My Spanish course at the University was coming to an end; thus, I had my final exams quickly approaching. With one week left, I was presented with the opportunity to go to a small Colombian town for a weekend of festivities. This presented a huge dilemma… do I party, or stay at home and study? Wow… that was a hard one…
I have a close Colombian friend who is from a small town called Susa. Every year, they have some celebration… not really sure what it was celebrating, but call it the celebration of cattle. During the day, they had cattle and horse shows. These are always a blast because it gives you the opportunity to stroll around, see a bunch of smelly animals, eat some great foods, and walk in mounds of horseshit. Times like these make me really want to leave the city, move to the farm, and raise chickens and cows for the rest of my life. Wouldn’t that be fun to wake up every morning at four, touch cows inappropriately to get milk, shovel manure, and fight with the hens to get their eggs?
At night… that was a different story. We arrived Saturday afternoon and began the pre-party. After slinging beers and befriending strangers, we headed to the town center. Considering the entire town was less than ten blocks, it wasn’t that hard to find. In the center, a huge stage was set up for the nightly entertainment. As the band kicked off, the dancing began and the shots began to flow.
One of the best parts of Colombian culture is Aguardiente, and one of the most popular brands is called Nectar. This is a black liquorish flavored liquor that flows smoothly down the mouth, but it is the people that make it. When you purchase a bottle, you don’t purchase it for yourself. You purchase it for the crowd. You pass the bottle around, and when it’s empty, a new bottle usually appears instantly. Strangers? Hey… I don’t know you but who cares… let us take a shot of Aguardiente together.
The band was on a roll. They were playing all styles of music that we were able to dance too. And let me say this. For a stupid, ugly, grino, I am one hell of a dancer. Both nights we were there, we stayed out dancing into the streets until four in the morning. But wow, these Colombians really know how to dance. I was lucky enough to get a dance lesson from a seven-year-old little girl, and learned a ton. Who needs to pay for fancy dance lessons when the kids will dance with you for free!?!?!
The second night, I had the opportunity to meet the entire family of my amiga. Within minutes, they adopted me and considered me as their own. For some reason, all of the older ladies took a strong liking to me. Of course, I was flattered with the attention and returned any flirting that I received. Later that evening, my girlfriend and I were dancing in the streets. In the middle of the song, one of the older ladies came and grabbed my hand, not even asking my girlfriend if it was ok. Instead of taking me to dance, she took me over to eight of her friends and proudly introduced me to each and every single one of them. My girlfriend was left in the middle of the dance floor, laughing hysterically that her boyfriend had just become jaguar bait (jaguar is a woman 50 and over hitting men in their twenties).
The weekend finally came to a close, and I returned back to Bogotá. As I settled back in, I began to open my books and start studying. But then, I realized I would be better off taking a nap and start the studying tomorrow. When morning approached, I finally began to study. After twenty minutes, I said to the hell with it and decided to wing it.
How did I do? I scored a 4.4 out of 5.0, or 88%. Moral of the story? When presented with an opportunity to study or drink, always, always, always, choose the latter.