Friday, July 28, 2006

the myths of medillín

i'm reporting here from medellín, colombia. the city is very modern and new. it's this way from all the money it took in during the 80's from the pablo escobar drug cartel (see photos of his grave below). most people know it for it's cocaine wars and street violence that resulted from that. nowadays, it's trying (as well as all of colombia) to shake its reputation as a dangerous and violent place. in the past, pablo escobar ran the city. today, plastic surgeons run the city as you end up seeing in the many fake breasts and facial modifications. and yes, even the girls without augmentation are all incredibly beautiful.
no fooling.
in other news, the city has an excellent metro system, and even built a cable car that goes up past the poor shantytowns. it's weird, i'm used to being on a gondola at a ski resort, not overlooking the poor, orange-colored favelas. (for proof, check out photos below)
colombia has been quite a pleasant surprise. i'll admit that i've had some trepidations about this place due to it's violent past and the guerrilla f.a.r.c. in the outer parts of the country. but the fact is that it's one of the friendliest countries i've ever been to. the people are warm and friendly and always tell you to enjoy their country. being an american citizen hasn't been a problem so far. the nightlife in medillín is incredible. it's easy to strike up conversations, and people are not shy to start talking to you. in about 3-5 years, i bet it will be more like bolivia, or maybe even peru, where it's a hotspot on the backpacker trail. it's already heading that direction.
so if you've got the means to visit, definitely do so. travel here is quite cheap. the one downside is that the cheese here is terrible. it's this white, plastic-y tasting thing. yuk. anyway, you've been warned.
pablo escobar's grave

gondola to the shantytown


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