My “I Hate Colombia” Day!

I am really having an “I Hate Colombia Day!” They say that living in a developing country (or anywhere for that matter) is full of ups and downs. Well, today is definitely a down day. If you will indulge me as I rant for a bit… first, we went to the Casa de Justicia (House of Justice – what a lie!) today. We were told to go there yesterday by the Secretary General of the town of Chia. He called a meeting for us, our neighbor, himself, the conjunto administrator, and the police. He said that this meeting was to resolve this alarm matter definitively and if our neighbor didn’t show up, he would just give the order to the police to take out the alarm. This guy was so convincing that even Esteban left the meeting thinking that things would get resolved. It’s probably not a good sign that I left that meeting saying “We will see. Everybody here talks a good game.” I am turning quite cynical.

And unfortunately I was right. Our nanny’s mom, the conjunto administrator, and I arrived at the Casa de Justicia today. The neighbor didn’t show. Neither did the Secretary General. The people we were meeting with had no idea why we were there and kept telling us that they haven’t received any paperwork from the Secretary General’s office. We spent almost two hours explaining the situation to basically have yet another bureaucrat tell us that they are going to get some court order and put pressure on our neighbor… blah, blah, blah. I wouldn’t believe them if they said that the sky is blue at this point. Meanwhile, the captain of the Chia police department was there and he told me point-blank: “This is an internal conjunto matter and Colombian laws don’t apply. All we can do is put pressure on your neighbor but we don’t actually have the authority to go in and take out the alarm.” He then added, “Why don’t you guys just hire somebody to break that alarm?” The bureaucrat from the Casa de Justicia also thought that this was the most viable option – just pay some local campesino (farmer) to come take it down. Yes, this is justice in Colombia!

Then more really upsetting and aggravating things happened that I can’t write about here because that would cause even more damage to some already strained relationships. And  then the day culminated with Jade and I going to a café, the same café I took Siena to a few hours earlier. The waitress saw us and said, “Oh, you have two daughters. The other one, the blond one, is really pretty.” Right in front of Jade! Hello! Has she no sense of what’s appropriate? Does she not realize how rude she is? I was tempted to tell her just how rude and hurtful she was being but didn’t want to make it a bigger issue in front of Jade.

But seriously, it’s amazing the things people say here, usually about others’ physical appearance. And what’s the fascination with blond hair and blue eyes in this country anyway? People can’t stop commenting on Siena’s blond hair and how pretty she is. Usually right in front of Jade. Arghh! OK, I should stop writing now before I get too carried away. Anger and frustration only beget more anger and frustration. And don’t even get me started on the worms….

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