My CouchSurfing host in Bogota, Julian, preferred to go by Falkon. He told me that he used to be a professional gamer and Falkon was his gaming name.
Falkon’s apartment was great. It definitely looked like a bachelor pad — guitars, video games, big tv, sound system. I feel like there should have been a glass-top table somewhere. Falkon also had a spare bedroom; he said his roommate had just moved out and that I could sleep in there. 🙂
I enjoyed hanging out with Falkon and doing regular things for a few days — including playing Rock Band! ;P Whenever we got food, a drink, or a taxi, he insisted on paying. When I tried to chip in, he’d say, “But you’re my guest.” As a fellow guy, it feels weird saying it, but Falkon is a Sweet Guy. He even treated me to a Strawberry Shish Kabob dipped in White Chocolate! I got him back though; I treated him to McDonald’s. Apparently in Colombia, McDonald’s is a nice restaurant — kind of fancy and different. McDonald’s would even be considered a pretty good place for a date.
Falkon told me about how his last CS guest, Hali, and his old roommate, Carlos, fell in love. Hali, who’s from New Zealand, arrived with her big personality. Colorful clothes and bright pink hair — a modern day Punky Bruster. Carlos was charmed by her, and soon CouchSurfing became a serious, romantic affair.
Hali came by to hang out when Falkon’s other CS guest, Meredith, arrived. Meredith was a Plain Jane from the Boston area. She had spent some time “living” in Buenos Aires (people love saying that they “lived abroad”) and she’s a vegetarian. Buenos Aires is the Beef Capital of the World. If you’re vegetarian in Buenos Aires, you’re missing out on Culture — you need to relax your rules if you go there.
Meredith told us about how she lost her ATM card and that she was running out of money. This sounded like bad news to me. She also seemed pretty sloppy — not a good mix with super-neat Falkon. Lazy Meredith slopping around on the couch all day moping about being broke. I heard later from Falkon that he had treated her to lots of meals and she didn’t show too much gratitude. Falkon got tired of her sloppiness and he finally had to ask her to leave. Loser CouchSurfer.
Two Notable Moments with Hali:
- She felt the urge to let me know that she has no interest in visiting the United States.
- Although my Spanish is pretty pathetic, she was helpless. When Hali and I were in a shop, she wanted to buy some jewelry, so I helped her bargain for a better price. I got the storekeeper to drop the price a bit, and Hali bought it. As we left the store, Hali said, “If I had a real local helping me buy it, I would have gotten a much better price.”
I noticed that masculinity is a little different in Colombia. Guys are more loving and caring with their guy friends. In the US, guys show affection to other guys by making fun of each other — bonding through bashing. Hali told me that when Carlos was living with Falkon, he would make Falkon breakfast each morning and bring it up to him in bed, and many times Carlos wouldn’t even eat. Guys in Colombia aren’t afraid to be sweet.
My Pathetic Clothes:
It was cold in Bogota since it’s up in the mountains. Being on a bike tour, my wardrobe was very limited, especially for cold weather. I wore the same damn maroon plaid shirt and black jeans every day. Falkon felt bad for me in my wrinkled shirt, and kept suggesting that I borrow some of his clothes. He was probably embarrassed of me — same-clothes American with patchy facial hair.
One night when we were going out, I was wearing the same tired maroon plaid shirt. Falkon told me I should take one of his sweaters since it would be cold. I put on a striped one that I thought would look cool, but when he saw me, he didn’t look pleased. Falkon suggested I get a different one. I complied, but I didn’t know why, so I asked. In private, Falkon looked at me with concern and said, “The colors clash.”