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.

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