Tuesday, September 1, 2009

When in Colombia

The movie was in German and Turkish with Spanish subtitles. El Otro Lado, The Other Side. It was a compelling indie drama about race and political persecution: a great way to spend a sleepy Sunday night in Villa de Leyva. The real attraction though was the "movie theater", if one can call it that. Set up in La Patriarca Salon de Eventos, the screening room was nothing more than a large-ish meeting room lined with rows of over-sized, swiveling office chairs, set up theater style to face a screen in the front of the room. An attendant offered in-seat service of drinks and snacks to the three people in the room, including me. It was oddly cozy, and I thought, who really needs surround-sound and jumbo screens and extra-large containers of popcorn? This works just fine.

Which goes back to my previous observations about the Colombian people seeming to have everything they need, no more and no less. It's not about bigger, better, newer, shinier, more more more. It's about figuring out what's missing, or what's needed - like a movie cinema in this tiny town - and filling that space to the point of "just right".

As Andres said, si no tenemos, hacemos. Now I am starting to get it.

So today I find myself in San Gil, "adventure capital of Colombia" and 4 hours closer to the Carribbean coast. A fresh glass of papaya juice at one of the many juice bars inside the produce market seems to be the perfect precursor to my first experience with parapente, or paragliding, which happens in about 1 hour from now. I can just picture my dad now rolling his eyes, thinking what a nutcase I am. But as they say, when in Colombia...

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