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!Feliz Festivus!

Festivus Aluminum Pole

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It was another interesting day in Bogota. Jackson has an ear infection and Seth and I have been under the weather. After wearing pj’s until noon we decided to venture out to the grocery store. Yesterday, I waited by the side of the road with Jackson for a cab for more than an hour so I was not too eager to play the taxi game again today. I had a taxi after 10 mins or so yesterday but a well-dressed Colombian women literally walked up as we were climbing in, pushed me out of the way, sweet talked the taxi driver and jumped in. This is a normal, very RUDE custom here. So, today we safely made it to the store and began our shopping. Seth was still feeling sick and pretty dizzy so he went to sit down with Jackson. While he sat trying to find some relief from a headache an elderly man sidled up to him to talk about Jackson. Seth tried to smile quickly and told him that Jack was sick but the man settled in for a chat about how we should buy Jack something similar to ear muffs and then he wouldn’t get ear infections. This is not the first time the general public has tried to inform us of how to keep Jackson healthy here.

I bustled around the store while they sat. The store was packed with people shopping for holiday foods.  And then a million people shopping for free samples. I glanced over at a meat display at one point and saw about 50 little piglets in bags ready to be taken home and cooked up for Christmas. Now had they been neatly arranged behind glass with a little apple in their mouths I would have been okay (I have been to a Boar’s Head festival with my grandparents before so piglets aren’t that unusual) but the piglets were in plastic bags similar to my piglet from my Honors Biology class in high school.  We are sticking to the ham this year.

As we got close to the end of our shopping Seth decided to go sit on a bench in the adjoining mall while I checked out.  A few minutes later I dragged as full cart and Jackson’s stroller out to find Seth. When I came out to find him he had been feeling so sick that he had to lay down on a bench while people walked gawlking by.  After sitting for another little bit we made our way down to catch a taxi in the parking garage. (At big stores here they have a person with a clipboard that writes down the taxi license plate info for security so that you don’t have to hail one on the street). There was a line of people waiting for a taxi and no taxis. With it being the week of Christmas we expected delays so we weren’t too surprised. We were surprised however that people were actually honoring a line system. As we were savoring the sight of good manners, a girl (barely clad), what appeared to be her sugar daddy and a few friends marched down and saw the line. They quickly rushed to the front of the line where they made a huge scene with the girl that had the clip board. They appeared to see the line just fine but in front of 6 other groups waiting for a taxi they tried to cut. We all huffed and puffed…and mentioned that they needed to go to the end of the line like everyone else. The sugar daddy got so angry with the girl with the clip board and with his girlfriend/employee that he stormed upstairs and left her with the groceries. We had seen them earlier in the store together. He grabbed a new pillow while we were getting pillows for our guest room. I commented to Seth that she should question his love if he buys himself a pillow and she doesn’t get one too! Anyhow, back to the taxi mayhem. After he left her she remained at the front of the line and fussed and argued with everyone that got in a cab before her. When it was our turn to jump in she put up a huge fuss and attempted to take the taxi. After the taxi theft yesterday, I grabbed our new pillows and groceries and started throwing them quickly into the taxi. She again, made a huge scene and argued that it didn’t matter that we had been in line because she was now at the front of the line. During this 30 minute episode we met a lovely Colombian couple who happen to live in Houston where he works for Dow Chemical. We chatted about how we were missing tex-mex food and how we were baffled by the taxi etiquite or lack there of in Colombia. He was watching the whole scene and told us he was going to speak up if she became confrontational with us or tried to cut. Turns out she stole his taxi just as we were pulling away.  Regardless, we were bosom buddies with our new Colombian-Houston friends and exchanged Merry Christmas wishes as we pulled off into the polluted sunset.

You would think the saga was over…but no. As we pulled up to our apt building we pointed the taxi driver into our circle drive in front of our building. Instead he pulled up onto the angled curb. As we rushed to unload our stuff Seth placed Jackson’s car seat into the stroller.  A split second later I glance over to see Jackson beginning a journey down the hill. I shrieked and Seth caught him just as he was leaving arms-length. For those of you from Houston where it is very flat it is likely hard to imagine living on the side of the mountain but trust me it is steep and it is possible for a baby stroller to take off! Just like the movies.  I continued to load groceries onto a cart while Seth asked what we owed for our taxi fare. The taxi driver had left the meter running….another great custom here. Seth negotiated the price and checked the price chart in the taxi. The taxi driver quoted the price and then said, “Oh yes and 1,000 cps more for a “propina de navidad” (Christmas tip). After our crazy adventure I said something like,  “honestly, Senor”. Seth handed him the original amount quoted just has our cart attempted a trip down the hill. Seth grabbed the cart, I grabbed Jackson and we hurried ourselves into the cozy haven of our home.

What a day!  We can’t wait for our car to arrive! It is now sitting in Bogota waiting for us to be allowed to pick it up. And you thought it was hard to wait for the new socks under the Christmas tree.

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My new buddy

Hi everyone,

I am so excited to tell you that I have a new buddy named Eli Grey Noble. He was born late last night after his mommy and daddy waited very patiently all day for him. I am so excited that he is healthy. I hope we get to play sometime soon. He lives in Texas and I live in Colombia so it might be hard but maybe we can plan a play date with the webcam. If you want to see his picture you can click on Justin and Holly’s blog (“Urban Adventure”).

Love, Jackson

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