Free Sports, 'Tea Tales' and Staying Put

Trip Start Dec 10, 2011
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Trip End Sep 29, 2012


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Where I stayed

Flag of Colombia  ,
Thursday, August 16, 2012

I feel a bit like Carry Bradshaw, when she stares out the window trying to write and ponders about life and has the whole inner monologue going on. That is what I am doing now when I am trying to write, procrastinating. Except I am not wearing the glamorous designer clothes she does, but my shorts and baggy vest and drinking a nice cup of English black tea with milk. Something was wrong with the ergonomics of my room I realised I had a wonderful window with a view, except I was not staring out of it but into a mirror on the wall, me staring back at myself. Then I realised I need to look at the view, I switched the table to face out the window to the patio terrace full of plants and the big fluffy white clouds up above in the blue sky of Medellin. Now that's better. 
 
I went swimming again this morning in the outdoor Olympic sized pool, that’s free, yep free. I felt tired today and I did fewer lengths than the day before, maybe it was because it was early morning that I was not even awake yet. They say people are either early birds, or night owls. I don’t think I am an early bird but more a night owl. However this is contradicted with, what I feel is my best time for writing is in the morning, my mind is less cluttered and quiet from only dreams I might have had that night.  I pause to drink more of my tea, I’ve almost run out of my English tea bags and today had to buy Lipton Breakfast blend (yes tea from the USA), much stronger than the local black tea brand but still not quite the same. None the less, it tastes refreshing. At the same time, a soft cool breeze floats over me from the open window I am gazing out of in between writing and I feel calm, I feel happy, I feel content.  

People often ask me what do I write about?, I say personal things, travel stories but my favourite kind of writing is the spontaneous one where something just pops into my head and my fingers cannot stop banging down on the keyboard. Tap, Tap, Tap. 

As well as me typing away, there is background noise of some neighbouring houses cleaning dishes, a dog barking, a motorcycle speeding past and traffic far away. From my house I can hear the light whispers of wind chimes dancing in the wind, sounding magical yet relaxing. I also have now realised that not only having a view to inspire me to write is important, but also my environment

I was staying in what can only be called, as a bachelor pad, a 'gringo’ apartment. Gringo is a word used in Latin American countries to denote a foreigner, normally from the USA, it is used often in Medellin affectionately for us tourists but does also have negative connotations. 

So back to the apartment, perfect if you are a guy, not so perfect if you are a girl who wants a quiet life when you go home and not party time and constant noise from neighbouring apartments including the church bells bellowing through the apartment at 6.30am every day. I am glad I switched but I do miss the area there.  My new area is different and interesting, new cafes, restaurants, bars to explore, new salsa clubs and the wonderful facilities of ‘Estadio’; the Stadium. Daily free aerobic classes at 7am or 7pm, the pool, with classes available too, running, walking, you can hire bicycles to ride along the cycle paths and every day I see many people making full opportunity of these great facilities. I was thinking where can you do this in the UK? Go to do any kind of sport, for free? You can’t. Maybe the Olympic legacy will make sports more available, but I doubt that they will be free. This is one thing Medellin’s government has got very right indeed.

Sometimes travel is about ‘staying put’, taking in one place to enjoy the culture and all it has to offer.  I am pleased I get to see another part of Medellin life and have these new experiences.
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