I was just going to write about how my Spanish has improved and talk a little more about that but, I ran across the two above articles and I just had to mention this insanity! The first link is about a woman who is suing the Dallas Cowboys (professional American football team) because she was sitting on a black bench that got so hot she got 3rd degree burns on her butt. That idiotic woman sat there for so long dreamed up her dumb lawsuit! She is claiming there was no "warning signs" that the bench could be hot when it was 100 degrees F/40 degrees C! If she wins any money at all I will be very very sad. If it was so hot she should have moved.
The second link is about a woman in California who is suing for 1.2 BILLION dollars because she claims the new "smart" parking meters that allow you to use credit cards or wireless (with your phone) pay for parking is making her sick. She claims the "wireless signals" are getting her sick. If either of these moronic women win any money at all I will never be moving back to America! I can't believe that stupidity like this even clogs up our court systems :(
Ok onto my actual blog topic now haha. I have been learning more and more Spanish lately since Vivi doesn't speak English to me. It has been challenging dating someone who doesn't speak my language but it really is the best way to improve in your target language! We have our fair share of difficulties but it is not as hard to communicate as you might think. I am by no means fluent but I sure have improved rapidly! Vivi is great about guessing what I want to say even if I say it all wrong. She is also really good about slowing down her speech for me (She talks like an auctioneer with her family and friends haha) It is interesting because I can understand her Spanish better than anyone else's. So sometimes she has to translate other people's Spanish into "our" Spanish haha. Spanish is not the hardest language in the world to learn but, it isn't super easy either.
For example, in English we can say I want, I wanted, or I will want for present,past and future tenses. In Spanish they have I,you,he/she,we,they want. Then a completely different word for past or future tenses. That means there is 15 possible combinations for "want" (or any other verb) in Spanish depending on who you are talking too and what tense you want to use. You also have to remember that every word has male or female gender attached to it. It is a lot to remember! Don't even get me started on the huge amount of synonyms that Spanish has! I haven't taken a formal class of Spanish yet (but plan to in the future) it is difficult but I am getting there... my Spanish is MUCH better than three months ago. I can now hold an extended conversation in a normal pace of speech without huge problems. Of course my accent is very different than native speakers and sometimes hard for them to understand. I also don't know every word I want to say so sometimes I have to "talk around" something and my sentences might sound a little odd. My biggest challenge so far is that I am not fluent enough to "think" in Spanish yet. I have to think of what I want to say in English first and then translate it in my brain into Spanish. Not only is it slower but, I can easily mix up words or languages. But, I am hoping as I improve to be able to "think" only in Spanish.
There is a taxi strike here in Bogota (there is literally thousand's of taxi's in a city of 9 million people!) they are angry because here in Bogota we have what is called Pica y Placa. Basically to cut down on pollution the city made a policy that people with certain license plates cannot drive their cars on certain days during certain hours (this policy rotates to include all license plates on different days) obviously if people can't drive their cars they have to take a bus or a taxi. So the drivers want to extend this Pica y Placa policy for more hours (hence more potential money for them) and even include the busses in this Pica y Placa policy so that everyone is FORCED to take a taxi. I think it is greedy and wrong and who knows what will happen. There is riot police all over the city now ( I even saw an all female riot police squad) they sure looked like girls you DIDN'T want to mess with haha! But, I have been in rioting cities before and been fine. So far everything is calm and I am not to worried.... Colombia can afford to pay for universal healthcare for all of it's citizens but in the public sector/govt. jobs people are always complaining or striking about something! We will see how this goes.
Overall Colombia is a good country. I enjoy it here and I really enjoy my job and my girlfriend and learning Spanish. People are nice and friendly here and (knock on wood) I have not experienced any violence against me personally. I feel safe and happy even if I have been sick as a dog lately (but getting better!) I hate the weather here and the traffic sucks but everything else is great.
Colombians are also very thrifty! They have extreme recycling here. Anything and I do mean anything that can be used again is. There is people who come by on horse and buggy (yes in 2012) and they will take and re-use anything you don't want. Also in Colombia since there is no unemployment checks or social security people will do anything they can for money. Jobs that have no use or would not be profitable in America are all over the place here. For example, "minute men/woman" these are people who will let you (for a small charge) use their phones to make a phone call if you run out of credit. This job would have no use in America but here they are everywhere! If you ever want to know any gossip you go to these people because they here all the dirt on everyone haha. Colombia sure is a unique country!
In some ways Colombia is a very progressive,interesting,cultural,safe,fun place to live. In other ways it is still very much a 3rd world country but you know what? Overall I am pretty damn happy here and hope to continue to be happy :) I know this was super long but I wanted to spill that all out. Yall take care,Tyler