After a long, stressful week at work, I was excited to meet Seth’s boss and coworkers at an Irish pub in Usaquén. Unfortunately, I was assigned a task just as I was supposed to leave the office, so I arrived at the pub over an hour and a half late. Of course, there were other snags, too. Seth did not answer his phone when I called to see if they were in fact still drinking… I got off the bus at the wrong stop and had to power walk half a mile in the dark… Eventually, though, I made it to the right place. Seth promptly introduced me to his two bosses, Mauricio (the owner) and Andres #1, and three of his coworkers, Andres #2, Silvia, and Fernando. A nearly empty pitcher of beer sat on the table, probably the second or third of the night. Meanwhile, Mauricio nursed his second or third glass of whiskey. Tipsily, he told me: “This pub is my place. Bogotanos, when we are high class, we are like Brits; we drink whiskey. When we are middle class, we are like people from Miami; we drink rum. When we are low class, we are like,” his voice dropped to a whisper, “Mexicans.” He paused, realizing the weight of his words, and quickly began to backpedal. “But, you know, of course, I don’t believe that! It is just a saying!” To be honest, I expected a little more solidarity among the Latin American community.
Aside from the one drunken blunder, Mauricio and everyone else were very nice. (Honestly, they are much friendlier than my coworkers, who have yet to invite me out for a night.) However, it was definitely a lesson in contrast. Seth and I practiced our Spanish, while his coworkers practiced their English… We only drank one beer apiece, while Mauricio enjoyed five to six glasses of whiskey… Oh, did I mention that Mauricio threatened to drunk dial my boss? Apparently, they met awhile ago at a competition and have spoken on the phone once or twice about the intricacies of hiring foreigners. Several times throughout the evening, Mauricio whipped out his iPhone and shouted, “Oh hi, Juan Carlos! This is Mauricio! We will talk about architecture as usual!” Luckily, he did not actually go through with it (I don’t think).
By the end of the night, I was exhausted but very excited to have met some potential new friends. Fernando even invited Seth and me to go hiking with him tomorrow morning. He wants us to see an old church that is nestled in the mountains. I hope the weather cooperates!
[The Pub: Carrera 6A # 117-45, Bogotá-Colombia]