D-I-V-O-R-C-E
Remember obelisks? Those weird all-condiment street snacks featuring cheese, caramel and jam?
Welllll.
They actually stem from a sit-down dessert called Divorce, which is a chunk of cheese, mixed with a pile of caramel, topped with some raspberry sauce. It sounds odd, but it was pretty damn amazing. You’d think you’d want to throw a neutral element in there, like bread or a cracker, but really you don’t. The saltiness from the cheese, sourness of the jam, and sweetness of the caramel (aka arequipa/dulce de leche) is perfecto.
I kinda wonder why it isn’t called Triple Marriage.

D-I-V-O-R-C-E

Remember obelisks? Those weird all-condiment street snacks featuring cheese, caramel and jam?

Welllll.

They actually stem from a sit-down dessert called Divorce, which is a chunk of cheese, mixed with a pile of caramel, topped with some raspberry sauce. It sounds odd, but it was pretty damn amazing. You’d think you’d want to throw a neutral element in there, like bread or a cracker, but really you don’t. The saltiness from the cheese, sourness of the jam, and sweetness of the caramel (aka arequipa/dulce de leche) is perfecto.

I kinda wonder why it isn’t called Triple Marriage.

View from Monserrate in Bogota. You basically take a funicular (one of those always-facing-upward train cars like Suzanne Somers has) way way way the F up onto a hill overlooking the city, where there’s a church.

A lot of cities in South America have random way-up-high, out-of-town religious sites with magnificent views like this (though Bogota’s is one of my favorites). We got to take it in at dusk. 

I think someone explained to me its because indigenous tribes, from a variety of old civilizations, liked to build places of worship very high up (to be closer to the gods in the sky? to avoid destruction in battle? Not sure.) But either way, when the Spanish came, they wanted to convert everyone to Catholicism, so they would usually destroy these points of worship and convert them to churches.

View from Monserrate in Bogota. You basically take a funicular (one of those always-facing-upward train cars like Suzanne Somers has) way way way the F up onto a hill overlooking the city, where there’s a church.

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A lot of cities in South America have random way-up-high, out-of-town religious sites with magnificent views like this (though Bogota’s is one of my favorites). We got to take it in at dusk. 

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I think someone explained to me its because indigenous tribes, from a variety of old civilizations, liked to build places of worship very high up (to be closer to the gods in the sky? to avoid destruction in battle? Not sure.) But either way, when the Spanish came, they wanted to convert everyone to Catholicism, so they would usually destroy these points of worship and convert them to churches.

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One of the biggest tourist attractions around Bogota is the Zipachira Catedral de Sal, or Salt Cathedral. It’s basically a giant—MASSIVE—church built until a salt mine. We took a bus over there, trekked through town and up a hill, and ended up underground for around five hours.

It was a full day, basically.

For some reason I was being a wimpy baby about climbing the staircase.
The Cathedral itself was epic and majestic. Everything was blue and shimmery from the salt. And also the neon mood lighting they had going.

Sometimes people get married down here. Which, I guess one pro would be the weather is definitely not an issue. One con would be YOU’RE IN A FREAKING MINE!

We watched a 3D movie and decided to take the special not-religious mining tour, where we got to wear helmets with little lights!

We also learned how to hack away at salt walls with pick axes; we peed our pants walking through a pitch black tunnel with our lights off. We didn’t understand the Spanish instructions but some kind strangers explained to us that any kind of light or high pitched noise (like a cell phone) could damage the tunnel (why do they have tunnels that are that precarious? I don’t get it.) So we had to feel our way through the darkest dark I’ve ever experienced. IIIIIII’m pretty sure I grabbed the hand of a stranger to get me through it.

One of the biggest tourist attractions around Bogota is the Zipachira Catedral de Sal, or Salt Cathedral. It’s basically a giant—MASSIVE—church built until a salt mine. We took a bus over there, trekked through town and up a hill, and ended up underground for around five hours.

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It was a full day, basically.

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For some reason I was being a wimpy baby about climbing the staircase.

The Cathedral itself was epic and majestic. Everything was blue and shimmery from the salt. And also the neon mood lighting they had going.

image

Sometimes people get married down here. Which, I guess one pro would be the weather is definitely not an issue. One con would be YOU’RE IN A FREAKING MINE!

image

We watched a 3D movie and decided to take the special not-religious mining tour, where we got to wear helmets with little lights!

image

We also learned how to hack away at salt walls with pick axes; we peed our pants walking through a pitch black tunnel with our lights off. We didn’t understand the Spanish instructions but some kind strangers explained to us that any kind of light or high pitched noise (like a cell phone) could damage the tunnel (why do they have tunnels that are that precarious? I don’t get it.) So we had to feel our way through the darkest dark I’ve ever experienced. IIIIIII’m pretty sure I grabbed the hand of a stranger to get me through it.

Bogota is known for its Museo del Oro, aka Gold Museum, and, well, there’s a lotta gold up in there. It’s in the building of an old bank, which would be impressive on its own if I didn’t go “behind the scenes” of a bank vault every weekend at the Brooklyn Flea, a BK flea market held at the beautiful and also phallic Williamsburg Bank Building near my apartment. Annnnyways.
We were fully expecting to encounter a Scrooge McDuck-style Gold room with a diving board over a bottomless pit of doubloons.

We were, perhaps needless to say, disappointed. (Also: I stand corrected—its not bottomless,” but in fact 90 feet deep.)
On another barely related sidenote, I cannot count the number of times, in my career as a private equity blogger, I have used the above image to illustrate a story. I would guess upwards of 15 times over 2 years. That is a LOT of Duck Tales references for a professional publication, and I just want to put it out there: I’m proud of that stat.
BACK TO THE GOLD.

So Colombians used gold for a lot of shit because they were rolling in it, and they would often dump a ton of it into the middle of lakes as an offering to Gods and also to honor earthen royalty. They also wore a tooooon of that shit to the grave. I think I remember reading that the Spanish kinda pillaged some dead bodies for it even. Which, imperialism. Yeesh.

Bogota is known for its Museo del Oro, aka Gold Museum, and, well, there’s a lotta gold up in there. It’s in the building of an old bank, which would be impressive on its own if I didn’t go “behind the scenes” of a bank vault every weekend at the Brooklyn Flea, a BK flea market held at the beautiful and also phallic Williamsburg Bank Building near my apartment. Annnnyways.

We were fully expecting to encounter a Scrooge McDuck-style Gold room with a diving board over a bottomless pit of doubloons.

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We were, perhaps needless to say, disappointed. (Also: I stand corrected—its not bottomless,” but in fact 90 feet deep.)

On another barely related sidenote, I cannot count the number of times, in my career as a private equity blogger, I have used the above image to illustrate a story. I would guess upwards of 15 times over 2 years. That is a LOT of Duck Tales references for a professional publication, and I just want to put it out there: I’m proud of that stat.

BACK TO THE GOLD.

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So Colombians used gold for a lot of shit because they were rolling in it, and they would often dump a ton of it into the middle of lakes as an offering to Gods and also to honor earthen royalty. They also wore a tooooon of that shit to the grave. I think I remember reading that the Spanish kinda pillaged some dead bodies for it even. Which, imperialism. Yeesh.

God I love you Bogota.

God I love you Bogota.

Mojito night at Destino Nomada in Bogota! Featuring Daniel^^

Gabi^

Mary^

Travis^

Erin^

and Lucy.
Yep. Hot.

Mojito night at Destino Nomada in Bogota! Featuring Daniel^^

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Gabi^

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Mary^

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Travis^

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Erin^

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and Lucy.

Yep. Hot.

Does Mary Peffer look like a bitch? Then why you tryin’ to fuck her like one? 
One of the highlights of the end of our trip was a too-brief visit from our friend Mary! After three months of oft-aimless travel, Travis and I were refreshed when she showed up with a detailed spreadsheet of activities to do. It was a perfect flurry of activity and boost of motivation for Travis’ last stop and my last human interaction for basically a week.
We ate a ton, drank a mostly appropriate, not-obscene amount, and read Self magazine aloud at bedtime. (cRaZy I kNoW!!)

Does Mary Peffer look like a bitch? Then why you tryin’ to fuck her like one?

One of the highlights of the end of our trip was a too-brief visit from our friend Mary! After three months of oft-aimless travel, Travis and I were refreshed when she showed up with a detailed spreadsheet of activities to do. It was a perfect flurry of activity and boost of motivation for Travis’ last stop and my last human interaction for basically a week.

We ate a ton, drank a mostly appropriate, not-obscene amount, and read Self magazine aloud at bedtime. (cRaZy I kNoW!!)

Fiiiinally I have a few photos from Mary’s Bogota visit! Get ready!

Fiiiinally I have a few photos from Mary’s Bogota visit! Get ready!

On Tending Bar
After working a bar for a mere three weeks, I know it’s not my true calling. I love being behind the bar, and I love making drinks, I love picking the music (and introducing Colombia to Cee-Lo), and I love the whole crazy atmosphere.
As I mentioned, my boss (guess which one in the photo above…) usually created that atmosphere by pushing shots on everyone, throwing a knife into the air to pop balloons full of confetti, and screaming “HUEVA!" He was great. Crazy, but great. 
And all of that was great, I realized, when I’m in the mood for it.   And sometimes, well, many times, I’m simply not in the mood. It takes a special kind of motivation to get yourself into that mode when you don’t want to be. Often my boss would throw wads of paper at my head in an attempt to get me to “pep up!” and “hab some fon Air-een!”
Thus I now know I can cross “bartender” off my list of life aspirations.
HOWEVER. I had some wonderful, amazing epic nights at Hostel Sue, and well, everyone who ever goes to Bogota should stay there. The following songs, on a playlist my boss played every single night, have been burned into my brain and will always take me back.
-We Don’t Play Guitars by Chicks on Speed
-Dance Yrself Clean by LCD Soundsystem
-Anything by Systema Solar
-Anything by Bomba Estereo (but especially Fuego)
-One Night in Rio by I have no idea who

On Tending Bar

After working a bar for a mere three weeks, I know it’s not my true calling. I love being behind the bar, and I love making drinks, I love picking the music (and introducing Colombia to Cee-Lo), and I love the whole crazy atmosphere.

As I mentioned, my boss (guess which one in the photo above…) usually created that atmosphere by pushing shots on everyone, throwing a knife into the air to pop balloons full of confetti, and screaming “HUEVA!" He was great. Crazy, but great. 

And all of that was great, I realized, when I’m in the mood for it. And sometimes, well, many times, I’m simply not in the mood. It takes a special kind of motivation to get yourself into that mode when you don’t want to be. Often my boss would throw wads of paper at my head in an attempt to get me to “pep up!” and “hab some fon Air-een!”

Thus I now know I can cross “bartender” off my list of life aspirations.

HOWEVER. I had some wonderful, amazing epic nights at Hostel Sue, and well, everyone who ever goes to Bogota should stay there. The following songs, on a playlist my boss played every single night, have been burned into my brain and will always take me back.

-We Don’t Play Guitars by Chicks on Speed

-Dance Yrself Clean by LCD Soundsystem

-Anything by Systema Solar

-Anything by Bomba Estereo (but especially Fuego)

-One Night in Rio by I have no idea who

Dona Cessi’s

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One thing I loved most in Bogota was an absolute hole-in-the-wall tienda bar owned by a mean old lady. We called it Dona Cessi’s, because Lady Cessi is a Dona (old lady business owner). 

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Anyhow, it’s loud as hell and painted this horrendous color of orange. The crowd is a strange mix of local college hipsters, groups of drunk old men, a handful of gringos, and couples making out like there’s no tomorrow in the florescent lighting. It’s surely not romantic, so, whatever. All the Dona sells is  big bottles of cheap beer. 

One Sunday night I was there with a group of guys who were all checking out one girl. As we discussed her varying qualities of hotness, a server (toting a taser fyi) walked over to her table and delivered a hard boiled egg on a styrofoam platter. 

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Needless to say, as the girl cracked into that slippery, sulfur-y piece of protein, everyone was a little turned off. Who eats hard boiled eggs at midnight on a Sunday? At a bar? What kind of bar serves *only* beer and hard boiled eggs? 

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And thus, Campaign GO HARD BOILED OR GO HOME was born. I’ve now drunkenly ordered and eaten hard boiled eggs at this bar more times than I care to admit. Every time they are disgusting. Every time I don’t want them. Every time I order a round for the table. I love this bar. 

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Introducing obelisks, a really strange street snack in Bogota. It’s basically two round pieces of waffle cone, and inside is an Alice in Wonderland style PB&J. Raspberry sauce, thick caramel (dulce de leche aka arequipe in Colombia), some sweet white sauce, and then shredded queso blanco. That’s right they put cheese in that shit.

It’s so odd, and since its basically all condiment, it is IMPOSSIBLE to eat without making a giant mess.

Oh, Bogota. So irreverent you are. That’s Simon. He’s got a Plaza in every city in South America. 

Oh, Bogota. So irreverent you are. That’s Simon. He’s got a Plaza in every city in South America. 

La Candelaria, Bogota. I’ll miss it!

La Candelaria, Bogota. I’ll miss it!