There, we were graced with a cameo appearance by the infamous Christina Chang -- again! She prepared to take off for Korea as I went through the security line for Bogota, not before an affectionate (spaced out) sister photo!
I grabbed a smoothie (complete with one whole banana -- yuck) before making my way to Gate A2B. After a quick hour of napping, I arrived in Newark, where it felt odd to be surrounded by so many people and not know a one of them. I filled this void with a round of rapidfire Laura-texting, supplemented with messages from assorted varlets and other kin. (Being surrounded by Spanish-speakers helped in lifting my loneliness as well.) My next iced drink was consumed over a phone call to Mama, reporting a flight delayed due to weather.
I fell upon the great fortune during this second flight of making friends with Claudia and her niece Monica! Monica just finished up her freshman year in the States and is returning to Bogota, from where her family is. After chatting about the joys of taking a gap year (and the excitement of high school in The Middle Of Nowhere, USA), Monica and I each popped in an earbud and watched Moulin Rouge on her laptop. What a fun way to watch such a krazy klassic!
It was after this film ended that I learned of Monica’s craze for baking. I saw her scrawling away in a notebook and asked what she was working on: turns out she was making a table of contents for 87 pages of notes she typed verbatim from four different cookbooks belonging to Claudia -- what commitment! I perused her notes (finding cooking-tongue akin to a foreign language) and flipped through her copy of Rachel Falker’s Demolition Desserts, a super intense book about baking.
For the rest of the flight, aunt and niece shared with me a list of interesting things to do here, and I am pleased to announce our discovery that we will be living about ten blocks apart! Monica and I plan to hang out around the city this week. We landed smoothly and breezed through a usually packed immigration queue to enter Bogota officially! I was greeted by Elena Auntie right away, and a cab sped us to her lovely apartment.
I got the grand tour and can’t wait to spend time in my cozy musical room! There’s a lot to say and I’m so excited but for now I think it’s important for me to get some rest -- big day tomorrow!