Nice try Skynet…

What do we want? Time Travel! When do we want it? It’s irrelevant!

The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. I apologize to all the avid readers of my blog for being absent for so long. So….sorry mom, my best friend Michael, and you, random stranger from Kazakhstan.

But I had good reasons. At first I didn’t have much to say and then I had too much! Also, as the title suggests I had machines (I suspect it’s Skynet from the Terminator movies) try to kill me…twice.

I have still been bringing food for the staff every week and bought plastic containers to carry ingredients in. So I went home for lunch like usual and found out later that when my co-workers tried to heat up the food in the microwave there was a microchip under the price tag sticker and it blew up in spectacular fashion. So near miss #1.

If you look closely you can see the Cyberdine Systems bar code.

The second incident happened a couple weeks later when I started smelling gas in my apartment. I texted the apartment manager and he immediately called a repair man to rush over..…..the next morning. Entire building could blow up but, hey no rush. I thought it might be coming from my neighbors but right as I was about to nervously go to bed all 4 stove tops started clicking and trying to spontaneously ignite. Finally found the breaker switch to turn off all power to the kitchen and found the gas valve. I did not sleep well. The next day the technician said it was “probably” ok and most likely caused by spilling water on the stove. The official repair man came the next day but showed up 30 minutes late and I had to leave for work so we rescheduled for the next week. He never showed up. There is a saying down here about being on “manana time”. They will always show up “tomorrow”.

But the main point is that I defeated the evil A.I. Robots that want to enslave humanity! I’m not saying I am the hero John Connor that leads the rebellion against Skynet and saves the human race, but I’m not, not saying it either. 😉

The weather is still fantastic here. I didn’t realize we are only 30 miles north of the Equator. It does rain but days are usually 70 and sunny. I am always warm and wear t-shirts when most people are wearing thick coats. But I came from this…

Major ice storm the day I left. Everything is covered in ice. This tree literally broke in half from the weight of all the ice. I’ll take a little rain any day.

I also bought a new cell phone for $170 that is much better and has much more storage capacity. The camera isn’t the best unfortunately. I go to the grocery store to top up my data plan. I get 850GB for about $8 a month. More than I need but useful for ordering taxis etc. So I can finally get around on my own.

My bosses’ wife Emy got me some natural shampoo. It looks like a round bar of soap but the lather is incredible! it only takes 2 swipes of your hand and you are good to go. I’m a big fan.

And the city finally ended all the lock downs! Ironically it was right after the minister of defense died of covid. But not much love lost for him apparently because he had ordered some brutal police crackdowns in the past. But I finally got to go out and explore the city and beyond! My friend, the other Dr. Joel invited me over for the Superbowl with his wife Juanita and a few friends. Joel is from Kansas so he was rooting for the Chiefs but I was rooting for the Buccaneers simply for the fact that Tom Brady is my age and I was hoping to see history made. It definitely was made that night. It got so bad I couldn’t even trash talk Joel about his team anymore. But we all had a great time and even had an impromptu Salsa dance session at half time. Even their wiener dog Gustavo aka Tavo joined in and danced with us.

The next weekend they invited me to go hiking out in the jungle about 2 hours outside of the city. I probably wouldn’t have gone if I had known how far away it was but I’m glad I did. We all had a great day.

Joel and Juanita and little Tavo.

It was a beautiful drive through the mountains. The camera on my phone couldn’t do it justice. I took 100 photos while we were there but I will spare you and only share a few.

At the top of the jungle trails were several restaurants and we got a free sample of these sausages which were tasty. And the sign in the back says “The kitchen of Juanita”. So that was funny for Juanita.
A cool stone staircase with J & J
The top of the trail opened up to an enormous canyon with a huge lake where you could feed the fish.
Fat Fish Feeding Frenzy
Like the other Joel the bamboo was crazy. Crazy tall.
Even though it was about 80 and humid I prefer it over the weather we had back home the same day! I don’t miss that at all!
A friend sent me a cool photo of his portable fire pit. I do miss that.
The bamboo looked fake and painted.
People signed their names into the bamboo. I’ll bring my pocket knife next time.
Cool Tree Roots
The 2 Joels at the lookout point. There was some artifact hanging from a tree by a string out over the lake. Not sure what the purpose was. Probably something religious in nature.
For some reason I thought it was a good idea to try and balance on this rickety bench over the water with my new cell phone in my pocket.
Me on another rickety bridge. Photos don’t do this place justice on how massive it was.
A cool flower on a tree before and after it buds.
I think this might have been a young bamboo with little tiny hairs all over it. Did I learn my lesson from touching a cactus in Africa with little tiny hairs all over it? Nope! It took about 30 minutes to pull all the needles out.
This tree had green and red lichen or moss all over it. In Nature the color red is usually a warning sign to stay away. I touched that too.

Me at my next doctor’s appointment: Doc I feel funny. Do I have some kind of disease?

Doctor: Yes.

Me: Which one?

Doctor: All of them. You have ALL of the diseases known to medical science and a few we just discovered.

Me: I regret nothing.

NO REGERTS!
This flower looked like some crazy venus fly trap with goop inside. And yes I touched it.
This was a massive nest for either ants or hornets about 5 feet tall. Unfortunately it was too high up to touch.

So we all had a great time exploring the jungle. Amazingly there were almost no insects so the day was really pleasant. One of the best parts of the trip was the restaurant we ate at on the way back. More on that later. On the way back down the mountain there were several restaurants with fantastic scenic views I would like to try if we come back. What cracked me up was as we got back to the parking lot there was a guy selling beer and soda for the ride home. So I had to get one just for the photo op and the fact that it was legal. Waving to a motorcycle cop while drinking it was a highlight that day.

The old saying “One for the road.” is quite literal here!
Motorcycle rider getting stitches. He probably took 2 for the road.
A Fruit Vendor selling out of the back of his truck with megaphone on top. I still don’t recognize half the fruits here.

The real highlight of the day was at the end we stopped at a French Restaurant that was just randomly on the side of the highway. It was authentic and run by a French woman who was head chef and owner. There were other shops and even a couple bungalows to rent if you wanted to spend the night.

Cafe with all kinds of pastries and home made spices, artisanal cheeses, and other unique items.
Side view with the sign that says Welcome in 3 languages.

We met up with Juanita’s sister and her husband and their little 5 year old boy. They were really cool and spoke excellent English and we had a great time. The husband had a really cool start up company where he was breeding a special kind of black fly because the maggots have a very fast life span so they could be used to break down garbage or even as food for other animals. So with that image in mind lets go to the restaurant and show some food!

Juanita playing with her nephew.
This was the coolest Restaurant called “La Petit Jardin” or “The Petite Garden”. The top with the 360 view was an artists studio.
Inside View. The center was the bar/kitchen with bottles encased right into the stone. The 2nd story was for private dinner parties.
And naturally the food was fantastic.
Juanita and her sister are watching her son interact with the owner and her son. His shirt said “Paris Addict.”
Before we left we checked out this little shop with plants and Bonsai trees. The prices were stupid cheap so I almost bought one. But I’m still not over the loss of my last Bonsai tree, Baby Groot. 😭

So it was an amazing weekend and so good to finally get out and do something. It started raining on the drive home and several motorcycles had to stop on the side of the road. Motorcyclists are insane here. They weave in and out of traffic inches from the cars. Everyone else had the same idea as we did to get out of the city so it was wall to wall traffic so coming back took an extra hour. But it was a day well spent with new friends.

I’ll try to be more consistent posting in the future. But this blog is really more like a diary to remember my adventures and to amuse myself with my own lame jokes. And give me a break, I saved you all from the rise of the machines who want to enslave humanity and become our evil robot overlords.

You’re welcome world.

Just a gringo Chiropractor in Bogota, Colombia.

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