Yesterday we were able to meet up with a Medellin native who knows some of my former co-workers. Incidentally it was Jenny’s birthday, so she graciously invited me and Dave over to her apartment for a small celebration. After just three days, Dave got his first taste of total immersion. But, thankfully, Jenny and her friends went easy on us, and slipped into English at times, mostly for their own practice.

The booze started flowing after Jenny and her friends told us about their recent trip to wine country in Argentina. First we tried a sweet Malbec that tenía cuerpo,then we had a flowery-smelling white and lastly we downed a tomato-tasting tinto. Once we were on the third wine it was harder to come up with appropriate wino adjectives, but they were all delicious. As the last bottle was emptied Jenny’s friends asked us if we had tried the local liquor – aguardiente. Shortly after Dave shook his head no a bottle of aged rum appeared and Jenny explained this was the next best thing.

Sufficiently liquored up, the conversation started to get a little risqué. Similar to Peru, most young people in Colombia will return home after college and live with their parents until they get married and move into their own houses. This leaves a lot of presumably promiscuous twenty-somethings cooped up at home, so certain motels seized the opportunity to capitalize on hush-hush pre-marital sex and now cater to unmarried couples who still live with their parents. For many South Americans, sex is shrouded in a cultural taboo and therefore it easily becomes the riotous center of conversation at dinner parties.

For his first Spanish lesson in Colombia, here’s what Dave (and I for that matter) learned:

Not bad for week one. Don’t think we could have learned that in our Spanish textbook.


January 11, 2014