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Why Hostels Suck and My First Classes

Wow, it's been more than 2 weeks since I posted anything. Time is kind of flying right now. I've been spending most of my time working and looking for a more permanent room or apartment. It's something I think about a lot because this fucking hostel is starting to get to me.

I woke up to go to class the other day at 7am, and there was a puddle of water outside of one of the rooms. It rains a lot in Bogota, and the hostel has a small courtyard through which water can come in. There are also  a few small spots the roof leaks here. So I stupidly thought it was water.


When the girl who works nights told me the story about the previous night, yelling at some drunk guy (it's a safe bet to say he was either America or Australian) to stop peeing, I couldn't stop laughing. Theres 5 bathrooms here, are you fucking serious, guy? Come on now... At least I wasn't woken up by it.

The other morning I woke up at 4:30am to 2 drunk Americans debating about politics quite loudly. What the fuck? Who does that? Honestly? I can understand getting drunk and spouting off your political opinions, but at 4:30 in the fucking morning. Why? At least people don't steal my food, and if they do, its usually leftovers. Nobody eats things that are uncooked.

Most people in this hostel spend time seeing the city, getting drunk, watching movies, and playing ping pong (there is a bar and pong table here) which is awesome if you are just traveling, but it's difficult to deal with when you trying to find something a bit more permanent (at least in my case).


They have been going good. I usually go into the class with an outline of what I want to get done and work around that, trying to get them to talk as much as possible. Usually we get off topic and have some interesting conversations about things.

Last class:     We talked about a lot of differences in culture between the U.S. and here. Norms about marriage and dating and holidays. It was a really cool class and I learned much.

Note:     These are upper class Colombians so most of this has to be taken with a big grain of salt as it doesnt apply to everybody that lives here. Also, most of these observations are true in multiple Latin American countries.

The majority of students that go to University, live with their parents. Where in the U.S., you get shipped off to a dorm, here you live at home or in a shitty version of a dorm called a "cupo".

Its normal for a 25 year old unmarried person to live at home. They have no reason to move out unless they get married. Staying close to family is more important here than in the U.S. This 28 year old guy that works at the bank and has lived at home for most of his life says when he talks to his mom about moving out. She says, "Why? What's wrong?"

Some men don't know how to cook or do laundry because their mom takes care of it all for them, and when they get married, the wife takes care of it. There is not much sharing of household duties, the woman does all of it or they hire a maid to do it.

In the U.S., almost 1/2 adults say they've lived with a boyfriend or girlfriend but were unmarried. In Colombia that number is more likely to be around 5-10% because it's really looked down upon to do that (as it once was in the U.S.). It's a very conservative culture at least when people are sober.

Another 20 something woman said that if her father found out that she lived with her boyfriend while overseas, he would've disowned her. I told her that if she didn't do well in class, I would tell him. Unfortunately, her English wasnt good enough to understand the joke so the other guy translated. She wasn't happy.

I think most of this comes from families staying together because it's more economically feasible to stay together. Now that more people have more money, it's becoming more common, but it's still the exception to move out and get your own place.

Also, there's a big problem with teenage pregnancies. Girls 14-15 having kids and at 20 having multiple kids. My students knew about Sarah Palin and we talked a bit about her daughter being a speaker, advocate. or whatever the hell she is about abstinence even though she's already been knocked up. They also found this odd.

It sounds like the same kind of problem we have in the U.S., but then they mentioned that a lot of people here who can't afford to pay for condoms or pills which I'm somewhat sure isn't the case in the U.S. So it makes sense that there would be a lot of teens getting pregnant.

I think Colombia needs Bristol Palin more than America does. Lord knows she would be much more popular among the male population, another interesting topic. Not the male population per se, but their fascination with foreign girls, although its the same vice versa. Hopefully I'll get to that later.

1 comment:

  1. This is a typical culture that is influenced by the Spanish. Though it is one reason why they have a problem getting ahead economically, I still find the culture of South America attractive and pretty easy going.