After studying the map of the public transport system from the comfort of our own apartment, Jake and I decided to take the Transmilenio to the National Library downtown. Jake found the bus stop closest to the library – Calle 22 con Caracas – or “Street 22 with Caracas.” On the map it looked easy enough. As the bus approached the stop, though, I saw that the old buildings were abandoned, with broken glass in the windows, and naked women in doorways. This, I learned a day too late, is a neighborhood called “La Tolerancia” (“The Tolerance”) because the police allow prostitution and other exciting things that I am trying to studiously avoid here in Colombia. Very soon after getting off the bus, Jake and I realized that this was not a safe area for gringos and walked quickly and quietly the three blocks to an area where the police are decidedly less tolerant.
Today we took a different route. We got off near the National Library, no prostitutes in view, and entered the library without any excitement. However, about an hour into our archiving, we heard a commotion outside the window. We looked outside and in front of the window there was a group of young Colombians mooning us.