Thursday, 17 March 2016

One month in Ibagué

When I realized that it's more than a month ago that I arrived in Ibagué, at first I couldn't believe it. It's crazy how time flies. But really, I could already experience so many differences. Like, at first, I somehow managed to get sunburned today while sitting on the balcony the whole day - in the shadow! I didn't know this was even possible. I read somewhere learning something new every day keeps you young - I guess I am on my way to enternal youth!

A big part of my life here are the other international students. Last weekend we were in Prado where there is a huge and beautiful lake. Unfortunately we had bad luck with the weather and I got bitten by mosquitoes all over, also, like visible at the seashore, due to the draught following the phenomenon "el niño" the lake was missing a lot of water. But - because I arrived late - it was my first overnight trip with the international students.

Of course, there's always the language barrier, I still don't understand if anyone asks me anything spontanously and I don't even have the slightest idea what they want from me at the moment and I can't say everything I want to say. But you know that moments when you relax around someone and don't need to think about everything you say anymore? I experienced that and almost started talking german to them.

Also, they prepared the nicest birthday party for me with cake and balloons and everything. I would have celebrated anyway because I can't remember any birthday I didn't celebrate but it is great to see everyone so eager to have a great party :D

And I found something that helps standing the hot weather. Did you know that some say it is proved that warm drinks keep you cooler than cold drinks? Forget about that. The only time I can really stand the heat is while drinking a limonada filled up with crushed ice. What's even better is that they also taste great and are really cheap - about 30 cents at my favourite limonada seller. To make them, there are special limon presses that look kind of like an oversized garlic press and works really great!

The clothes here are way more beautiful - and so different from each other! In Austria I always feel like looking on the same piece of cloth just in the current trend colour every season but here everything seems like being unique - and way more colourful! What I'll probably never understand is why everyone here wears just long trousers when it's that hot. But still, there are really beautiful and colourful trousers as well! But, to tell the truth, the most of the clothes are not really cheaper than in Austria.

The traffic is also very different. When crossing the street as a pedestrian, no car will stop. And by no car I mean no car. Either there is a gap inbetween the traffic or you won't be able to cross the street. Also, the drivers are not likely to slow down when seeing you crossing the street. At very few places there are traffic lights and on even fewer places there are pedestrian lights but there it's still risky to cross the street without looking because cars are not used to stop for pedestrians. By now I already got used to the traffic but I am really glad I left my drivers licence at home because I really wouldn't like to drive here.

And for those who didn't know this great car alarm that accompanies me every day, I found the video of where I first encountered that alarm. I really didn't know that there are places where this alarm is actually used! Really, listen to it! Why should I be the only one suffering from this sound? One time, when I wanted to sleep it kept going on for one hour... it succeeds to make the most peaceful minds really really aggressive. Fun fact: The moment I posted this the alarm started somewhere outside (fortunately quite far away and it went on only for a very short time).

For the holy week we are planning on going to visit Medellín and all the surrounding area so I will keep you updated!

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