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The Pad

Medellin, Colombia


It"s the smell of powdered laundry detergent, the sound of blaring bayonato music, and the clunk of the large tin door that hits me as I first enter. The kitchen is a opaque white. Two walls in the livingroom are blue, the other two, yellow. I step in, the tin door slams behind me, sending me a shiver as it echoes loudly. The living room is about 10 feet by 20 feet, the size of a large bathroom in a masterbedroom of an expensive house in the States. There´s a small maroon couch, large enough to fit two people, and a television, the size of a large luchbox, resting on a plastic crate. And then, there´s my bedroom for the next week or so: a tattered black and white matress, hugging the space where a blue and yellow wall meet in the living room. It"s got no roof and no walls.

There are 6 people living here including myself. First, there"s Norbey Pineda, well he actually goes by Santiago. The dude is 23 and a vetran of the Colombian Army. He"s tall and lanky like me and has always got a smile spread across his long face. The man works the graveyard shift at an orphanage, and usually sleeps during the day. This man is my main couchsurfing host. Then, there is Monica. She"s a short, black-haired, restaraunt worker who likes to take 30 minute showers when there are 6 people living in the house. Then, there is Laura and Alejandra. I say Laura and Alejandra because if you see one you see the other. If one laughs, then the other laughs. They are insperable, laughable, energy-maniacs, who share a small bedroom together. The bedroom is the size of a closet and has just enough room for a bed. They also happen to share this bed, by the way its a twin. Yeah, so its damn small. Lastly, there is Julian. Julian shares a bed with Santiago. Julian is intelligent (yes he wears glasses), loves to blast salsa music from his old, high-pitched speakers, with way too much treble.

When you are living in a small apartment with 5 other people there are many limitations. I dont go to sleep until the last person has gone to sleep. I also dont go to sleep until the last person has finished playing their last bayonato or salsa song. In addition, there is only one bathroom for 6 people. Amazingly, the bathroom has no door on it, but shutters that belong on a window. The only problem with these shutters are that there is a 2 inch gap between every cross-board. The kitchen happens to also be literally 6 feet from the toilet. So, whoever happens to be making rice and beans can not only smell their food but have their noes haris singed with another unpleasant smell. On top of this whoever is in the kitchen (there is usually always someone) can hear every single noise going on in the bathroom. With a house of mostly girls, and my stomcah full of greasy Colombian food, most of the time I just walk down to a local market and order a water. At least then I will have a bit of privacy. I am sure that all of these experiences, good or bad, are chisleing my mind and body into a bodafide experience machine. Soon, there will be nothing I have not seen, other than possibly 8 PEOPLE in a little apartment sharing one bathroom. Well, I"ll leave roon for that in the next destination...........

permalink written by  kipmaddog on August 4, 2009 from Medellin, Colombia
from the travel blog: adventures from down south
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