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

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