feeling, then I realize that nobody even acknowledges that they are there. As the fish monger takes down a bunch of fish and adds a new bunch, their heads start bobbing. All I could thing of was old disney movies like, Songs of the South, Dumbo, and jungle book. I started laughing and people started stareing, so I hussled myself into the building. But, I will never forget those vultures. I hope I can find my way back there to get a picture to post.
Side note: It took me an hour and a half, lugging my friuts and veggies. But I finally found a bus and got home. All in all it way a successful first foray. It was good to get lost and find my way back.
PSS- the Colombian people I met on this trip were smiling, friendly and helpful. NOT WHAT TV AND MOVIES TELL YOU THEY ARE LIKE!