Monday, April 19, 2010

jersey shore hits miami.

We really could have been something, Vinnie. Ok. Let it be known that I am FULLY aware that Jersey Shore is a cast of the most terribly vapid people on earth, who survive for little more than Jaeger Bombs and AquaNet. However, I'm not immune to the trashy charms and Mar and I may or may not have clung to some small vestige of Americana by watching the first season religiously on I would ask you to please not judge, but on second thought, judge away.

So I'd say I'm kind of an expert. Ask me a question about Snooki's poof. Ask me about Pauly D's piercings. I'll tell you how charming I find Vinnie and how I think J-Woww is just a misunderstood soul. These vile douchebags are real to me, which is why when we became their neighbors in Miami, a thrill went through the crowd (our small crowd consisting of 5 girls who have a hard time playing things cool).

The first sightings were exciting: the cast standing around looking smaller than they do on TV and very bored. Here's a question: do they play these characters because they're what they fell into on the first season? Or, worse, are these really their personalities? We caught them buying sunglasses looking bored. We watched them drive around in their big black Escalade looking bored. We spotted them working at the gelato shop (hilarious move, MTV! A bunch of Italians at a gelato shop! It's genius!) and across the bar...looking bored. But we had yet to see them in action at a club, because apparently Miami is onto their skeeziness and won't let them in anywhere, as we flitted around Mynt and LIV and Set happily and anonymously.

So the last night, we slummed it a bit and went to B.E.D., by far the most ghetto club we had been to yet and the only one that charged us to get in. ("I'm giving you guys a deal by only asking for $10. It's normally $30. Do you want me to yell it?" was the beginning of the attitude from the Eastern European bouncer who thought so highly of himself in his new Miami job. He later said that if we didn't want to pay, we should just go find an Irish Pub. Cool insult, Jean-Claude!)

Once our vision cleared the half dozen strobe lights and adjusted to the awkward mixes, we found the cast doing exactly what you'd expect them to do: Ronnie was imploring Sammy to stop crying and whining as she folded her arms in the corner (on the real: how do guys deal with that?). Snooki was dancing by herself and getting sassy with the meatheads who tried to dance with her (and I thought she was Snooking for love?!). Unfortunately for me, Vinnie was making out with a chick that looked a lot like that go-go dancer that Justin Timberlake cheated on Jessica with; he is also pocket-sized, so that's two strikes. When it comes down to it, I probably only wanted him for his mom's lasagna anyway.

And then we have THE SITUATION. The girls talked with him a few times over the course of the week and by all appearances he was just a nice guy with overdeveloped deltoids and a penchant for only using half his mouth to smile. But watching this man in action live at the club was like observing Stephen Hawking calculate the pending contraction of the universe: a man 100% in his element. However, instead of the "hippoes" and "grenades" of yesteryear, these girls were pretty cute. Full of good conversation and original ideas as well, I'm sure. But the best move I have ever seen happen, EVER, in a public venue, was when one of the girls did a little booty drop on The Sitch and he shrugged and grinned straight into the camera like a creepy weasel who just can't help how much the ladies love him. Barf.

However, I can't wait to watch the new season because odds are good that for at least a few scenes, there will be an awkward set of Seattlites in the background of a fake-boobed, neon-spandex-clad club scene. I also feel a little smug that we stayed in a nicer place than the cast, could actually get into clubs, and could fester in our own condo whenever we wanted. Plus, Marlo brought home cigars and papas rellenas from Little Havana, and I'm willing to bet that Angelina doesn't even know what that is. Viva la Jersey Shore-- I'll be counting down the days until season two!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

we just became official south americans.

There are so many things to tell about our last couple days in Bogota, including meeting the oldest and most charming policeman in the country, talking politics and Brazilian hitchhiking with a rattailed cutie in a French restaurant, and in general loving life despite the rain and clouds.

But more importantly, let's talk about how we just spent six months getting super long hair in prep for being cute in Miami only to HAVE IT ALL HACKED OFF at the "salon most famous in the city for completely changing your look." They didn't tell us that when we walked in, and we didn't notice the "Assassin Stylists" decor until it was too late. I'm going to be totally, 100% honest right now, because we're in a safe place I think:

We have mullets.

We have the exact haircut that every hippy Argentine EVER has. I've included this visual in case you don't recognize me next time you see me, and I just really wish I were exaggerating. Basically we are now heading to the most beautiful city in the country, wandering around with Kardashians and whatnot, and I have the same haircut I did when I was six years old. Awesome.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

flea marketing.

Just when I thought we had seen everything at the Bogota Flea Market but the kitchen sink...

the kitchen sink showed up too.

Also, it's flooding here. It's either sleeping in a pool of your own sweat on the Caribbean coast or drowning next to a motorcycle engine in the chilly capital. Life can just be so difficult sometimes.

Monday, April 05, 2010

pure artistry.

Here's a really funny picture I forgot to put up of a rollerskater, for pete's sake, in the SouthAmerican Games doing a dramatic dying swan routine. We wept openly at the grace and emotion.

martinis, round two

Here are some things that can get tiring after a while:
*hostel rooms shared with handfuls of other loud douchebags and occasional thieves

*trying to survive on set menus every day ($2 for lunch is so cool, but the human body can only handle so much white rice and fried fish. It's like a science experiment)

*bargaining for beer. Colombian inflation is fairly absurd, so we set our beer range at $1,500-2,000 for a domestic. We refuse to pay more. Since $1,000 pesos equals 50 cents, this is totally reasonable.

After having bread and cheese for dinner on the walls of Cartagena and gazing across the drawbridge to a fancy wedding party, we felt SO. POOR. and realized it was time to start living outside of our means yet again. So we pulled the old Buenos Aires maneuver of finding the fanciest place in town and crashing it.

This time it was a beautiful hotel in the center of old town, where riiiiiiich old people and possibly "ladies of the night" go to drink expensive scotch and wipe their butts with our monthly budget. Acting like we belonged there, Mar ordered a whiskey on the rocks and I got a "martini biche," which I discovered contained mango and black pepper, and let me tell you, those drinks were like nectar from the heavens. Our kind waiter came over to make small talk and asked us what we would be having next. I laughed.

"Abject poverty for two, please."
Sometimes you just have to admit to yourself and the world that you cannot afford even the first drink, let alone another. But have I mentioned that Colombians, with the exception of some select FARC guerrillas and the ladies on Playa Blanca who kick sand on your towel when you refuse to buy a massage from them, are the world's COOLEST PEOPLE? Our waiter laughed at us and then whispered to the bartender, who promptly sent us over two more of our exact drinks, but with more expensive alcohol, on the house.
AH MANG. 72 hours left in this dream world of black guys with blue eyes and more generosity than Ireland and Mother Theresa combined. I'll be over here whimpering the Colombian national anthem in the fetal position if anyone needs me.

Friday, April 02, 2010

good friday.

"...he was mad with a love emboldened by an unseen authority that I simply cannot explain... Is there anything more otherworldly, more supernatural, more hopeful than this?"

Thursday, April 01, 2010

goodnight, cartagena.

Cartagena really is the prettiest city on the continent, in my humble opinion. Staying just outside the old city in Getsemani was an experiment in a slightly more humble living quarters, and our street was absoutely heaving with the hand to mouth experience of living-- people painting used shoes for resale with spray paint, skinny old men loading boxes into fading doorways, pushcarts selling arepas con queso and tiny plastic cups of tinto, the thick, sugary black coffee that Colombians drink from vendors' Thermoses, overripe fruit and unrefrigerated meat, pantsless kids running from sidewalk to sidewalk, fluorescent-lit cafes with endless card games within, homeless men peeing into the gutter, ancient boomboxes blasting samba and merengue, and the friendly shouts of neighbors as they begin and end their day... the grit of the street is really beautiful in its own way, and the noise and clamor is something unique that we'll miss when we get back to the quiet individualism of American city streets.

playa blanca

A boat ride out of Cartagena into a long stretch of white sand, turquoise water, and a big, bright moon to keep you company at night. Not even mad about this.

ay mami.

"I wish people wouldn't keep calling me "mami" all the time. It makes me feel like I need to be responsible for them or something."
-Marlo, on universal Latino nicknames