Cellllebrate Good Times – Come On!

When one decides to live the life of a nomad and chooses to spend a minimum of 3 months at a time in different places, one should and typically does their due diligence of research. Right? Right.  I’m certainly not saying that I haven’t, because I have, but (and there’s a but), there are plenty of things one doesn’t include during said investigative phase.  It’s not because of irresponsibility, it’s just simply ignorance in its purest form.  Honestly, I don’t feel too badly that public holidays weren’t part of my research.  Seriously, how many of y’all research holidays when you’re moving to or visiting another country?  I’ll wait. See?  None, LOL.  You’re right there with me.  I’ve been in  Medellin for a little over three weeks and there have been TWO major holidays, both shutting the city, schools, businesses, and tiendas all the way down.

The first holiday happened the week that I arrived.  It was Colombia’s Independence Day, July 20th. My friend told me about the holiday and it kinda slipped my mind, but good old Google set the reminder for me.  Yo créo que (I think that) we collectively love how Google’s search box image changes daily and can cleverly connect us to specific days in history.  Sometimes they tug at our thug tears with national drawing contests for kiddies and science fair shit. Other times, they’ll represent social justice.  On this day, when I opened my Mac and then browser, I saw the Google Colombian Independence Day image.  Specifically, Google’s colors were now Colombia’s colors.  I didn’t have my VPN connection yet, so my network was local thus the image.  I loved it not only because it reminded me about the holiday, but also because it subtly nudged me that I’m in a different country, doing and seeing different things.  I know.  Maybe you’re thinking “Damn, all of that from a Google search box image?”  Well, yeah – all of that.  It conjured up some good stuff in me and made me smile. I didn’t directly celebrate the holiday.  My new friend and I walked the city’s streets and got some eats.  Of note, she took me to this spot called Perritos (which means little dog).  She was bragging about it on the plane so I had to partake. Peeps, can you see why?  IMG_0579 Firstly, it costed close to nothing and secondly, it was massive and good.  They had a ton of sauces that you could add to your burger, including ketchup.  I selected something green which thankfully tasted a lot like avocado.  I would have taken more pictures, but I was stopped mid-shot and gestured not to, so I didn’t. That was before my heightened fear, but in hindsight, perhaps it was the fucking catalyst!!

My second and more eventful holiday was the Feria de las Flores – translation Festival of Flowers.  It is an annual celebration (duh) that takes place in Medellin.  The first ever festival was held on May 1, 1957, and it lasted 5 days. Sixty years later it ran from Friday, July 28th, to Monday, August 7th.  That’s 11 days y’all.  The first and last days draw the most recognition and crowds – so I heard.  Of the 11 days of festivities and activities, I only participated on the last day.  I shouldn’t use “only,” because it kinda suggests some minimization of my celebration and that’s not fair.  I went to Jardín Botánico Medellin (Botanical Gardens of Medellin).  Forget all of the other events.  I was exactly where I wanted and was supposed to be.  It was crowded, but not overwhelmingly so. There was an orchid competition that was breathtaking to witness.  Speaking of breath, upon entering this quasi enclosed section, all you had to do was inhale just once and you’re taking (or taken) in its floral scents. They sent me down memory lane. ’Twas reminiscent of Vegas’ Venetian fancy schmancy hotel, except it was real and not artificially seeping in from vents.  It didn’t knock you over or tighten your nostrils.  Occasionally someone’s food or perfume may waft in, but the flowers’ sweet scents subtly reacquaints.  In addition to the orchid comp, there were tons of other displays – of flowers, of foods, of trinkets, of drinks, of cloths, of purses, of fruits and sweet things.  There were cats and music and bamboos and rides and cocktails and kids and oh butterflies! Take a look inside…





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