The New Normal

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It’s becoming harder to write about life in Colombia because life in Colombia is becoming normal for me. Things no longer surprise me or shock me. I don’t even notice them anymore. Take for instance this past weekend. A friend and I took our children (six between the two of us) for a hike on a nearby mountain. It was a glorious sunny day and we knew that the views would be spectacular.

As we started walking up the mountain, the car security guy (men who hang out in parking lots and watch cars in exchange for a tip) eyed my backpack and said, “Make sure you don’t bring any valuable or your wallet up there.”

I did indeed have my wallet, phone and camera in my backpack. “Should I go back and lock my wallet up in the car?”  I asked my Colombian friend.

“No. They always say that,” she replied. I thought about it for a moment. Losing the stuff would not be the end of the world. Replacing my cedula (Colombian ID), US Drivers License and credit cards however would be a major pain. I took my cedula, drivers license and credit cards out of my wallet and put them in my bra. Just in case.

Nothing happened on our hike. In fact (knock on wood), we haven’t faced any security issues here. But we are always mindful and careful. It has become a way of life. Then again, living in large US cities, I was always mindful and careful too.

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