I came to Colombia knowing I wanted to get an apartment for a while in either Cali, Bogotá, or Medellín. Cali was too hot. Bogotá was too cold and rainy. Medellín was just right, so I began the hunt for an apartment. The problem was that after being domesticated in Buenos Aires, I’d lost my natural ability to survive in hostels.
When I arrived in Medellín, I’d already been living in hostel dorms for almost 2 weeks. Five days into my apartment hunt, I was going nuts. I was tired of looking for an apartment, tired of going into my third week of living in a cramped room with 5 other people, tired of not getting anything done. I considered getting a hotel or private dorm room, but that’d cost me $30-60/night, so I realized if I was going to do that, I might as well just take the money I’d be spending on a hotel and add it to the amount I’m willing to spend on an apartment rental.
That afternoon I met with a realtor who had been recommended to me by a friend of a friend. She showed me an apartment and I immediately knew I’d rent it. Let’s get the painful part out of the way first: it’s $1,000 for a 30 day stay. Now for the good part. It’s on the 18th floor of a new building in El Poblado, the nicest neighborhood in the city. It’s 3 blocks from a gym and across the street from an amazing supermarket that has everything I want. They even have all the ingredients to my favorite breakfast: American-style oatmeal, cinnamon, chocolate chips, and fresh blueberries (unlike some countries that are right next door to a major blueberry producer, yet never seem to have blueberries. Yeah, I’m looking at you, Argentina). My building is also across the street (we’re talking like a 20-yard walk) from a giant mall with a multiplex, where seeing a movie costs 4,000 COP (~$2.20).
Now I’ll show you the apartment itself. Here’s the view as you walk in the door:
As you can see, it’s way bigger and has way more space than I need, but the extra space is cool to have. Here’s the command center where I do most of my studying, programming, and screwing around online:
You’ll notice that my Columbia Nalgene bottle has been replaced by a crazy large jug of water. I forgot my Nalgene on an overnight bus to Cordoba, a mere 4 days before flying to Colombia, where I can only imagine a bottle with “Columbia” on the side would have intrigued and delighted the locals. Here’s the kitchen:
The one thing I was reluctant about with this apartment was that there’s no oven and the only way I know how to cook steak (a staple in my South American diet) involves the oven. Luckily, I’ve learned that not using the oven also results in delicious steak, so crisis averted.
Here’s the bed area (again, I’d make the bed to make things look fancier, but I feel I’d be lying to you about the way I really run things in my apartment):
This is the view out my window:
Here’s the bathroom:
Unlike the bathroom I had in Buenos Aires, in this one, you can’t flush toilet paper (which is true of almost every bathroom I’ve been to in South America), so the little red bin with the biohazard symbol on the top is for used toilet paper, which I have to bag up and toss when it gets full. Let’s all say, “Eeeeew!” The fun part of the bathroom is that the light switch is motion activated, so it turns on automatically when you walk in. I like to walk in and pretend I just walked into a surprise party.
If I haven’t made clear yet all the luxury this apartment offers that I don’t really need, I give you the final shining example, my walk-in closet:
It’s a pretty desolate walk-in closet because I’ve only got about 8 items of clothing excluding socks and underwear.
The apartment’s nice and way fancier than I need. I probably will move into something cheaper once my 30 days are up, but for now I’m enjoying the cool place and spending as much time in my walk-in closet as I can, pretending to make difficult choices about which of my 5 t-shirts to put on.