On Malls and Mountains
Oh hey, Medellín!
In my usual Remote Year style, I arrived with few expectations beyond what people have told me about this city, our second stop in beautiful Colombia.
“You will love it. It’s much smaller than Bogotá and the weather is perfect.”
“There are Gringos everywhere, especially in the El Poblado neighborhood.”
“You’ll be closer to beach towns like Cartagena. Go there!”
“It’s one of my favorite cities in the world. I’m so excited for you.”
A few of my observations since arriving:
- It’s so green and lush. I love love love all the plants and flowers. A tiny black bird just visited me on my balcony and sang for me. Gracias, parajito.
- I live on the 16th floor of a building surrounded by other high-rises in El Poblado. There’s a cute little pool on the rooftop. The views are gorgeous, especially when the late afternoon sun lights up the Andes mountains.
- My roommates are the best mix of hilarious and kind.
- The businesses in my neighborhood are almost exclusively in malls. If I loved chain stores and food courts, I’d be in heaven. (I am not a fan of either, but if I decide to engage in retail therapy or start a mall-walking club, I’m set.)
- When it comes to Medellín, weather apps are all doomy and gloomy. I’ve felt one drop of rain so far. The cloud-watching is phenomenal.
- The people are friendly and welcoming. My little bit of Spanish helps.
- It’s affordable. A woman I met told me she’s renting a room for $12/night in the hipper, less mall-centric part of El Poblado.
- Just like every other city I’ve been to on this trip, there’s construction everywhere. I carry earplugs and headphones at all times.
- I’ll most likely take a couple of weekend trips, one to the coast and another to Guatapé, which is known for excellent hiking and a large (artificial) lake.
It’s only been a few days, but I can feel the heaviness of my mood lifting, and I’m curious to get to know Medellín on a more personal level. As of now, I’m open to a friendship.