Saturday September 21, 2013
Last night I had a little free time on my hands as Matt hijacked my computer away from me, getting into an in-depth conversation with our friend Ren about boats on the market, using my Facebook page to communicate since he refuses to get his own. (The only person I ever want to talk to is you, stands his reasoning). So I sat at the table in our hostel with Spanish music videos blaring in the background behind me, with not much else to do. Stealing a glance behind me to the receptionist table, I spied a binder which held information about Medellin in general and things to do here. Finally being able to match up activities written on the chalkboard with their detailed description in the book, I flipped through pages as I looked at things like the Pablo Escobar tour (complete with a tour inside of his old house, given by his brother), the Barefoot Park, Botanical Gardens, Santa Fe Mall, Guatape Lakes and Pueblito Paisa.
I have no idea how or why I landed on this, but when Matt asked me what I wanted to do today, I replied “Go to the Santa Fe Mall”. Don’t ask me what made me decided to spend one of our traveling days going to a mall, I probably still couldn’t answer you on that one. Worst.Sightseers.Ever. I think it had to do with the girl we rode the cable car back with yesterday that would not stop talking about it. So we once again wrote down detailed directions on a little notebook, and walked about the mile and a half to get there.
I have to say, if I were interested in malls, this would be the place to be. It’s about 4 stories high, and filled with hundreds of stores, ranging from Aeropostle to Chanel. It actually kind of reminds me of the snooty one we stopped at in Palm Beach just before we went to the Bahamas. This mall was made special though, made by the fact that it was an open air mall. Kind of like the football stadiums that have domes which retract, this mall had a ceiling that retracts. And if it’s built in the City of Eternal Spring, then why not?
In the middle of the mall, they also have this giant maze, which actually would be kind of cool if you had kids to take through it. Now that I look back on it, we should have gone through it even though we don’t have kids. Damn it, why didn’t I realize this earlier?!
It took all of 30 minutes of walking around before I realized what a mistake it was to waste a day by going there. We didn’t need anything. We couldn’t buy it anyway. When I asked Matt why he agreed to go after I suggested it he goes “Because you wanted to go. And my baby always gets what she wants”*. Awww. But seriously honey, you should have known better. Next time, just shake me out of it.
There was only one entertaining part at the mall, and that was where we were wandering through the food court up on the 4th floor. Matt is, well, pretty deathly afraid of heights. What he didn’t realize himself is that a narrow walkway we were using to get from one side of the mall to the other was made out of opaque glass. Which, half way across, I felt the cruel need to mention it to him. “Hey Matt”, I casually mentioned, “You should look down”. And as soon as he could see the remaining three floors below him just past his feet, he stopped dead in his tracks. He literally had to close his eyes while I guided him the rest of the way across. I’m sure there was something I was getting back at him for, I can’t really be that mean, can I?
By the way, the food court did happen to have an outdoor seating area which afforded some pretty great views of the city.
When we got back to our hostel that evening, we found them gearing up to throw a large party. It was Saturday night, so a party at a hostel didn’t seem unusual, but all the heart shaped balloons and red and white decorations did. That’s when we found out that Colombia has a holiday called ‘Love and Friendship Day’. It’s kind of like our Valentine’s Day (which is also celebrated there), but instead of just showing appreciation for lovers, you show it for your friends on this day as well.
This is how one article describes it. “Colombians celebrate Love and Friendship Day by sending both their friends and boyfriends/girlfriends cards, similar to the way Valentine’s Day is celebrated in other countries. [But] As opposed to Valentine’s Day, Love and Friendship Day always ends with a group of friends out partying, dancing and drinking all night.”
We thought it was sweet of our hostel to be celebrating a holiday like this. We should have known better. It’s a hostel. No one there is part of a couple (unless you’re us). Our hostel was celebrating an ‘Anti Love and Friendship Day’. It’s then that I realized all the balloons were painted with the words ‘Love Sucks’. Kind of makes one all gooey inside seeing how much effort they put into their anti-holiday party. Being the only resident couple there, we stayed away for the most part, although I did have a few glasses of complimentary sangria pushed my way when I went downstairs to the bar to grab a beer for their 2×1 happy hour special. I guess Anti-Love and Friendship Day isn’t that bad.