Sunday is Street Faire Day in central Bogota. They close the center to all cars and people mill about on foot and bicycle. Food vendors and street artists rule the sidewalks and plaza. After New Orleans, they had a tough act to follow, but they gave it their best. Here are a few photos from our day in El Centro. (For those reading this blog who, like me, took years of high school Spanish…I have visited muchos centros and still have not found uno biblioteca. A better sentence would have been…donde esta la iglesia? Every centro has an iglesia (church). Maybe better still, donde esta la café mejor? (Where is the best coffee?) All the centros had multiple coffee shops)
La Iglesia Obligado.
A balloon vendor on a bike. I only got one pic and he was riding his bike right out of this shot…ah well… you get the picture.
A favorite in New Orleans, a favorite in Columbia…the singing/dancing puppets!
Now this was something new…guinea pig races with betting. Spectators would place a 200 peso coin (about 10 cents) on one of the plastic bowls. The guinea pig would be released and if he went inside the bowl that your coin was on, you won! Keegan speculated that the guinea pig had been trained to only go into bowls without coinage as he stopped and checked out the top of the bowl before ducking inside. The police pulled up and, amazingly, this “act” was picked up and vanished in a matter of seconds. Sidenote: I have never seen better behaved guinea pigs.
And ending with a few murals… Bogota is filled with public art, much of it murals painted by graffiti artists. The Disney Channel even had an educational moment on how to paint murals with spray paint. (the mask is muy importante!) They were really bright, colorful and stunning to see…
Vendors were pretty much the same as you see anywhere…jewelry, art, food. This was not the biggest or best street fair we’d seen, but it was a fun afternoon.
Life lesson: When soaking up the local culture, avoid foods that have names that you recognize. You will inevitable be disappointed by the “hamburger” or “pizza” that is served in a different language. But I heartily recommend you try the local fare…you will usually be pleasantly surprised!