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Are you from here?

The question of the year

Are you from here? Are you from here? Are you from here? Are you from here?
This question has been playing in my mind for a few days; ever since a sweet Swiss girl asked me it. SI! A foreigner asked ME if I was from here: i.e. she thought I was Colombian! Hahahaha!! :-)

And it’s an interesting question actually because in a way, right now, I am from here. Santa Marta is my home; it’s where I work, where I eat and sleep, where I socialize and where I have a community of great friends and strangers. I even have a dog. Ok, it belongs to the building I live in, so she belongs to all of us. It’s nice to come home from work to a dog that is so excited to see me, and to take her for walks on the beach.

Teaching is going well. It got better as the week went by. I have learnt so much regarding classroom management and that 7 year olds cannot keep themselves busy and without something to do the whole school day; they run around crazy with me shouting like a fisherman at a fish market trying to make himself heard about the noise. (I didn’t lose my voice, so yah for that).

This past weekend was the SierraMar music festival; the first proper 2-day music festival in Santa Marta (with music that’s not Vallenato). WOW! The quality of Colombian music is absolutely superb! The bands were professional, the sound excellent and the crowd just amazing (what more would you expect from Colombians? (and foreigners for that matter)). Camping was available but I decided to just go to the festival and then go home and return the next day. Reasons being I don’t have a tent and secondly it’s the rainy season: tents+rain+mud=an unhappy camper, and no amount of rum or beers are able help solve the sorry-ass situation…

The festival took place about 20 minutes from Santa Marta at a natural reserve- what can be better than watching live music with mountains in the background, beautiful nature all around and the stars above?? On Saturday night the bands were alright (Sunday was better), with an after party DJ playing until 3am.

I know people in high places ;-p, so I was able to get a VIP pass for Sunday night. This meant I got free drinks during the night, a nice place to chill and proper toilets (not the portable ones the rest of the people had to use). The bands that played were fantastic (rock, reggae, ska, electro-cumbia). It’s incredible when a foreigner (such as me) can watch a band sing about Africa, (with African/South African sounding beats) but the band isn’t from Africa, they are Colombian with African heritage… My love for Colombia never ceases to keep growing. The DJ that played at the after party was sooo cool! I couldn’t stop dancing- the beats were a fusion of electronic, cumbia, salsa, reggae, reggaeton, tropical and African. And dancing to this music, with the cool morning breeze and the mountain and stars above me… can this be what heaven’s like? :-)

What’s also great is that I know people to say hello to. This might sound a bit odd, but in Joburg I don’t really know people when I go out (just whoever I’m with). I wasn’t part of the “in-crowd” or any crowd for that matter. But here, it’s different and I feel part of the “going-out-watching-live-music-community”. It’s a very small community and at any event, more or less, the same people are there. And it’s getting to the point where if someone isn’t there (at a party, event etc), I wonder where they are…

Here are some bands that impressed me, which if you are curious in knowing new music might interest you:
-Monsieur Perine (my new favourite band- they are so freaking amazing!!!!!!!)
- Bomba Estereo
- Voodoo Souljah
- Dr. Krapula
- Superlitio

That’s all for now. Chao!

Posted by piratejax 08:51 Archived in Colombia

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