Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Daily Life

More than a week ago it was Easter and, as I found out, the traditions here are nothing like Easter traditions in Austria. They almost didn't believe that there's actually a tradition to eat something green on "Gründonnerstag" (Holy Thursday). And why would someone paint boiled eggs in different colours? And put sweets and even presents in a basket, call it easter nest and hide it for the kids? Must be strange for people from a country where Easter is a highly religous celebration only for as highly religous people at the church. Also, it is common not to eat any meat or drink any alcohol in the Semana Santa, the Holy Week. It's like a shorter period of fasting than we have (in Austria: from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday). Also, Easter Monday does not exist here in Colombia. But, on the contrary, almost all people have holidays in the whole Holy Week except from those working in restaurants, shopping centers and such places.

Living in Ibagué, we already established some kind of routine. Everytime we meet at someone's home or at least every weekend, somebody else cooks something typical for their home country. Until now we had Argentinian Tortillas, Mexican Tacos, Brazilian Risotto and of course Wiener Schnitzel mit Kartoffelsalat (Potato Salad / Ensalada de Papas) and Kaiserschmarrn. It's really hard cooking something here because nobody has a functioning oven and there's no mixer. I always have to evaluate if what I am trying to make is even possible.

Everything tastes so good I really started to enjoy those cooking nights and I already learned some new receipts that I will definitely use sooner or later. And sunny, hot days we spend at the pool playing Uno. And, well, since everyday it's hot, we just have to wait for a little sun. Some days ago we had a really cold day. It was so cold, I had to wear a thin west over my shirt at night because else I would have felt a little cold.

Since the easter-trip to Medellin I haven't left Ibagué and I already get a little jumpy because, to tell the truth, not much happens in Ibagué, the capital of music of Colombia, that, to tell some more truth, doesn't have music. It's kind of located perfectly to get to most places in Colombia quickly (in less than 10 hours) but the only choice you have to do something in Ibagué is to go hiking and even that's kind of complicated because the only interesting route is to hike around at the Nevados but there's no bus there. And if you just walk up you need almost the first day just to reach the National Park.

Therefore, I am already planning to leave again this weekend, let's see how this works out. Because when trying to leave with my friends, they seem just not used to make up their mind if they really want to go until the last possible moment and then it's quite hard to find a bus, someplace to sleep and everything necessary. I really have to surpress my reflex to just say "if you don't want to go then just don't go and don't wait for us to convince you" or something like that and just be patient with however it turns out in the end. Really, how do anybody ever achieves anything like that? But also, it's totally worth being patient because it's just more fun with friends!

Considering the food, I really miss baking something. I started making Palatschinken (~pancakes) almost every day because without oven there's no way to bake anything else. I even thought about adding some chocolate to the receipt and just put some chocolate pieces on the hot Palatschinken and folded it for the chocolate to melt - but it turned out to be quite bad because while the chocolate tasted quite okay when cold, the molten taste was nothing I would like on my Palatschinken. How do Colombians even survive without good chocolate? So I am back to Palatschinken - I might try it with ice cream next time or maybe consider some arm training so next time when trying to make Eischnee (beaten egg whites) for Kaiserschmarrn my arm does not feel like dropping off.

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