Thursday, March 25, 2010

Let the Carnavales Continue

Let the Carnavales Continue

After the amazing Carnaval show at my school, it was off to the beach to do a bit of surfing. This time my colleagues Dave and Jose wanted to give it a try. Yoyi was going to give them a lesson and had told me that the waves were perfect for beginners. Indeed they were. It was possible to catch a wave, and stand up, but not be completely smashed around by a fierce sea.

The four of us stayed in the water about 2 hours laughing and having a ton of fun, besides the little ding I got on the knee. Afterwards I was tired and Dave and Jose, red-chested from the sticky wax on the boards, were exhausted. We all took the bus back to Barranquilla and decided to try a new Mexican restaurant called Orale Burrito. It was absolutely delicious and definitely the best Mexican food I’ve had in Barranquilla. For about $7 a burrito, it wasn’t exactly cheap, but it was worth it.

Karen came to meet all of us for dinner and then the plan was to meet some other colleagues for the beginning of Carnaval in Barranquilla. People called it the Tambor. Yoyi and I went to my apartment to shower off the saltwater and get ready for the evening. Thanks to the power of cell phones, we met up with a bunch of colleagues at the Tambor. We all ended up in what was called the wheel, which was a huge crowd of people walking and dancing around in a circle over and over again. Drums, reed flutes, and occasional accordions were in harmony with people singing. People kept shouting, "Wepa! Wepa!" I’m still not exactly sure what this means, but I think it’s equivalent to not knowing exactly what hooray means.

My camera ran out of batteries after two shots, but considering how many people were around, it might have been for the best that I didn’t have it out.

Me, wishing I had my friend's butterfly painted mask. Wepa! Wepa!

After a few beers at the Tambor about 15 of us strolled back to another colleague’s house for an after party. The streets were full of people reveling in Carnaval festivites. Music was blaring from various houses. People were singing, dancing, and drinking everywhere. Yoyi and I picked up a bottle of aguardiente on the way to the party. Aguadiente is an anisette flavored Colombian liquor that I love. It seemed to be the right thing to drink that night.

Yoyi feeding aguardiente to seƱor Cunit - el sabor preferido. He knows that still makes me laugh.

At my colleague’s house were the omnipresent extra large speakers with deafening music to dance to. Having a conversation is almost impossible over the latino rhythms blasting away. It’s a good thing I like so much of the music here, because if I didn’t this would surely be a version of hell. Almost everyone was dancing. Mainly people dance with their partners here, which is kind of a good thing for me. My hips always feel uncoordinated and Yoyi guides me in dancing better. Drinking, dancing, and sweating to the booming music were the themes of the night. Aguardiente y cerveza were flowing continually, and at one point I realized after being at school all day, surfing, and dancing, that I was absolutely wiped out.

About five of us piled in a cab and listened and sang along to Daddy Yankee shouting, “Quien no perdona, quien no perdona!” We bounce bounce bounced all the way home. It was past 3am and I had Carnaval activities planned for the next morning. I better learn how to rumba like a Barranquillera.

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