Is it my face?

18 Oct

Do I have the sort of face that screams out “help me”, “be kind to me” “I am lost”?

I’ve never before had the effect on people that they instantly want to help me and be nice to me.  But three weeks in Colombia has made me start to wonder…..

 

My face

My face

 

It all started at Leticia.  I sailed along the Amazon River to Leticia and checked into a nice little hostel in town.  I asked the hostel owner where I could get some trousers taken up.  It’s quite novel but in South America they can fix, mend and change anything…next thing I knew she left the hostel with me, took me to a neighbour’s house who does repairs, negotiated a price and waited with me while the repair was completed…

But that wasn’t all.  I then asked her if she could help me find a hairdresser in town.  No sooner had I asked that we hopped on her motorbike, me, her and her little son and a price was duly negotiated with the local transexual hairdresser…

What had I done to my face to engender such kindness I thought?

Maybe this would only be the case in Leticia a place without a road to..well anywhere… and with borders with Brazil and Peru…and with my hair slightly different would my changed locks change the kindness offered to me I pondered….

Cue the bus from San Gil to Tunja…now from my previous posts you’ll see that bus travel is a pleasure in Colombia..no sooner had I got on this bus than I started chatting to two Colombian ladies…during the course of the journey one got off the bus to try to find a local delicacy made from sugar cane which she told me about…the same lady (a schoolteacher and mother of five who travels about 8 hours every Saturday to attend a computing course) then gifted to me a bracelet made from coffee beans and wooden beads in advance of my trip to the coffee regions of Colombia ….the other lady shared some local sweets with me..called bocadillos and made from guabaya (a local fruit which is green on the outside and pink and fleshy with hard seeds on the inside) and sugar..I then said to her I loved ballenato music which is a Colombian music combining accordion and some other instruments with beautiful romantic words..no sooner had I said this than she had found some on her phone for us to listen along to and sing along to in the bus…

 

Coffee bean bracelet

Coffee bean bracelet

 

Then I got to Villa de Leyva…and my face brought me the cheapest hostel in town on one of the busiest weekend of the year..3 quid a night for a room on my own a stone’s throw from the beautiful main square which is one of the largest town squares in all of South America…then a conversation about the price of bananas with a local architect and his partner brought me a night of wine, quesadillas and wonderful conversation in a house designed by the architect himself…

If it is my face I’m not changing it for nobody…but in my heart of hearts I know it’s not really my face..it’s just the remarkable kindness of the Colombian people…

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