It was one of those mornings when you can just feel something is up. It’s in the air. Clear, still and hot for that early.
I was heading for the bridge, still on the dirt road, when a stallion went charging past me with bulging eyes of fury. Something had spooked him and he was running with all that fury towards the bridge. Not good, a wild horse on the bridge with too many fast moving buses. One teen on a motor bike spotted the commotion, alerted another motor bike going the other way, and then it was like all hands on deck as more motor bikes appeared to divert the wild horse from the bridge. I ran up to the guardrail and spread my arms right as he went charging by making that panicked whinnying noise horses make. It took some time—that crazy stallion was stubborn and determined for the bridge. It made several attempts only to be diverted by the boys on the motes. Finally they got him running with all that spooked fury down a rural dirt road and all went on their way.
From what I can tell, all animals here seem to run free. There are fences, but those are more to mark property lines then to keep any animals in. It’s very random. You never know what combination of animals you will see wondering down the road. Last Saturday night there were three horses standing in one lane of the road just before the bridge. There was a lot of traffic and everyone just drove around them. Hey, it was Saturday night and those horses just wanted to be part of the action. What a crack up. Rabbits running around chasing the chickens. But all with a rhythm that seems to work, that spooked horse not being the norm. What really gets me is when a horse and a couple of cows are just wandering down the road on their merry way and they check you out on the way by. Not lacking for entertainment around here. Love that kind of stuff.
Well, here it was being Saturday again and the hostel was expecting over twenty Colombians coming to use the downstairs apartments. Sounded like fun to me. I had been staying away from the party and focusing on my health by taking advantage of cheap and plentiful fruits and vegetables. The restaurants there were not very good, just a lot of rice, chicken or beef and not much imagination in the way of spices. I had been cooking a lot in the hostel kitchen. But I could feel the mood for a good party coming on. About two that very afternoon a bus pulled up in front of the hostel and Nick went out to greet them.
“It’s all women,” he hollered.
I went out on the balcony to check it out and sure enough, packed right full with women of all ages streaming out of that bus waving and hollering. They’d already been into the Agauirdiente. That is by far the drink of Colombians. It tastes like Sambuca and kerosene. I took a couple of sips weeks before and swore off drinking. Wow, muy peligroso.
“Well, boys we are in for a night of it.”
They all went off for a boat ride on the lake and came back later just dancing off that bus. After a healthy barbeque they cranked up the music and started dancing. Greg, another one of the owners, came up and told me they needed male dancers and to get down there. No brainer on that one; I headed right on down. When I walked in there half of the ladies were wearing crazy wigs.
Oh, yay, they were ready for me. I jumped on into the madness, took a lady by her hand and started right in on dancing. They all hollered with joy. There were two other Colombian men trying to keep the ladies dancing—they welcomed my help. Things progressed along, with some women pouring me shots of Agauirdiente—hey, when in Rome—so much for swearing off the stuff.
At one point in the night the ladies had me in the middle of a circle all clapping and me giving the moves. Then they had me dance with each in turn in the circle. I was hard out of breath after that and had to take a seat. One of the men asked me if a had a wife. “No wife, no girlfriend,” I replied. Well, the ladies erupted on that one, pointing to the one who seemed the most lively of the bunch saying she was solo. Well, I just played up the role chasing her around the room like I was a bull with my head down and all. She ran into the bathroom and they all fell about the place in laughter.
Not long after my princess came out with her hair all fixed up coming up to me batting her eyelashes. All was well but she had on fake buck teeth. I told her how beautiful she looked and irresistible and started the chase again, this time picking her up and putting her on my shoulder and making for the door. Well, that just brought the house down. We were all in tears of laughter. Not a dry eye in the place. The night went on with more foolishness. At some point I was wearing the lampshade. The dam burst that night. I had lived a night with no pretenses, willing to take the risk to be foolish and alive, all giving to the moment.