Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Arriving in Ibagué

Yesterday I arrived in Ibagué after a long trip from monday 04:20 to tuesday 14:00 and I am really glad I had a night Bogotá inbetween. This time everything went well, my suitcase arrived with me, had 22,9 kg (23 allowed) and they did not find my deodorant that I forgot in my hand luggage. I was able to sleep at least a little in the plane and the passport control in Bogotá was very quick. In the bus from Bogotá to Ibagué I saw the most stunning landscapes and now I am longing to just walk around in those mountains and get a closer look.

When I arrived I was brought to my host family which is actually not really a host family because my host is a woman below 30 who is in Europe right now, travelling and visiting her husband who is in Czech Republic right now, working. With her lives her brother, who was there when I arrived and does not look older than 30 as well, but is in Bogotá now for three days. And then there is his fiancée Karina also living there who is the only one there right now. Looks like I will enjoy living there. Also, the whole complex also has a swimming pool to use as well as a fitness room and its only 5 minutes to university. Here are some photos of where I live now:

So I want to share the impressions I got in this short time with you. First: It is sooo hot! It's 36 degrees outside and I can't even remember the feeling when it was snowing last friday in Austria. I am sweating all the time and I was totally not prepared for this. Even my weather forecast I found told me it will be 27 degrees maximum. It's even too hot for the people living here so how should I stand the heat?

Ibagué itself is a nice and quite big city, surrounded by mountains that make me feel like I want to go up on everyone of them. Today I was in the center of Ibagué, by bus, which is quite hard because there are stops, but you have to wave when you want to enter, and you better wave the right bus. But there is no plan so I still have no idea which bus goes where. And I think you can also enter when there is no stop but I am not absolutely sure about that. But when you are in the bus, there comes the hardest part: knowing when to leave again. If I haven't been there, how should I know how it looks like? When I asked, I was told I will get used to it after a few times of going by bus.

In the center of the city, there is one church and a pedestrian street down the mountain with lots of shops. I really have to say, the shops I have seen here in Colombia are way cooler than those in Austria. I will totally renew my wardrobe here. But the food, especially in the bigger shopping centers is like at home but cheaper. They also have chains like McDonalds, KFC, Subway and lots of Dunkin Donuts. But the juices are definitely better - I had lemon juice and it was like the most perfect lemon I have ever tasted. Not really sour but still not sweet - just perfect! Also today I had Lulo ice cream (Lulo is a regional fruit) and it was also quite good, I even liked the watermelon I tasted. I guess the fruits are just way better here.

There are 8 other international students here at the university (it's a small university) and 6 of them are from Mexico and 2 from Argentinia. Which means that I am the only student of the whole university not speaking spanish fluent and also the only one from Europe. I somehow managed to be really exotic. One girl even started talking german to me because she spent a semester abroad in Germany and she was really euphoric that now she could practice her german. So until now I haven't talked spanish much. I guess it will become more because my classes are in spanish but we will see.

What else has impressed me by now? Well, I saw the hugest spider I have ever seen - and actually not only one of them. They live on my way to the supermarket, so now everytime I pass that place I try hard not to look. Another thing, maybe anybody of you has seen the episode of How I met your mother with the annoying car alarm system sound. It's the same here in Colombia, today I got woken by it. I had no trouble at all adapting to the different time zone - but to tell the truth I kind of already lived in that time so I didn't really have to change. So I actually arrived pretty well and I am kind of wondering why I haven't come way earlier, I already love it!

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