Dec 23 – Plastic Irony in Cali

Sunrise/Sunset: 6:07 / 6:03

Foo song:  Learning to Fly

Sunrise selfie:

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If going to the dentist is this fun, you know there’s truly some magic realism in this place. I never thought I’d be a fan of shopping centers, but today in Cali, I finally gave in. Just rolled with it. And it was awesome. Christmas carols everywhere. Elves and South American Santas running around. Last minute shopping. Visit to the dentist (including his box of clown faces and toys for the kiddos and view of the Farallones mountain range from his 6th floor, brightly colored suite). Haircut for the kiddos, ice cream at a chain called Ventolini and its awesome play park on the upper floors of the complex (a new part of Unicentro since I lived here in the late 90’s), and a view of the Cordillera Central.

The Cordillera Central is a rare sight from Cali, a city that abuts the western range of the Andes, a wall of green lushness, including Farallones National Park, that is the only thing standing between the relatively dry heat of Cali and the jungle slopes leading down to the Pacific Coast. The Andes split into three fingers once they roll into the southern reaches of Colombia, just north of Ecuador, dividing the country geographically and culturally, and providing for the rich (and challenging) history that makes this country so unique.

Staring at the central mountain range in the late afternoon sunlight is always a bit ironic – I’m escaping the cold but straining to see through clouds to distinguish snow on the upper reaches of Colombia’s high peaks – its nevados – in this case the Nevado de Huila. And I’m looking at this natural paradise from one of the most “plastic” places in Cali – a shopping mall full of people with plastic surgeries, push up undergarments, and sever overdoses of perfume.

But while I used to beat myself up over this kind of irony, not today. It’s all good. A bit weird, but life’s pretty weird. And I know I’ll touch that snowy peak someday. But for now, I’ll just finish my ice cream and help Mateo learn to climb. Plastic or rock. No matter 🙂

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