I had a fantastic weekend with my friend Jake, another Fulbrighter visiting from Ibagué, four hours west of Bogotá.
We attended the amazing and free Rock al Parque music festival, visited Paloquemao (my favorite place in Bogotá), and attempted to climb Monserrate.
At Paloquemao we sampled fruits I had never seen nor heard of and which are now my favorites, and drank great coffee along with an early-afternoon Smirnoff Ice in a small bar full of elderly and enthusiastic Colombians singing vallenato music at the top of their lungs. For the rest of the weekend we were preparing food and drinks with the fruits and vegetables we found there.
In our attempt to climb Monserrate I ascended another 1500 meters above my city's already insane elevation and became dizzy and lost sensation in my feet. We also enjoyed a gorgeous view and perhaps the most delicious popsicle I have ever encountered, as well as watching children swing from electrical fixtures and jumping in surprise as an enormous horse rose from the bushes alongside the trail.
In Rock al Parque we danced with old and new friends and enjoyed some smuggled-in aguardiente chased with fresh-squeezed lulo juice. I saw the now washed-up 90s band Sum 41 in their first-ever south american performance and got to know some awesome Colombian rock bands.
This week I feel I'm taking more and more command of my Colombian life and am finding myself tempted to look for ways to come back after my Fulbright year is over, a familiar pattern for me. So in the roller coaster of culture shock and adjustment, I'm on an upswing.