Tuesday, September 14, 2004


Ok ok yeah I know... I fooled ya! This is the thing I wrote in my "poor but happy" forum about Colombia. It's quite interesting, although pointless to understand it without context but... hummmm... it's a journal anyway... you're not supposed to understand anything (oh my god.. again that stupid Hebrew song I love and I still don't know the title... something about "esser shniot ve lalechet... "LOL don't mock me out Ari!) but I'll explain it one day I think.

For I'm a wannabe journals writer you know.. so I want you to understand one day what's going on here (wishful thinking, no one is really reading this crap at all). To explain one of the greatest (and probably biggest) chapters of my life I might need to talk about me and Angela being pub owners in La Candelaria. For that I need a clear mind and lots of drugs and chatty mood, and you bet... I don't have it now ;-). So figure out yourself... it won't be today, it won't be tomorrow.

I gotta clear up mist and figure out the story myself again. Maybe it would help to talk to the journalist about it (I know, you must be sick about him), but better I let him talk this time. I wonder if he's got something to tell me... (Jewish joke).

Ok no more introductions, from introduction to introduction I will end up skipping all the chapters of the books (oh good for you.... Cardigans on the radio so I'm kicking my butt somewhere else...)

Start here: :-)

I think many Colombians do have the opportunity to have a better life outside the streets and re-habilitate themselves, true... and that they just don't take it on (one of my uncles was one of them, he died in the streets shot by some gangster he owed money to... a long time ago.. while I was living in the cozy north near the Arctic). But most of them don't have this opportunity. They really don't. That's what I find pretty hard to get used to.

I remember when Angela and me had our pub in La Candelaria, we used to be surrounded by all kind of mafias and we befriended them as it was the only chance to secure our clients and someone to bring the beer all the way from the shop after midnight.... we also needed someone to escort our tourist clients to their hotels at late night and to bring mustang and arepas when needed.

The "security staff" was a very diverse group as you can imagine, from the famous "Laica" that apparently stole more than a couple of innocent tourists to the policemen with whom we played the bottle and sniffed coke at 4 am to professional musicians and people of the undergroud. The Candelaria was a hothouse for all this kind of people. What I'd call crazy with a reason, or let's not say reason... but raison d'etre....

Among these people I particularly remember one... Olga, my dear Olguita.. for when I joined the bar, back then when I was still studying at the Spanish school... she didn't really like me and try to assault me several times but we built out trust over the weeks and the months. Due of time she used to work for me too... even when Angela wasn't at the bar.

I used to feed her breakfast in the mornings and let her have a decent bed for a few hours... I was a very poor student at the time, but I did have a bed, a decent bed, running water, internet at home, windows to look out, a roof, a cupboard, etc. those kind of things that are never valuable except when you don't have them....

From her I think I learnt interesting lessons in life, and not just in life but in the arts.. and we used to have these long chats about politics and about philosophy, about logic, about the classics. An enriching person. Also remember having seen her properly refreshed and dressed up a few times... she really looked like one of those "madams" she used to talk about.

And she was nonetheless smart, bright, funny... her only mistake was not having had an easy life, not having had more opportunities to outreach. I still remember how she thought she'd reached the sky every once in a while when I gave her clothes from my cousins, spare medicines I found in my wardrobe or 10.000 pesos here and 10.000 pesos there. I still remember Olga... I saw her a few days before I came to Israel -she even dyed her hair rustically for what would be apparently our last get-together, we ate together, we talked about art, about politics, about Uribe and Pastrana, about Sharon and Netanyahu, about Tatcher and Schoreder.... and bid each other good bye.

I still think about all the Olga's that should be out there in Colombia without oportunities to outreach... I still think about Olga in the rainy days and that's something I find extremely difficult to get used to. Not just in Colombia, but particularly there.


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