Live from Lebrija

First disclaimers-keyboard in colombia are both sticky and have keys in strange placesSomething else I love about colombia is the relaxed pace of life. Here it seems that people are never striding with purpose, they are more like meandering to their destination. Surely this would irritate me if I were not on vacation, but after spending the last few months juggling school work and maintaining some semblance of cleanliness/contact with the outside world it is pure bliss to literally have no idea what time of day it is for the past four days. This is of course not to say that people don´t work here, au contraire, my brother-in-law Richard was rightfully disgusted by my 9-5 workday. I can´t blame him seeing as he gets up around 4:30 am to start kneading bread. 4:30 a.m.! This is inconceivable to me as Arnold usually physically drags me out of bed between 7:30 and 8. What´s brilliant about vacation is here there is absolutely no reason to do anything at any particular time which is why I took a nap yesterday at 6 pm. The other thing I've been indulging in is beauty treatments something that I am way too cheap to do in the U.S. However here it was only like seven bucks for a manicure and pedicure so I packed up my mother in law and off we went.

Now usually I try to avoid spending time alone with my mother-in-law not because she is mean but because she is smart... since Arnold is the type that always manages to wriggle around any question he doesn´t want to answer she uses any time alone to extract information from me because she knows I am weak-willed and prone to blabbing. So we go to get our nails done and I´m just hoping that there wont be an interrogation or intervention of any type, but it turns out she had nothing of the sort on her mind. Her goal yesterday was quality assurance of her only daughter-in-laws pedicure experience, much like the women in my family, my mother in law is not to be messed with in a retail setting. so as soon as we sit down she starts assaulting the manicurist with questions about what she´s going to do and peppering me with questions I am not equipped to answer such as whether I want french tips or little flowers painted on my nails and in what shape they should be filed. I´m on VACATION, I can´t be expected to offer instantaneous answers to all these questions. As I sit there blankly considering my many options my MIL continues firing of missives, presumably on my behalf to the manicure girl who begins (based on this whole scenario) to think I am mentally retarded. Seeing her concerned look my MIL chooses to explain why she´s speaking on my behalf by saying "she doesn´t speak spanish very well, talk to her slowly and loudly"

OH NO SHE DIDN´T!

... but she did, and who can I blame but myself since I routinely pretend I don´t understand what she´s saying to avoid answering questions, eating certain foods why we don´t have children, etc.... insert reason to ignore here_____. After recovering from the indignity of having just made it half way through an M.A. program in Spanish only to have it announced that I don't speak well I decide that it is to my advantage to continue to feign stupidity, at the very least it gives my MIL the opportunity to "help" me navigate social situations. Also in the end there was no way to escape the manicure place without looking stupid since I giggled uncontrollably through my whole pedicure, I mean honestly it tickles when people are going at your feet with a pumice stone. I could barely stop wiggling enough to avoid kicking the girl in the face. So there you go, life in Colombia. Talk to you all later, I need to get back to my schedule of heating hot dogs, papayas, taking naps at unreasonable times of the day and watching fireworks from the balcony of my in-laws house.

Posted on December 26, 2006 and filed under Adventures in the World.