I am sorry guys. It has been a while since my last report in September.
Well, the party continued and It was great. It is rather normal, depending the type of party, to go out with the whole party to some disco. However, we stayed, in spite of the neighbors. My closest neighbor is Carlos Flores (Ericsson also....) who also was invited, to avoid the problem! I guess that is a kind of acknowledgment to the success. I was very happy.
Some of the last people to leave was another neighbor, Peter and Marcela. They are getting married in January. So his family is coming for new year and the wedding. My parents are also coming. Everybody here says how nice, and what a joy to have the family for Christmas. I am having trouble finding beds in the apartment and thinking of how to prepare the Christmas food, julbord, with NO experience whatsoever and without proper material, like sill and the julskinka, graddfil etc. Well I guess I am pleased also, that they are coming.
Doing lunch. every day at 12 we leave for lunch. Normally it is a restaurant close by, but sometimes we walk a little further. The lunch hour is short. Not like in other cities in Colombia. You have to remember that on this altitude, 2 600 m, the climate is cold (in a tropical sense) with about 17-20 degrees a normal day. But in most other cities, and on the Caribbean coast it is too hot. They have two hour lunch or more, but start work very early instead.
On the first Sunday in December there was a Scandinavian bazaar. Very exotic around here. We went to have a look at Christmas things to put in the house, drink glogg and peppaarkakor and also they had a "danish" buffet. We participated in lottery and I bought a few things for decorating the house. They told me that the price for the red chandlers was the same as in Ahlens. Only a airplane ticket away if you want to compare.... All Nordic embassies and some Colombian and European companies were sponsoring. I did not win anything on the lottery.
The Swedish Embassy, together with Luft Hansa, Hotel Bogota Plaza and the famous Swedish chef, (I don not remember his name), have arranged a Swedish food month at the hotel. I went there to have a taste of lax mousse, caviar and reindeer. Unfortunately the deer was out and the caviar too. I was not happy. I had a poor veal instead. It was fun to see the restaurant with Swedish poster and Absolut Vodka (and Lufthansa too. I guess it is okay now that they will co-operate with SAS), and things, all nice and cozy-like. Made you feel like you were home at the restaurant The Ulriksdal Castle or something similar.
October and November have been busy months. At least in regards to consorts I have been to. First came Bon Jovi, at the football stadium, Campin. It was loaded with people. You have to go there "clean" . That means no belt on the jeans, nothing stealable on you. It was the concert last year with Guns and Roses that was appareantly bad for some people and cars outside.
Not long after we heard that Elton John was coming. Peter F told me that we had to go. this is better than the other one. Well, Bon Jovi was about 60 000 pesos, 60 USD or about 400 SEK. I do not understand how they can afford those prices here. I guess some people just can not go to concerts here. Elton was 120 000 pesos for front seats, and 75 000 for further back, but on the grass also. I was planning to invite my new friend Cristina, but I was not sure because it was rather a lot of money. Then Marcela, Peters girlfriend, told me that she could get the tickets for student prices, with 70% discount. I promptly ordered two tickets, with out telling Cristina. We where sitting at Peter`s on the Saturday, listening to Elton John`s Born in England, ready to go and still she did not know where we were heading. So we said -Let`s go! She asked -Go where..? It was excellent! We had a excellent time and he really has a bunch of songs to choose from. It is only too bad that he is so short! Luckily they had those big screens for the pictures on the sides.
That was not is it. Carlos Vives just came out with his new album. He is one of the most famous Colombian musicians, known all the way to Spain and things. The music is a sure hit at discos and parties. If somebody wants to fill the dance floor, they put on Vives and it is really amazing to see how everybody gets up and dances. The dance type is Vallenato, but with a little pop added. I must also mention the latest CD from Gloria Estefan. The same type of music. It is called opening doors (abriendo puertas).
Christmas is coming. Unforutantely this will be a very different x-mas for the bogotainians. Normally during all of december they have fireworks, very nice illuminated decorations and lots of parties. The 24th of december is said to be very impressive. The parties and the quantity of people buying christmas presents, together with the extra month salary that they normally receive there are much commerce this month. With all that money in the streets the robberies are also increasing.
All that has now changed! The reason is called Mockus.
That is not all. Now he has ban the driving of motor bikes between 2 and 6 am in the morning. Also to avoid those terrible accidents. Remeber that very few cars respect the red light after 11 pm. The comment I heard about all htis is that A Mockus does NOT appear to be Colombian. And to judge from his look, like some austrian with a jewish or armish beard and parents from some where around Lettland or some former part of west soviet union. He is really popular, but now he is getting on my nerves. Closing down the discos and no fireworks. That is too much.
Lucia party at Ericsson de Colombia is of course different. The party was held at the Club of Engineers. A big room with lots of people sitting on rows of chairs. On the podium the president and the vice presidents of the company. First we were enlightened by a speech from the President Bjorn Magnusson. After that they were giving medals to employees with 20, 25 and even 30 years of employment in the force. After that the next item was -Olle and Johan presenting some typical Swedish Lucia songs. Ha! How wrong they were. We immediately called down all Swedes, including the president, the wives and some local talents and handed out the notes and the lyrics I received on fax from my parents the same morning. The first song was Santa Lucia. It started with introduction on a saw. Yes, it is correct, they played a saw-blade. Then we sang two verses. We did about five songs. I was lead singer on Staffan Stalledrang, but made a little mistake and we started again.
At the moment, Friday 15th, the day is ending and I am off to the apartment. I am now doing my preparations for my parents that are coming on the 24th. I hope they are able to bring all the stuff I have ordered from Sweden. Well see.
If I do not send anything else before I wish everybody
Feliz Navidad 1995 y Prospero Ano Nuevo 1996