Unexamined Bogota

Saturday, so there are chaps wheeling washing machines to rent around on their cargo tricycles. Two things about that: 1 – you would not believe how light a Korean washing machine can be, and 2 – the cargo tricycle is like the back end of a bike with a movable, low platform with two wheels on the side before. I’ve seen three already today making their way between the houses and apartments. They’ll lug it up to your fourth or fifth floor apartment and rent the thing to you for some hours or a day, and then come back and bear it all away.

Saturday, and so the restaurants begin a little later. Tip about your average, non-chain, home-grown restaurant–the variety most prevalent. From 12pm till 2pm or so, but maybe later on a Saturday or not at all that day, they usually have a regular and an executive lunch, besides the menu, if they even have a menu. When a foreigner enters a Colombian restaurant he is automatically given the more expensive menu. Ask for the regular or executive lunch. Usually exactly the same as you’d get on the menu, or more, for half the price. Saturdays here are for having tamales for breakfast, and then later on (though unlike in Mexico, they don’t lunch all that late. Never before 12, but seldom after 2, unless it is a weekend) an awful hearty lunch (note I did not say an awful, hearty lunch).

Saturday is when everybody shops. Not having got enough of it the other days, and still not organized enough to have done it all by Sunday, Saturday is for stores to open and people to wander around with all kinds of plastic bags (Buying the chicken yesterday I came home with no less than five plastic bags). Of course, they wash their cars (not a single mechanized car was in the whole city), they sit in the bakeries having coffee and eating bread and cakes and such, they sit in fast food places having every conceivable form of grease-drenched goodness and all with a bare minimum of napkins, finish chicken, consume Noah’s ark’s entire provisions’ worth of fruit, lick ice cream of every conceivable shade, and generally Saturday the day away in the activities of leisure less refined.

Me, I go and take a walk in it and then I write.


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