It has to be said, one of the best things about living in Cali is the climate, I think it's officially described as semi-tropical but makes socialising in the evenings so pleasant and easy. Last Saturday night we stayed up playing the Colombian game 'sapo,' (sort of like darts) and drinking on a terrace overlooking the city until 4am with no worries at all about the temperature and no need to go to a bar as you generally do back home. This can't be said of all Colombian cities, the varying altitude throughout this mountainous country means every city has it's own individual climate. Bogotá (2,600m) is pretty cold and grey generally, the coast is incredibly humid and hot, Medellin (1,500m) is very pleasant and Cali (900m) can be too hot during the day when the temperature is around 30oC, but is a perfect 20 or so in the evenings.
|Typical early morning from my room|
There's always pros and cons to everything. Caleños talk with great excitement about whenever they go somewhere 'cold' - by cold they mean about 15oC or so in the mountains above Cali, not -20oC on a winter's night in the north of England as it was in December. I'd like to see them experience that and talk with such enthusiasm about not being hot. Some people say they love the rain that comes in torrential downpours a few times a week, but being from Manchester I'm not convinced by this, I don't think I'll ever miss the constant pissy drizzle I was subjected to all my childhood.
|Cricket in a tropical climate|
Even though it can seem strange playing cricket in January, there's more advantages to this climate than negatives. The whole Caleño lifestyle is based around socialising, and the wonderful weather makes this possible. Adults drinking and dancing salsa on the street, story tellers in the park at the weekend, children on their bikes every night - it does make for a lovely lifestyle, and one that doesn't make me miss the cold and wet of a January night whatsoever.
Here's a link to my second Guardian article that I had published 2 weeks ago about teaching English in South America. They spelt my name wrong, again, but have since learned how to spell Colombia, so some progress made.
I've also written a few pieces for my fellow Geography graduates, Michael Gray and Joe Richardson, from Leeds University on their "Gradulthood" site, which is about us graduates from the recession foraging our way into the world of work, in an ever more competitive and demanding job market.