Thursday, June 14, 2007

The bulgarian girl

I'm working at a relatively small restaurant. There really isn't a lot to do, because most things we serve are pre-made, so we just have to take them out of the freezer and heat them up. My boss there is a bulgarian girl. She's a really nice and smart person. However, I want to kill her. She's really anal about the most stupidest things in the building, so she's always bothering us about the way cups and silverware are put in the front counter, or if we put one extra slice of pepperoni on a pizza, but them when we have a lot of people waiting in line, we always run out of food because she's not fast enough when cooking. I always try to help her, but she has such a high concept of ehrself, that she thinks she's the only one that can make things go well. She's so narcissist, that nomatter what we're talking about, she starts talking about how she's so perfectionist, and how she has an "innate ability for doing things rapidly", or how her senses are always overstimulated, so she can hear or see when somebody is talking about her.
I also work with other guy from Ecuador I met last year. He's really fun, and he always makes us laugh with his jokes, which helps a lot to deal with the long hours at work. We are always laughing at the bulgarian girl in spanish, so she can't understand what we talk about her.
But tragedy occured when her best friend told a friend of mine she took an intensive class of spanish so she could understand what people from Ecuador and Colombia talked about on her back. Of course, she didn't tell anyone but her bulgarian friends. After I heard that, I almost had a seizure when I started thinking about all the shit I've said in front of her. The next day after I heard it, I could barely look at her face. So I started acting like I never knew anything, and now I only make jokes about her to my close friends, and only when I know she's not around.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

10 minutes of internet access

Summer has officially started here. Rain has stopped, and now the temperature during the day is unbearable. But most important, there has been some serious partying going on. It basically consists on going to the local bar, getting a fake ID (I'm 19), dancing latin music (most of the people at the bars are working with me, and most of them are from either Colombia or Ecuador), then leaving at 3am and then hanging out outside our rooms until 5 or 6am. Right now I'm not drinking, so I haven't really been doing anything crazy....but those nights out are great because you get to talk to everyone in the park, and laugh at the drunk people doing crazy stuff.

Although it's been fun, I still don't feel entirely adapted to the fact that I'm going to be here for another two months. There are so many cities I want to visit, so many things I want to do, that sometimes the idea of being in this small town is just too lame. Some of my bosses are really annoying about the most stupid things, so everytime they tell me to do something entirely unnecesary just because they feel like it, I just want to quit that stupid job and traveling to NY, even if I have to ask for money in the streets. My parents told me if I'm not happy with my job, then I should try to get something in NYC, since I already have the ticket from NY to Bogota, but I haven't bought one from Minneapolis to NYC (So basically, I could travel right now). But I've been looking for it, and found nothing. Anyway, I'm having fun with my friends, going out and enjoying the summer, so I guess I'll try to accept I'm not leaving Minnesota for the next seven weeks.

I really wished I could write about everything that happens here, the people I work with, the funny things that always happen to me at work because I'm really clumsy, and what's it like with living with so many people from different countries. But computer access is really difficult here, so I can barely check my mail and writing posts in the 15 minutes we're allowed to use the computer at the dorms (God, I feel like I'm in jail). I also haven't been able to catch up with all the blogs I used to read, so I'm feeling kind of weird since I've lost some contact with the gay people i've met on the internet through their blogs. I'd really like to meet gay people here, but since I'm here with some friends from college, I would feel a little shy about hanging out with the one or two pople I know for sure are gay at my workplace (which by the way, I really hate, because they're really obnoxious).

Anyway, I hope this week I'll have access to a REAL computer (not the one I usually have to use, which is probably older than I am), so I will be able to make a more detailed account of what has happened to me so far here in the US.

Friday, June 01, 2007

In America

I arrived on Monday Morning. Flights were horrible...I didn't sleep more than an hour, I got the aisle on both flights, so I had to spend flight attendants hitting me in the head for like seven hours I spent flying...Plus, my bag got lost at the airport in minneapolis, so spent like and hour waiting for it to appear, until it turned out to be mixed with bags of some flight from Chicago.
Anyway, I'm all settled up here at work. It's been hell, because they're short of staff, so we've had to work from open to close...which is good, since I'm making more money, but it's hell because I've had to spend 10 hours without being able to sit down. Plus, I've tried to cut my expenses, so I bought shoes for work at Walmart for $9.87. Big mistake. Now, I feel like my feet are going to fall down.
It's been weird, because even thought the Work and Travel program is supposed to be an opportunity to meet people from other countries, the administration decided to hire less people from Europe, so the majority of employees are colombian, and from my college. So instead of meeting new people, it's been more like hanging out in the halls of my college back in Bogota. The same people, same social groups, just different location.
But I've met some really nice people too. There's this polish guy who barely speaks english, so he carries around a pocket size polish-english dictionary, so he can look for the translation of what he's trying to say. It's really funny when he can't finish a sentence and he has to look for some word in the dictionary, while he courses in polish. I hope I'll never have to work with him, otherwise it won't be funny, just really upsetting.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Final thoughts before I leave to the US

I'm taking a 10 min. break from studying for my last final, to write about some things going on:

Tomorrow I have my last final exam. My Phisics II final exam. It's an exam that I should've taken like two and a half years ago, when I was supposed to have taken this class. I took it two times, put after the first months or so, I got too scared about me being a total idiot for phisics, so I always saved it for next semester. But this time, I'm finally facing my fears. My posibilities are really good, since I only need to answer right 4 out of 25 questions to get a 3 over 5 grade on the class (which for you american guys would be loke getting a C, I think). I'm really tired right now, I've spent two weeks making all kinds of exams, papers and presentations, so right now I can barely concentrate on that damn exam. But I know I cant' be too confident, so right now, so I have no choice but studying for it (even though I could be partying with my friends from college who did took Phisics when they were supposed to, so finals are over for them). Which is basically the reason why I'm writing a post on a friday night. And after I publish it, I'll keep studying that damn Phisics book until Einstein himself would want me to teach him some things (So picture the Rocky scene where he starts getting ready for the fight, just instead of running and training, I'm doing lots of thermodinamics exercises).

Today I realized something funny. Since two months ago I finally got my driver's licence (which doesn't speak too well about the colombian transit authorities), I'll be able to drive the car my friends and I will buy after me arrive to Minnesota. I just want to say in advance, as Stephen recommended me, I'm sorry for terrorizing the streets, I'm sorry if you get stuck behind me because I can't get my car started after I stop on the red light, and I'm sorry if I get on your way because I can't stay on one single lane, etc. (well, I'm not THAT bad, but I'm just taking precautions). Another funny thing is that my friends and I had agreed months ago that we'd buy a car as soon as we got there, so if any of us got earlier than the rest, he would start finding one. What they dind't count on, was that that person was going to be me. So the last couple of times we've spoken, they've kindly tried to tell me that they want me to be as far as I can from a car until there's a responsible adult with me (I'm an adult, just not a responsible one). And of course I agree with them, since my knowledge about mechanics is VERY limited, and I don't want to waste any money on a car that won't last more than two weeks, as we all did last year.

Yesterday I finally had a hair cut, which I hadn't for more than a year. After I left the beauty salon, I felt kinda naked (which is natural, since I lost like 6 inches of curly hair that protected me from the cold Bogota weather). I wasn't too happy about my new almost-bald look, but I got very good reviews from my female audience, so I'm more confident now. Plus, It won't be really be a big deal since I'll be wearing the stupid baseball cap included with my uniform at work. The funny thing is that I still try to play with my hair (which I did a lot when I'm stressed), even though my hair now isn't longer that my fingernails.

I'm sad because I won't be able to say good bye to some of my friends and my brothers. I know it's really stupid, since I'm only going for two and a half months, but ever since one time when I was like 8 years old that I dreamt about a plane crash the same night an American Airlines plane actually crashed near a colombian city called Cali, I've been a little scared about planes. Not in the hyperventilating kind of way, but I do get a little nervious about the idea of flying 5 hours over the Atlantic Ocean...I just want to say if the plane crashes and we get stuck on an empty island, I hope the rest of the passengers will be hot models or, in the worst case, porn actors.

One thing that really makes me want to kick my self is that while I'm trying to smile at angry costumers, my parents will be on a month trip to Europe. Since probably we're not going to be in touch for a while, last night I told them to go out and have dinner. It was the longest hour I've ever had. Unlike most family dinners, we didn't yell at each other or anything, but instead, be didn't spoke more than 10 words in the entire evening. I wonder what is it about us that we can't have a normal relationship! I mean, they could be kidnapped and be sacrificed by some savage french tribe and I'd never see them again!!! (well, maybe not). Not that I want the Gilmore Girls - kind of relationship with them, but I just think it's amazing the only thing they have to say to me is "how much money do you plan to spend?".

Well, I guess that's it for now. I'll try to post about my american adventures, (hopefully some x rated ones, since most gay bloggers are used to much more exciting posts than the ones I write).
Oh and by the way, I'm still waiting for your suggestions of fun things to do in NY!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Some complaints

The trip to the US is killing me. People from the travel agency are always asking me to call them every single minute to check on the airplane tickets or and the travel insurance, and then I have to spend an hour on hold just for them to tell me that there's a mistake on the fight dates, and that for some reason I have to make yet another payment to them, or that they'll call me back when they have information for me. But of course, they're completely uncapable of calling me back when they're supposed to, and therefore I had to purchase airplane tickets for 300 dolars more than I was supposed to, plus, I've had to make several 1 hour trips to their office to pick up some unnecesary document I'll never be asked for, when I'm supposed to be studying for my finals.

Anyway, most of the paperwork is done, so pretty much the only thing left is actually traveling. As part of the incompetence I mentioned before, I wasn't able to get the same tickets than the rest of my friends, so I'll be traveling alone the 5 hours from Bogota to NYC, and then the 2 hours to Minneapolis. I'm not the luckiest guy on Earth, so my guess is that even though I have two and a half hours to get through immigration and reach the Minneapolis connection in JFK , which is more that the time they recommend for and international connection, something will probably go wrong, and I won't be able to reack my connection, which means I'll be stuck in the airport until I catch the next flight.

One thing I hate about having to travel on sunday night is that I'll have no time to settle things down before I leave. My last final exam is on saturday night (at least it won't be like last year, when I actually had to leave my last final and then rushing to the airport), and as the rest of my classes, I won't get the grades until I'm thousands of miles away, so I won't be able to talk to teachers and beg for a better grade (not that I like doing that, only in special cases).

But the thing I hate the most, is that I'LL HAVE TO CUT MY HAIR!!! my curly, fun brown hair, which is by far longer than what my employer allows, and because of its volume, it's imposible to hide it under a baseball cap. Well, since I have to do it anyway, I think I 'll pull of a Britney and shave my head...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Yep, I'm going back to the US

I'll be the king of New York (just for a few days, but I'll be the king)

This semester has been crazy. I've felt out of breath for most of it, but it's been fun. It's like I'm finally feeling like I belong somewhere, and for the first time I think I'm in the right place, about college, life...a lot of things.

And after a lot of thinking, I decided to go back to the US for the summer. In two weeks, I'll be working at the same place I did last time. Not that I felt in love with frying french fries, being yelled at by angry sun-burned costumers or washing dishes until midnight, I actually hated all that while I was there. But for some reason, right now I can only remember the good moments of that summer. Going out, hanging out with people from different parts of the world, being without my parents watching my every move, being on my own. And those memories are a lot stronger than the idea of serving fast food for 6.95 an hour, for 10 weeks.

I wanted to go somewhere else, not staying in the same small town where the best plan besides going to the only local pub was going to Walmart. I wanted to get something maybe in Boston, NYC of Philadelphia, so I could spend my time off work walking around, visiting tourist spots and taking lots of photographs, intead of just hanging out at the local Applebee's.
But as I said, things were to crazy this semester, and I really didn't have time to look for an employer who wanted to hire a colombian guy for two and a half months. Plus, all my friends are going back too, so I dedided to join them. And I guess if I get too bored, I can quit my job, go to the highway and travel as a hitchhiker for the rest of the summer.

Last year took some days off and traveled to Chicago, a city I love with all my heart, and I really want to go back to. But this time, I want to go NYC first. I want to conquer NYC. Unfortunately, I think I'll only have 4 or 5 days to spend there, so I want to make the most of it...I want to go to the obvious tour stops, but I also want to visit those places that most tourists never go to, but they're equally interesting. Maybe even going to Chelsea or West Village and imagining what it would be like to be gay in a more open society (man, I'm so closeted :-) ). Although last summer I went to Boystown in Chicago and felt alone and vulnerable like a new born puppy...but I had to go anyway.

The point is I want to the most things I can in 4 days. So if anyone is reading this, please give me some recommendations of what you consider the must-do things in NY in a quick trip. I'll really apreciate your comments.

Monday, February 05, 2007

My Right Eye

Today was a terrible day. The alarm rang at 5:30am, and after a few minutes of laying in bed, I realized my right eye felt weird. I looked myself in the mirror, and my eye was as big as a baseball. Plus, it was so red I just thought it was going to pop out any minute. Anyway, I had an important presentation from 7 to 10 am, so I couldn't miss that class as much as I wanted to. So I took the sunglasses and went straight to class, hoping noone would notice me. Which is impossible, since I bought the biggest sunglasses I could find, following the eye doctor's orders.

At 7am, the temperature was about 3ºC ( 38ºF). I don't need to say how ridiculous I looked wearing sunglasses inside the classroom, while we were all freezing to death. The good thing is the sunglasses are really dark, so I could watch withouth being watched. There's this guy I don't even remember his name (So I'll call him HotShirtGuy), who was only wearing a fitted cotton shirt and low-rise jeans (I don't know how, since I was wearing two sweaters and I still couldn't feel my arms), so he looked really hot this morning. We went outisde the classrom and made a circle around our projects, and while everybody was discussing how appropiate the use of Alka-Seltzer in an artwork can be, I enjoyed looking at the guy's chest peeking through his shirt. I mean, my eye was hurting really bad, so at least I could use it to look at something good, right?

But then the class ended, and I hadn't anything good to look at, so the pain came back. I had to make an emergency visit to the eye-doctor, who game me a bottle of eye drops, and told me to visit him of friday...those eyedrops really helped, since the eye isn't so red anymore, althought it's still very swollen. He also told me to wear the sunglasses as much as I could, to avoid direct light into my eyes. So I'll have to wear my Matrix-like sunglasses again...I just hope I'll bump into HotShirtGuy again, and taking some advantage of my disease.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The last two weeks

These two weeks have been amazing. In taking classes from both the Engineering and the Arts major, and I like all of them. I don't know why, but I feel a lot more motivated this semester than what I have ever felt the last three years I've been in college...I think I'm going to end up doing both majors, since I don't really feel a special preference for any of them...for now.

Last week I started thinking about the possibility of going back to work to the US in the summer. As I mentioned before, I'm dying to go to NY, and if I go back, there's a big chance I'll be promoted (even though I was famous for being clumsy at my workplace), so I wouldn't have to be so worried about the money I spend during vacations. The few days I spent in Chicago helped me a lot to see things celarly, to take a clear look at my goals, and I definitely think going to NY would be a great experience for me, even if I just can do it for 4 or 5 days. I still haven't talked about it with my parents, so I'm not making any plans yet.

I don't know what is it about NY that makes me so excited. It's just cities like Chicago or NY represent the freedom and the oportunities that I know I cant' have in, there are lot more hot guys there :) (God, I'm so shallow).

The next two weeks will be very important for me, because I will finally decide if I'm going to spend the summer in the US. If I do, maybe I'll bump into some of you there!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Last week I went to the movies with some friends. I arrived late, so I didn't get the chance to watch Dejavu (I wanted to watch Children of Men). The most remarkable moment in the movie happened when Denzel Washington's character tells Jim Caviezel he's gona need KY at jail, and then a friend's girlfriend asked us whispering: "KY for what?". We all laughed for so long that we completely lost track of what was going on in the movie...

Anyway, when we were leaving the theatre, I noticed someone was staring at me. I looked back at him, and I didn't recognized him at first, but after a couple of seconds I realized it was a guy from high school we used to call "Dolphin" (I really don't remember why). He told me he had been working at the multiplex for a few months. I had been told by a friend that Dolphin had dropped out of the University after the first year (he was an Engineering student, like me), but I didn't really know what had happened to him, even though he only lives a block away from my house.
When we were in high school we used to hung out sometimes, but he was more into heavy drinking than I was, so we weren't really friends. And according to what I heard, he kept that partying attitude in College, so things didn't really worked out for him.

We didn't really get to talk too much, because there were a lot of people waiting in line, and he had to keep an eye on them. On my way home, I realized I was a little shocked, because he's a living example of what my parents gently mention as "failure", everytime I want to talk about my career doubts. I mean, I don't think working at a movie theatre is a bad thing at all, but it's just not what any of us imagined doing when graduating from High School.

I'm really scared about taking bad decitions. I mean, Your hole life is based on the decisions you make after you graduate from high school. Right now I'm just thinking about how unhappy I feel by studying engineering, but will I feel fulfilled as a film director knowing I'll have to beg people to finance my movie? If the arts major doesn't work, then what? I guess what scares me the most of endind up working at a movie theatre isn't the job itself, but knowing that it'd be too far from the dreams I had when I finished High School.

But no more thinking. University starts again tomorrow, so it's time of acting. No more doubts, no more preocupations. I'm finally going to be responsable for my actions!!! ...or at least i'll try.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Catching Up

Well, I survived my first week in driving lessons. There weren't too much surprises, everything came out as I expected: I suck. The car always turns off when I hit the brake, I never look at the mirrors, etc. Basically, my teacher has been the one who has driven the car the whole time, and I have barely held the steering wheel. But I guess it's just a matter of practice...I just hope I can improve my driving skills before I take the final exam, otherwise I'll have to repeate the entire thing again. And there's no way I can practice on my spare time, because I don't know anyone stupid enough to let his/her car to be used for that purpose (I have asked).

I have only a week left before university starts again, and things have been a little slower that I expected. Most of my friends are out of town, so there hasn't been too much things to do around here. The only fun thing I did this weekend was going bowling.

My friends and I were supposed to meet at 4pm in from of the bowling alley. Only two of us made it on time, Crazy Cat and I. We called the rest of the group, and they would take about 40min. to get there. So I used the time to catch up with Crazy Cat.

She was the first person I met at the University. We used to have the exact same schedule, so we always hung out together. We dated a few times, but she just had too much going on inside her we just kept being friends. She always get the best grades almost effortlessly. I guess I have always felt a little jelous of her, because she represents everything I wanted to be when I first got into college: she's focused, and (at least in the academic things) she knows what she wants.

During the last year we didn't spoke as much as we used to, not only because our schedules stopped being the same, but we also met new friends, so we didn't really had time to keep in touch. She's one of the few of my friends in college who knows I want to switch from an engineering to an Arts major. So while we waited for the rest of the people, I told Crazy Cat what has happened with that.

CC: what happened with the arts thing, are you going to stay at Engineeing?
Me: Well, I haven't really made up my mind...I'm taking a few Art classes next semester, and I hope I'll finally make a decision.
CC: Great, I'm glad...that's what you wanted, right?
Me: well yes, but I just think I have lost a lot of time...even if I end up graduating as an engineer, I feel like I'm not prepared enough...for example, I look at you, and I know I'm not on the same level you are...
CC: That's not true! I wanted to take an internship this semester, but I didn't do it because I'm terrified about the idea. I feel like I don't know anything!
Me: Really?
CC: Yeah, I mean we've been in the University for three years, but somehow I don't feel like I'm prepared to have a job, or anything like that. You shouldn't worry about that, you should just think if this is what you really like, of if your real passion is in Arts.

Talking to Crazy Cat was helpful...she has done great at the University, but she doesn't have a clue of what she's going to do after she graduates. And I guess that happens to a lot of people, right? I relized I'm not the only one who feel insecure about the post-university future. Anyway, I have a whole semester to figure things out, so I'll leave this week to relax a little (hopefully).

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A very scared post

Tomorrow I'll start taking driving lessons.

I have never driven a car before.

Sometimes I have problems when trying to differenciate left from right.

I paralize when I get nervious.

I just want to say, in case anything bad happens, that it's been great having this blog, because it has allowed me to express ideas and thoughts I had repressed for years. And I want to thank all the gay bloggers out there, because they have been part of that.

I know it sounds ridiculous to write a goodbye letter just because I'm finally taking those damn lessons, but right now I'm so scared about it that when I close my eyes are thousands of different ways in which I can crash the car I drive going at less than 10 miles/h (I guess hours of playing Burnout Revenge hasn't been really helpful).

Anyway, I just wanted you to know that if you don't see any new posts for a month, or if you hear in the news about a multiple car crash in Colombia, well, you can figure out what happened to me.

iTunes is currently playing: The Figurehead - The Cure

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Back from Pasto

Well, I'm back from Pasto. This was a very interesting trip, for a number of reasons I'll try to explain in this post.

After almost losing my plane because the stupid girl at the airline counter sent me to the wrong boarding room, I made it to Pasto. Pasto is a relatively small city in the southwest of Colombia, and holds the Carnival of Blacks and Whites, which was the main course of my trip.

New Year's eve
Unlike past years, I had a lot of fun this time at New Year's Eve. Since I had no relatives in the city, Maye's family adopted me. I was a huge party with all of her uncles and cousins, all of them really nice and friendly, so I really felt welcome on that holiday.
At 12am, my parents called me. We greeted aech other, and wished each other the best for 2007. It was nice, since this time there wasn't any arguments or drama involved in the celebration, we were just happy about being able to talk, even if it was though we could only make it through our cell phones (Which as I said on the last post, was the idea of my trip).
The party lasted until 7 am, so it was a phisically callenging party for me, since Maye's cousins always wanted to dance with me (even though I'm the worst dancer in the Solar System), and didn't let me sit to recover my breath.

The Carnival

During the carnival, which started on Jan. 2, our day was divided in two parts: In the morning, we went to the parades, which literally paralized the entire city. The parades were amazing, because they included the presentation of floats, dances and musical groups, all of them centered around the diverse colombian traditions. The energy of the people is amazing, becuase everyone just gets together to celebrate, singing and playing on the streets. When the parades finished, Maye, her sister and I played with the locals as well with other turists to paint each others' faces with black paint and throwing white powder at other people, which is originally done to celebrate our heritage from the white spanish conquerors and the black slaves they brought from Africa, but in the end is just a great excuse to attack strangers in a non-dangerous way.
A float representing gods from old colombian tribes.

The white powder made the streets of Pasto look like Bagdad

In the afternoon, we went to the tents installed all over the city, which were huge spaces that held salsa music bands, and where most people went to dance and drink beer and aguardiente (Our local liquor). We stayed at the tents until they closed at 11pm, and then headed to a bar, or just sat down on a sidewalk and got drunk. I had the chance to meet tons of new people in our nights out, because Maye and her sister kept meeting old friends from high school, which be hung out with. Since I'm being medicated I couln't drink too much alcohol, so I wasn't as drunk as most of them, but I still had a lot of fun. We went home every day around 4am, tried to get some sleep and then woke up at 8am to start over again.
The parties we went to were the scenario for a lot of situations. I hooked up with a couple of random girls an the tents (no guys this time), but nothing serious happened with them. Everyone in the city were in a very relaxed mood, but it took me two or three days of Carnival to get into that mood. After that, I didn't mind splitting from my group of friends and walking around the city with complete strangers, or even being taught by a psychology student about the 7 erogenous zones (And when I say taught, I mean she made me touch each one of them them until I got the right spot and applied the right pressure), right in the middle of the street.
There's something about the unlimited amounts of booze and the white powder floating in the air that made everyone horny... I swear I had never experienced the kind of harassment I lived there. Call me conservative, but there's just something awkward about my best friend's drunk sister fondling me in front of her family and friends.
I had a lot of fun. Those nights reminded me a lot of my senior year at high school, when I used to spend friday and saturday nights completely wasted, talking about the most random things, and drinking cheap alcohol. I hadn't experiences that kind of freedom since I got into college. The good thing is that all the fun distracted me a little bit from all the situations I know are going to make 2007 such a tough year to live.

iTunes is currently playing: Delicate - Damien Rice