I really had no idea what happened to me at that time. I unsteadily walked up a steep grade to my guesthouse, 5 rotting bananas in the right hand and only COP3,000 (US$1) in my pocket. It was all the money with me at that time, I had no idea what I could buy with COP3,000 rather than what I should use it for, and I also started asking myself why I’m in Medellin in the first place.
It wasn’t supposed to go this way. After a few days since I tried to draw a portrait on the street, somebody drew my portrait conversely and nobody came after him in the end, I decided to go to Medellin, Colombia. Because it’s a rare opportunity that I’m in Colombia and I wanted to stay for a while, but Bogota was a little bit cold and it had no good weather that time, I wanted to go somewhere warm and I decided to move to Medellin which is the second capital of Colombia.
But after a few days since I arrived in Medellin, I realized a very important thing, my credit card didn’t work at any ATM. I called the Canadian bank with Skype and I asked them, but they just told me that my account has not wrong and that the ATM must be broken. Of course, I have one more credit card from a Japanese bank but it was full of cashing limit and I couldn’t extend my limit. (I also asked them but they just said No and Good luck.)
It was too late when I noticed that, I only have a few COP in my pocket, in the meantime, I’m getting hungry, I have to write a new post, my clothes are getting dirty, and I’m getting the desire to smoke one more cigarette just like when iI survived at the ski resort in Whistler with 60 bucks.
From the next day, I have no choice but to sit on the street and try to draw the portrait. No matter how many years I keep doing it, No matter if it doesn’t improve during that time, No matter if I lost the confidence to keep doing it and No matter if I can’t speak Spanish and nobody speaks English or Japanese. I just have to do it to survive now.
I bought a new 12-color pen set with what little money I had and I sat down on the Parque de Botero (It is one of the famous parks in the center of Medellin).
Usually, I set the price of my portrait on the “Up to you” and ask them the price of my portrait after I show it because if I set the price and I can’t draw their portrait well, I feel bad for them. But no matter how I explained it with my poor Spanish, they asked me how much is exactly, and I asked them “5mil (COP5,000)” on the spur of the moment. “5mil” is only US$1.7 and of course, I want to get more money but if I pay 4mil, I can get one pack of cigarettes, one meal of cheap food on the street is 5mil, one bottle of beer on the street is 2.5mil and one small cup of coffee on the street is only 0.5mil.
Anyway, I desperately wanted to get some money for surviving “now” and I had no choice but to do something I can do.
#flowerontheshit #medellin #colombia #parquedebotero #yellowishardtosee Hironori Ozakiさん(@hironori_ozaki)が投稿した写真 –
#flowerontheshit #medellin #colombia #parquedebotero #howmanypoliceisthere Hironori Ozakiさん(@hironori_ozaki)が投稿した写真 –
There is a lot of police and they came to give me a warning every 20min (I don’t know why, but if I got 5 m away, It is Ok but another police came 20 min later.) and I was caught in a strong evening shower, I have no idea how to speak Spanish as usual but after 4 hours since I started to sit on the street, I drew 4 customers.
I can survive today!!
However, I still have a big problem that I have to pay my accommodation. I already stayed 4days there and the cost of it was 104mil (that hostel couldn’t use the credit card). Furthermore, if I want to go to some country which I can pay with credit card, I can buy the flight ticket online, but I can’t pay the transport to the airport (60mil for the taxi).
I bought the cheapest food on the street (5mil) but after I ate half of it, I kept it for the midnight feast.
So, What should I do?
On the next day, I took a whole day to look for an ATM on which I can use my credit card. I tried to withdraw with 20 different ATMs but I couldn’t do it. I gave up all hope and I sat on the small stairs in front of the station.
It wasn’t supposed to go this way. Why did I come to Medellin? Why did I come to Colombia? Come to think of it, I was supposed to go to NZ. But why didn’t I go there? why did I oversleep? I showed the sign of the portrait but it was too late at night and I also didn’t have any energy to do it.
At that time, a woman came to me. she is selling clothes in front of the station and I have talked with her a few words before.
“Hola, Como Estas? (Hi, How are you?)”
“Muy bien, y tu? (Very good, and you?)”
Honestly, I could only understand those words clearly but she continued to ask me some questions.
Why did you come to Colombia?
How long have you been in Medellin?
How long will you stay in Medellin?
Why are you drawing portraits?
Of course, I couldn’t answer well and I have no idea what she said exactly, but I tried to answer her question while arranging a few Spanish words I have known. then, she asked me the next question.
“Why are you sitting down with a long face?”
“Mi (my) Tarjeta (card) No Puedo (can not) Trabajo (work)” “Porque (because) No Tengo (don’t have) Dinero (money)”
I answered her like this, and I explain that I took a whole day to look for 20 different ATMs but I couldn’t withdraw my money as I mentioned above. I don’t know if she could understand me with my Spanish, but after she listened to my answer, she just said “stay here” (I could understand that because of her gesture) and she went away somewhere. then she came back to me a few minutes later.
After she said that she handed a stick of grilled pork to me, then she handed “2mil” to me.
“Para Comprar bebida (Buy some drink)”
I had a bit of it, It was the most delicious food I have eaten in Colombia and I don’t know why but I couldn’t stop my tears while they streamed down.
It wasn’t supposed to go this way. Why did I come to Medellin? Why did I come to Colombia?
I don’t know why exactly.
But if that reason is just so that I could meet her, It is enough reason for me, I thought at that time.