The 7th of December here is known as The Day of the Candles, (El Día de las Velitas) and as darkness engulfs the city streets, people filter out of their houses to light candles that are balanced on walls, pavements, planks of wood and window sills around their houses and apartments. It is a beautiful spectacle, though over the last few years it seems to have moved away from a religious celebration towards another excuse to become inebriated and so people organise parties in their homes and on the streets and once again the evening stillness is shattered by the sound of fireworks exploding in the night sky.
The 8th of December is a public holiday in Colombia and I left home before 7AM to go to the gym that I thought opened at 7 only to find that it was closed. I decided to go for a walk instead and passing through the streets of Envigado where I live I came across various bars where there were still people outside drinking, though in some cases sleeping or at least leaning precariously in their chairs at almost 90 degrees to the floor, and listening to deafening music. I even passed one road where the residents had blocked off both ends of the street and a party was still in full swing with probably more than 50 people dancing to the music blaring out from the speakers placed outside one of the houses. Tropical is the adjective often used to describe this kind of behaviour. Luckily I passed a few blocks above that street and so nobody tried to grab me and get me to join in the party.
Moving on to the Miss Universe contest that took place on the 20th of December, Colombia actually had a winner for approximately three minutes until the host realised he had made a mistake and the crown was removed from the runner up and placed on the head of the real winner, Miss Philippines, who I certainly felt was the prettier. Three minutes was long enough though for the Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, to tweet,
"Colombians are the most beautiful in the world! Congratulations @gutierrezary miss universe 2016!!!! I am proud!"
I worry about the president’s logic sometimes. Just as one swallow doesn’t make a summer, one attractive Colombian doesn’t endow the entire population, though I have to admit that Colombia does have its fair share of beautiful women, however, the it seems the older you get the more pretty women there are. It’s must be one of nature’s laws.
One strange thing about the Miss Universe contest was that all the contestants were from the same planet and so the name cries out to be the dictionary definition of exaggeration, similar to baseball’s World Series that only includes teams from North America and Canada!
And finally I recently read that Colombia is one of three countries in the World, along with Jamaica and Saint Lucia where a woman is more likely to be a boss than a man. This gem was gleaned from a list of 100 things that we apparently didn’t know last year.
And on that positive note I will say goodbye for 2015 and wish you all the best of luck for the coming year.