Today is my last day in Barranquilla; I go back to Bogotá tonight. The next time I’ll be here will be for CARNAVALES! I can’t wait. I’m excited to go back to Bogotá, but there are some things from Barranquilla that I have really missed, so I want to share my top five.
1. The people. I made some really great friends here, and it has been so wonderful seeing them and catching up. Also, there really is a big difference between costeños (people from the coast) and cachacos (people from Bogotá). A lot of people say that cachacos are cold and not very nice. I disagree; I think people from Bogotá are very nice and have always been very friendly to me. But it is true that people from the coast are much more openly friendly. And costeños are much more relaxed, much more tranquilo. The climate where you live definitely does have an affect on the people, and the differences between Bogotá and Barranquilla make this quite evident. I love the people from both cities, but it has been so nice being back here.
2. The costeño accent! For those of you who don’t know, people from the coast have a very different accent and unique words and expressions from other places in Colombia. Sadly, I have been losing my costeño accent since I have been living in Bogotá, but I am trying to get it back while I’m here. Also, most Colombian who are not costeños tend to dislike the accent from here, but I love it. (Especially the word full!) For me, it’s my Spanish, the first Spanish I learned, so I want to be able to speak as costeño as possible!
3. The food. I miss the food so much. The comida rapida (fast food) from the coast is the best. I tried a costeño place once in Bogotá and it was terrible, so I haven’t tried again. I have eaten at my favorite restaurant, La Terraza de Lily, every night that I’ve been here and it has been delicious.
4. The weather. I love hot weather, I really do. I am often cold, so when most people are sweating, I feel perfectly comfortable. It does rain here, but only for short periods of time, and the rest of the time it is beautiful and sunny. I love being able to wear dresses and t-shirts and no jacket.
5. The dancing. Costeños know how to dance, that is for sure. People in Bogotá do, too, but in the coast dancing is even more a part of the culture. For example, when I taught Kindergarten here last year, my kids would dance for various events, especially for carnavales, and they were so good, the movements are so natural for most of them; it’s like they’re born with it. The music here is a bit different as well. My favorite place to dance salsa in Barranquilla is La Troja; it’s all salsa, and all outside, and people dance so well.
I know that if I stay in the coast for long enough, I’ll start to miss things about Bogotá as well. I keep trying to compare them, but really, you can’t. Both cities are wonderful and so unique in so many ways.