Sunday, September 05, 2010

Big, boisterous, Bogota!

I flew to Bogota on September 2nd and the plan was for me to meet Roger at the airport as he was flying in within 15 minutes of my flight.  Right.  I arrived along with hundreds of other people and when I exited the terminal, I saw a sea of faces - but not Roger.  I decided to wait by the curb and see if he turned up or if the wife of the salesman he was traveling with came which was our Plan B.

Esmerelda -- a good Samaritan who cheerfully helped me at the airport
After about a half hour, a lady approached me and asked if I needed help. In Spanish, I managed to tell her I was waiting for my husband who was arriving from another terminal and should be there soon.  She offered to call him, and when she reached him, Roger told her their plane had not left and he wasn't sure when it would.  He also said he had sent his driver, plus a couple of other drivers as back ups!  Apparently at one point, there were 4 people looking for me.  I eventually saw a man who looked like he was looking for someone so I approached him.  Sure enough, it was Gustavo.  Moments later, I heard "Heather", and it was Matan, a co-worker of Roger's who was flying out but was trying to find me. I was very glad to get to our apartment, and even happier when Roger walked through the door a few hours later. Good thing this wasn't my first rodeo.

Our apartment is very modern and has a doorman on duty 24/7.
View from our tiny balcony
This steep spiral staircase would be dangerous navigating at night
so Roger moved the Master Bedroom down from the loft.
I was surprised on my first walk with Roger to see how winded I got.  Bogota is at 9,000 feet and there is definitely something to getting acclimatized to the elevation.  The city is very cosmopolitan, so far much cleaner than other Latin American countries we've visited, and I have felt safe even when returning to the apartment in the dark last night.

Roger said the police are respected and people often give them a thumbs up when they see them.  Today, while walking in an area with lots of stores and restaurants, I saw many officers with dogs who are apparently sniffing for bombs and drugs. 

We were invited to lunch by the salesman, Mariano, and his family.  The restaurant was huge and the waitress gave us a card that explained where the emergency exits were located.  That was a first!

Mariano and his wife Adriana

On the top floor of the restaurant, there is a place for children
 to see puppet shows, do crafts and get their faces painted!
Laura -- Mariano and Adriana's granddaughter
So far...so good.  The people we've met have been warm and friendly, the apartment is a far cry from a tent in the Kalahari (my benchmark for accommodation), and I feel as safe as I would in any big city.

Another adventure begins!

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