The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘Colombia’

Attn: Ellen (1/7/15)

Front

Ellen DeGeneres postcard

Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

Ellen201b

The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

Did you know at the Catedral de Sal the informational tour is in Spanish? Because, having taken the tour, that is the only thing I learned.

Gooooo poor memory of high school Spanish!!

Sincerely,
The Uninformed Tourist AKA
DumbFunnery.com

Why am I doing this?

2014 in Books

This was a good year of reading for me. I read a few books I really liked, and I am pleased with the amount I read. Here we go – a few sentences on each book to let you know what I think (for whatever that is worth).

2014 Books

I am a bit nutty, and I like trophies, so all the books for one year go on the same shelf.

 

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – A good book if you like running. The author shares his thoughts on life in terms of his passion for running. Here is an old post with quotes from it.

Pudd’nhead Wilson – An enjoyable Mark Twain book with the usual dose of ‘woah he said THAT?’ Here’s an old post with some quotes from it.

Diary – Huh. Okaaaay. (That was my reaction upon finishing the book – a Chuck Palahniuk, aka a nutty book with a love of anarchy.)

Catalina – Pretty language (as most Somerset Maugham books are) but the plot didn’t do much for me.

Lord of the Flies – That age old classic of boys being boys. Oh them kids.

Under the Black Ensign – It was entertaining pulp fiction … What brought me to it was the fact that L. Ron Hubbard wrote about it. (Which I wrote about here.)

I, Robot – Classic Isaac Asimov. It was interesting and even though the robots were all programmed with the 3 laws which keep them from hurting humans I read the book waiting for them to kill. I’m stable, I swear.

WeWe – This book is the probable inspiration for George Orwell’s 1984. Either my first or second favorite book of the year. You should read it!

Rome, Inc. – This book talks about the Roman Empire as though it was a business with each leader/ruler as the CEO. An interesting take on history but a lot of dull parts.

Tour of Duty – A collection of war correspondence pieces from John Dos Passos. I think I would’ve appreciated it much more if I was a World War II buff, but it had some interesting nuggets. (And what do you know, I have a post about an example!)

Of Human Bondage – Somerset Maugham’s best known book and … kind of an ‘eh’ for me. I really enjoy how he writes, the language he uses, but the main character drove me nuts with his decisions.

The Fault in Our Stars – I enjoyed it, but I can see how people would see the plot of this book and think cancer is being used as a plot device.Wodehouse

The Inimitable Jeeves – Oh. So. British. I picked this up (and other Wodehouse books) because I heard Stephen Fry really liked him but … boy it took me a while to read this.

Killing Pablo – In preparation for my trip to Colombia, why not read this historical account of Pablo Escobar, the famous drug lord from Colombia? It was well written and left me mildly more afraid of Colombia! (Have no fear, the trip was delightful.)

Murder is Cheap – An old murder mystery with a brash, sexist fella as the PI. The book was enjoyable, but more interesting was my surprise when I came to find out the book was written by a woman! (It had a number of lines I thought were sexist, and let me tell you … Oh wait, here, just read this post about it.)

Damned – Somebody just couldn’t get enough Palahniuk, huh? Well, this one was so-so and it is a part one of two. Gah! To read the second or not? Hmmm.

Wild – This one is now in theaters. To be honest, I figured I’d not enjoy this … A woman decides to run away from her problems in the form of a very long, therapeutic hike which she is ill-prepared for? Blech. But you know, I actually enjoyed reading about her physical struggles on the hike while emotionally working some shtuff out. (See, told you it comes across as lame sounding.)

The Immoralist – I got this because the author won a Nobel literature prize way back in 1947 (the book was published in 1902) … And … eh.

This is How You Lose Her – This is one of those books that I finished and thought, ‘ugh! What is that? Come on!’ because I was annoyed with how it ended. But time went on and a few days later I was happy I’d read the book.

Good Omens – A collaboration between Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. This doesn’t say much for the book, but I enjoyed reading more about their collaboration process than the book itself.

A Fine Balance – The other top two book of the year. It is a beautiful story that is incredibly well told. Oh hey look, some quotes from it!

PippinBoom – This is by the same author who wrote The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (Mark Haddon). It’s a decently fun kids book.

The Ten Thousand Things – This was raved about in Wild so I had to try it. Personally, I don’t get it.

The Short Reign of Pippin IV – A different kind of Steinbeck, but I really enjoyed it. It was a good book to end 2014 on!

Bogotá, Colombia

Bogota, Colombia

Backs of strangers, you made for a shot I liked.

 

Bogota, Colombia

At the Catedral del Sal in Zipaquirá. (A salt mine, hence the miner monument.)

 

Bogota, Colombia

Within the salt mine.

 

Bogota, Colombia

In the town of Zipaquirá.

 

Bogota, Colombia

A shot from Monserrate (a pretty church from high up).

Cartagena, Colombia

Colombia 041

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Attn: Ellen (12/10/14)

Front

Ellen DeGeneres postcard

Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

Ellen DeGeneres postcard

The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

You know that face I make when someone says something to me in a language I don’t know? Because a lot of people in Cartagena, Colombia know!

Yep, yours truly and my fiancé went to Colombia for a friend’s wedding. What’s that? You want to know more? Well sure, who wouldn’t!?

Sincerely,
The Uninformed Tourist
AKA DumbFunnery.com

Why am I doing this?

El Thanksgiving

These are arepas. Delicious little devils. They are prepared in different ways, the ones that looked like this at the last place we visited were my favorite. Like little delicious pancakes.

This year for Thanksgiving my fiancé and I were in Bogotá, Colombia. What better feast than some arepas, fruit juices and calentado.

A friend of mine, Juicebox, is from Colombia and got married to a girl who is also from Colombia. Naturally, their wedding was in Colombia.

Here’s something I learned about Colombia which I already miss – they are champions of juice. Not steroids, just … you know, fruit-based drinks.

The juices I got to try while I was there …

  • orange (not so crazy)
  • blackberry
  • lulo (also known as naranjilla or ‘little orange’)
  • maracuyá (a kind of passion fruit)
  • guanabana (also known as soursop … which is much less fun to say)
  • pineapple
  • some unidentified reddish one.

For some, like blackberry (which is mora in Spanish) you would look at the list of juices and hear ‘mora is blackberry’ but others like guanabana, maracuyá and lulo the additional information was, ‘there’s no translation, they just don’t have that in the U.S.’

But … why!? Lulo and guanabana are delicious!  (To me maracuyá was delicious in the form of a milkshake, not so much as a juice.) From looking at other people writing about these things, I have had it reinforced that I enjoy more sweet things than most … Other people actually said these juices were too sweet. What the what?

I found an article talking about Coca Cola potentially selling fruit juices available in Colombia abroad but I have not seen them. I will certainly be keeping an eye out now though. From my quick google searching I didn’t see a reason why those fruits aren’t available in the United States but my guess is the fruits don’t travel well. Either that or Colombia is only too happy to lord this over the rest of the world while sipping delicious drinks.

(On the one hand I would be very happy if Coke brought those juices to the US. On the other hand I’d be sad if it was Coke doing it.)

Another fruit we had was grenadilla. A nice couple told us to try this – we assumed it was an orange and skipped right by it. But no, it has a hard outer shell that is easily cracked. My buddy told me the best way to open this fruit is by bopping your friend on the head to crack the fruit open (we used the table), then there’s a spongy sort of covering that you peel apart to reveal … what appears to be alien brains inside. I am open to trying new foods, but I have to admit I am a wuss when the appearance is a little … oh, alien brain-ish I suppose. But we dove in with spoons and this thing was delicious!

Oh Colombia, please export more fruits!

Fun fact: Colombia’s sixth highest export item is flowers. There were greenhouses all over around Bogotá. Another fun fact: your co-workers will make one dumb joke every seven seconds leading up to your departure and right after your return about suspected exported items from Colombia. For them you give 0 chocolate or coffee gifts.

Attn: Ellen (11/19/14)

Front

Ellen195a

Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

Ellen DeGeneres postcard

The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

Soon my fiancé and I will be taking a trip to Colombia for a friend’s wedding. Another friend and I devised a plan: in every picture we will have, somewhere, a can of Coke. Then when showing off trip photos we can casually say, “Colombia’s Coke problem is tough … It’s called Pepsi, heard of it!?”

Ambassadorship, here I come.

Sincerely,
DumbFunnery.com

Why am I doing this?

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