Wrapping Up Medellin & Opening Up Taganga
January 16, 2009 by rtwsenior
Today I woke up refreshed in my new environment of Casa de Filipe in Taganga, Columbia, which is high on the northern edge of the country, right on the Caribbean Sea. It is hot and beautiful here and I am again in a true Colombian Paradise. Not the lovely city which Medellin was, but a small seaside village built on a mountainside. Very different but exciting in its own way.
I was practically a zombie upon arrival because, not only had I stayed awake most of the time on the 16-hour, overnight bus ride, but I had gone salsa dancing with all of my dear friends at Casa Kiwi on my last full night there, so didn`t get to bed until 2 a.m. Mighty late for the likes of me.
A word about that: Just as it`s true that an older woman considers any wolf whistle in her direction a very high compliment; so does she view any invitation by much younger ones to go out beer-drinking…or most particularly, salsa dancing (which involves both) … among the highest of compliments that could be paid her. They really wanted me to come along, so I took an early nap and got ready at 10:30 p.m. to go out and party, thinking it might be to a fancy nightclub and glad I brought my swirly, wraparound skirt along. I even had some clacky little sandals, which weren`t too good for dancing as they tend to fall off my feet. Whatever! They were better than hiking shoes!
Off we went…about eight of us stuffed into two tiny taxis…across town to a strictly local`s scene, a long, dimly-lit, narrow building crowded with people, and the band right there on the same floor as us, playing a special music of the region called Papayete, which is a mix of salsa, merengue, and African drumming. We all squashed in, ordered beer and stuff and bounced our bodies in time to the music, finally coming to a more open spot behind the band where we could also look out at the characters hanging around on the street. There was a young guy, obviously a window-washer with his bucket and squeegee dangling from his arm, zoned on drugs and dancing with himself in a Chaplinesque performance. That street could be referred to as a drug scene and there was even the whiff of weed coming from a guy inside…as Luis pointed out to me. Otherwise, I would have missed it. Probably, those elements exist in all the nightclubs of the world – fancy or basic – but you couldn`t prove it by me. Little Miss Naivete…misses most of this sort of clues. But, that`s okay. It`s how I sail through all sorts of things.
Salome and I talked, like the girlfriends we are, about guys; and dear Luis stayed beside me most of the time, assuring me that if I got tired, he would take me back to the hostel in a taxi. Then he taught me how to do the salsa steps and we had a great time dancing. What fun that was! Then, Scott swooped me up in a fast merengue, slinging me about, my feet flying off the ground like a circus performer, in dancing I haven`t done since high school. Whee! In between, we all talked and bounced to the rythmns.
This was a scene that I was very privileged to be allowed into. No tourists here. No senior citizens either. Will I get included in such a close-friend-way into their own private world in other countries? I surely hope so. This evening was very special.