Sorry, folks, but sometimes I feel compelled to inflict on you the writings of my incredible KidTwo, living down in Bogota with her father, his wife, and their two-year-old son.
Explanatory note: KidTwo really does love cows that much. Sometime when she was two-ish, she made the connection between cows and ice cream and fell head over heels in love with cows. It didn't hurt that we lived half a mile from the famous "Fistulated Cows" and would take walks to visit them.
Also, KidTwo's daddy really is a trained killer of men. He is the biggest pussycat to those he loves, but like many men, he is monomaniacal about the welfare of his daughters. The Army taught him many useful and silent ways to kill people and somehow, he almost radiates that knowledge when their safety is at stake. Yes, I divorced him, but I never, ever doubted his commitment to the welfare of our girls and have always sent them to wherever he was, so long as he thought it was safe.
Tere is the wife; Fipo (aka Pito, the Earthquake, the Tornado, etc.) is Felipe, KidOne and KidTwo's baby brother.
Here is her entry about a family trip:
I say that the day was epic fun from “almost” start because I have a tradition of being incredibly cranky and irritable at the beginning of any family outing. The reason for this is that I do not trust this family at all, so I adopt a prickly porcupine cover until I can see for myself that they are not taking me to a place of extreme lameness. Initially, the park did nothing to unconvince me of its extreme lameness. But then we got to the cows!! If you do not know that I love cows, clearly you have missed some very significant step in knowing me. Like, for example, actually knowing me. The point is that I love cows, and there were many at the park. I ate a delicious flaky chicken pastry thing, which is not relevant to the cows, but is relevant to the fact that the flakies got ALL OVER my jeans.
Then we went and observed some pigs, which were also wonderful. I think that Pito loved the pigs best of all; he attempted to climb into the pen where the mama pig and baby pigs were, and he said “Oink oink oink!” like a pro. I kept a hand on the back of his jacket so that he would not join those whom he clearly saw as his brethren.
There were dogs, a piglet race, and some horses, but we missed the horses bit because we had to be back in Bogotá by 1800. I have no idea where the animal park place was, but it was apparently a red zone, and as we were in our government car—oh! Story interlude.
Our car is bulletproof. I always wondered why our driver opened doors to pay toll and such instead of rolling down the window. The other day he rolled down the window. It turns out the window is about 5cm thick and so heavy it takes nearly an entire minute just to roll down halfway. This is probably why he just opens the door.
Our car has many nifty features, including but not limited to its Special Beep, which sounds like a fire truck’s beep, and its SIREN. Our car has a siren. Anyway, also included in its special features—or creepy features, maybe—is the GPS device. The Embassy has a whole bunch of people holed up in a little room whose sole job it is to make sure that the various dots do not stray into red zones after 1800 hours. If we do, they call us and ask (as politely as possible, one presumes) what the hell we are doing there. So we had to be back in Bogotá, and we were, by about 1745.
Then guess what! I communicated with a HUMAN of MY OWN AGE! His name is Quinn and I forget if I have written about him or not; he is one of two brothers who play football with my dad on Saturdays. I was supposed to call him two weeks ago but it turned out there is not supposed to be a 1 in front of the number. I do not know who I was calling or even what country, but I spent two weeks distinctly not calling Quinn. Teresa snooped through dad’s phone and alerted me to my error. She is good for some things, sometimes!
Thus commenced my Leaving The Hotel Without The Parental Units extravaganza. It was pretty intense. Papi had to go with me to help me get a taxi that would not kidnap me. The hotel provides taxis, but as it had been raining all day, they were all occupied. A few non-hotel taxis rolled up but Papi rejected them, until he got bored and interrogated the hotel concierge about the next taxi that arrived. Papi is truly amazing. He put the fear of God into the taxi driver’s heart literally without saying a word to him. He had the concierge take down the taxi’s license plate number, the driver’s name and employee number, and even had the concierge tell the driver to take me to the Andino mall. All while he stood aside with that Fatherly Glare of Death. The driver took me to the mall and remained parked at the curb for a solid five minutes until Quinn showed up. “Is that your friend? That is him there? You can see him? Are you sure?” Yes, yes, yes, yes, and “Will you please do me a favor? Will you call your father and tell him that you’re here safe?” Haha, yes, I will do that. I paid him and as I was getting out of the car he leaned over and called, “Don’t forget to call your father, please!”
I don’t know how Papi does it.
We did not end up going to the mall; we wandered around the block, Zona T, checking out the various bars before settling on La Casa De Cerveza. I loved Zona T. It’s a T-shaped section—OH! I just made the connection!—with roads that are not technically roads, so we can sit outside the bars. Basically, the rule is that if we can see cars driving by, we are prohibited from sitting on the outdoor patio. Casa Cerveza was nice, good music and the mojitos were decent. Extra limey, though, which led to a discussion regarding the biggest mystery of Bogotá: where are all the lemons? You see, lime is everywhere. There are limes in stacks in the grocery stores, there is lime in my shampoo, and extra lime in my mojito. Yet lemons are nowhere to be found. This would be a mystery in and of itself, if not for the extra plot twist: at every single restaurant, the top beverage on the menu is lemonade. “And it’s always fresh!” Quinn pointed out. It is true! The lemonade is natural and delicious! How can this be? How does this happen? Oh, Bogotá, how you confound.
We returned to Quinn’s home to hang out with his younger brother and their friend Lucas, whose father is Portuguese from England but moved to New Zealand where he met Lucas’s mother, who is Irish, and they had Lucas in America but raised him in England, so he is English Irish Portuguese American and also very funny. CNN was on and they were doing a bit about the CNN Heroes, which I voted in, and having a personal interest in the matter, I asked who won. Lucas did not miss a beat. “Obama,” he said. Thank you, Lucas.
On the way to Quinn’s home, we made a detour at a grocery store for beverages and delicious toasted corn (seriously it is so good). I attempted to help pay for this, but Quinn looked at the 5,000 bill I handed him and said “What good is this going to do?” It turns out it was a bill for 5,000 colones—Costa Rican currency. Oops. I kept doing that in Ecuador, once getting us a very strange look from a tollbooth operator, and thought I had curbed the habit, but apparently not.
Because of my stupid 0100 curfew, we called a cab at 0015, and I was home about twenty minutes later. Called the Quinn to assure him of my alive-and-well-ness and went to sleep. A very successful evening.
We are officially moving out of this stupid hotel on Tuesday. Our new neighborhood is the Rosales area, around Calle 70-something I believe. This will take us much closer to Embassy folk and also to the Zona T area, so I am very much looking forward to it.
Latin America, for the record, is driving home at night and not stopping at red lights, because you are safety-minded.