Nov 1, 2009
Bogota, Colombia
Elevation 2574m

I went to the movies yesterday as I was a bit tender from part taking in the festivities of Halloween. It was a surreal experience and I felt sligthly displaced as I walk about in a mall, sitting down at a movie theater, watching a movie in English with Spanish sub-titles.

The mall is just like any mall that you would find in the states, in any first world nation. You are also being charged international prices for the movie and popcorn. After a month of backpacking, living on backpacker budgets, going the extremes from big cities to small towns, all of sudden being in a mall in Bogota and feeling like I could be stateside was disorienting. I ended up seeing “Julie and Julia,” it was that or “Saw V.”

The movie itself was entertaining enough but I was slightly disappointed that it did not actually show me how to debone a duck as now I am very curious to know and wanting to practice on a duck myself. This morning I startd to wonder about the difference between raising ducks verus raising chickens. What is the difference in return on investement and how did chicken become the IT poultry? At what point in human evolution did we decide that chicken will be the bird of choice, both in egg form and fully grown? If Michael Pollan´s “Ominivour’s Dilemma” has taught me anything, is that the industry is driven by the math of return on investment and market demand. Did we demand to have chicken be the everyday poultry first or did we calacuate out the cost benefit first?

4 weeks in Colombia and I have travel by bus from the Carribean coast down to near Ecuador and then back up again to the capital. I have seen a lot of poilice presence in every town and have ventured into market places and neighborhoods that some would deem sketchy. When I was preping for the trip, friends caustioned me the danger of Colombia and that maybe I should rethink my plans. Colombia is still a place of guns and cocain, FARC adn kidnappings in the mind of many. My disorienting experience at the movies last nigth only serve to remind me a conversation I had with a fellow traveling friend Nick. Nick has just come up through Syria when I meet him in Tureky a few years back and I asked him about safty in Syria. He said “Civiliation carries on, no matter where you are, just be smart and not venture into conflict zones and you will find that life carries on. The people find a way to continue theie lives and liviehood.” I have seen the tenacity of humanity in many places and irrespective to whether the mental image we have of Colombia is correct or misinformed, life certainly carries on here. The beauty of this nation and the warmth of its people have impressed me deeply. Colombia is unlike anything I had imagined it to be.