Saturday, March 01, 2008
Cartagena for the Select Few
Onwards from Cartagena, click here to see photos, to Medellin. My friends at the Marlin Hotel taught me much about life in Colombia. The people here work long hours, sometimes they get only one day off in a month. It is normal for a person, even a skilled laborer to make about $7-10 a day. Yet, the amount of energy and their general level of happiness is quiet high. One night I went out to the discos with a group of travelers (see photo gallery). Most places charge between $2-4 for a beer, you do the math. There are definitely some people here in Colombia that have money, the vast majority, like my friends at the Marlin do not. My friend Jose pictured here with Graciela and Stella all help to keep the Marlin the best place in Cartagena to stay for those traveling the Gringo Trail. Graciela (in black) is a year younger than me (45) and already has three grown children and even more grandchildren. Jose has three kids. Colombians always say "Al la Ordren". Which. literally translated means "At your service". The amazing thing is that they really mean it, you can feel it, it is not some sort of hype. They are really an amazingly gracious and hospitable people.