I arrived in Medellin with no expectations really. I wanted to live somewhere outside the US for a while and it met some criteria I had set out. I could work here, meaning it had fast internet and wasn’t that far from the US. The next being that the people spoke Spanish, learning Espanol has been something that I have struggled with in the past and I am determined to make it happen this time.
After a few weeks here I find questioning some of the culture values of the United States. The degree to how happy the people are has really struck me, maybe there’s cocaine in the water but, maybe there isn’t, maybe we’ve missed something in the US.
People here seem to have no problem singing at all times of day in any situation. When I was taking my taxi from the airport to Medellin, I quickly became aware that my cab driver was singing quite loudly to the radio. So much so that I had considered singing with him, but being an awkward gringo, I decided that perhaps the cultural barrier would lead the cab driver to believe that I had gone crazy and end up with me getting deported, so I decided to smile politely. I had thought that perhaps this cab driver was particularly jovial, but as my time in Medellin has gone on I have learned that this was not an isolated situation. Further taxis drivers have continued to insist on singing as if were were in some yet to be written Gabriel García Márquez musical.
Each day I take a taxi to and from my spanish lessons. I met one driver particularly interested in the US elections, and I spent much of that ride trying to convince the him that Trump is not really going to win the election and that he’s not really serious about building that wall, although I’m not sure I had convinced him or myself for that matter.
Another ride I met a mother of 3 who had just started as a driver, she was trying to make some money for the family in-between taking care of the kids, this had been an uber, I had shown her how to press navigate button in the app and assured her that she was doing a great job. Yet another ride was given by an 18 year old from Envigado saving money for school who was strangely enamored by american country music, and yes we sang a few songs during our ride. Read more…