I think I enjoy stopping more than I enjoy going. Or at least, I haven't been enjoying going very much lately. Stopping here in Medellín (pron. Me-de-JIN) for eight weeks was a really, really good call. I see it as both a treat, and a retreat.
an event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure.
an act of moving back or withdrawing.
A room of one's own, choice of hot and cold showers, decent kitchen and sunny roof-terrace make my simple AirBnB houseshare feel palatial.
I haven't strayed further than the neighbourhoods of Velodromo, Floresta and Laureles yet but these three are leafy and seem mostly geared towards middle-income locals though many so-called digital nomads have also made Medellín their home in recent years.
I'm very trying to stick to a simple daily pattern that looks like this:
8-9. Quick check of Facebook, coffee, breakfast, shower, 10-minute sit.
9-10. Spanish self-study.
10-11. Coffee and correspondence/Facebook.
11-12. Spanish self-study.
12-13. Lunch at home, or at the local market.
13-14. Nap, flashcards and/or Skype.
14-15. Spanish self-study.
15-16. Read Isabel Allende in Spanish.
16-21. Yoga class in Spanish or English, and eat.
21-22. Beer and Facebook.
22-00. Read in English.
Sounds blissful, doesn't it? So far my concentration is significantly marred by my addiction to Facebook. In Oaxaca I managed to restrict my Facebook time for a period, which was beneficial to both my productivity and my mental health.
So far I've had ten wonderful Skypes with a mixture of close people and folks I haven't caught up with for literally years. I even did batch-cooking via Skype with Lisa, which we plan to do once a week while I'm here. The wifi is great so I'm looking forward to more fantastic conversations with all the amazing people I am blessed to know.
This week I bought an unlimited yoga pass for one month and intend to go most days unless I have social plans! I'd forgotten just how good yoga feels. The last time I did it regularly (once a week) was at my friend Galya's classes in northwest London along with a small group of older Bosnian ladies! In my second class I started to cry because it was in Spanish and - to my immense surprise - I could understand 95% of the instructions. In my third class, this evening, I started to cry because the teacher read out something about not criticising ourselves; that ultimately life is a quest for love and connection. Given the post I'd just made to close friends on Facebook, this really hit a nerve:
(CF) Feeling nervous about my date tomorrow. I haven't had a date-date with someone new for exactly a year and I've got to somehow make myself seem desirable while talking like a particularly delayed two-year-old.
So I silently told myself my desirability does not rest solely on my use of language, and made a mental note to unpick this some more. I know where it comes from.
So yeah, I have a date tomorrow. My first ever Tinder date, in fact. In Spanish. I really hope it's not too excruciating for either of us and that I have an opportunity to demonstrate some other skills besides language. We're going shopping to get me some grown-up clothes (long trousers, shoes) so I have something to wear when we go up to a national park on Sunday. Considering it rains almost every afternoon I wonder how that bit will go - we'd better go in the morning.