The National University

One of my main reasons I came to Bogotá was to finish learning Spanish. I heard about some great classes offered at the National University, so I took the afternoon to go seek out some information.

Bogotá truly has a great public transportation system. The thing is, I have no idea how it works. Surprised? Don’t be. They have a bus system called the Transmilieno that isn’t confusing, but unfortunately, it only services part of the city. When you can’t use the Transmilieno, you are forced to use the city bus system. The creators of the bus system got together one evening and discussed how to make it at complicated as possible, especially for foreigners. They succeeded, and I’m seriously considering writing to management to tell them job well done. Stupid bastards.

Alright, maybe I’m being a little unfair. They were kind enough to put signs in front of the bus on where they are headed. Actually, I lied. Sorry. I wasn’t being unfair. Remember, they wanted to make things as confusing as possible, thus, the signs are quite vague. For example, it may say “Centro.” Centro usually translates to the city center, or better known as downtown. Downtown Bogotá is massive. And when I say massive, I mean like gigantically, exponentially, ridiculously, massive. So, I may have the ability to catch the bus to the center, but from there, I’m utterly lost.

With that said, the trip to the National University should have taken no more than 30 minutes. I found myself two hours later still trying to figure out how to get there. When we finally arrived there, we were far from finding our desired location. The university is quite large, so we knew we would have to seek out help. We begin to ask the many security officers where the Office of Languages are located. With a puzzled look, the guards went to work on their radios.

I’ll be honest with you. That reason alone is why I came back to Colombia. Every Colombian I have encountered is willing to bend over backwards to help you, even if they have no idea what the hell they are talking about. After an extensive communication with other officers, we were finally directed to the right place.

My friend I befriended earlier and I finally arrived at the Office for Foreigners. As we spoke with the security guard, he replied with an enthusiastic “Ahhh, you are the stupid foreigners who got lost. Bienviendos!” I was excited. I was already famous on the university I just stepped foot on.

The officer was kind enough to escort us to the office and seek out the necessary personal. After talking with them for a few minutes, my friend and I found exactly what we were looking for. Although the classes won’t start for over a month, they sound like they could be a great opportunity.

I’m excited. For once in my life, I might be able to say more than taco and enchilada.


Filed under Bogota, Colombia

6 responses to “The National University

  1. rynjhnsn

    Haha. Your Spanish is still better than mine. Who’s the “we” you talk about?

  2. Cool cat from Holland I met earlier on. Good guy.

  3. craig

    How was the graffiti? There was a certain radical presence when I was there in 2000.

  4. Still pretty out there. Especially abundant in la Candelaria, one of the main neighborhoods.

  5. craig

    But what about at the university? I had some meeting there, I can’t remember about what specifically (the trip was about the peace process), but I remember the graffiti on campus was very interesting.

  6. Ya, very radical at the University. Once I get settled in, I’ll hopefully go take some photos.

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