From Cartagena, after a 4 hour bus ride along the coast, I arrive in Santa Marta, where I know I will stay only one night. Hostels here are not the cheapest at Christmas time and I have studied that there is nothing that interesting here. I walk around the town quietly and it’s really nothing special. A small historic centre and then streets full of street vending, as if the town was one big market. At least I’m buying a pair of sunglasses for 15k which I’m negotiating down from 18. In the midlands it’s recommended to haggle 20% of the price (not on food), on the coast you can haggle up to 50% on stuff and about 20% on street food. For food it seems odd and I’ve never tried it.
In the evening I meet up again with Alfred, who has relocated with his other Swedish friend Filip to the famous Brisa Loca (Crazy Breeze) hostel. This is not just a random name, it is said that the incessant coastal wind can drive weak souls mad). Alfred invites me to a party at his hostel, which has a disco on the roof (we skip it) and a bar on the first floor. A gorilla catches me at the entrance and tells me I have to pay 10,000 to get into the disco. I go to the front desk to make arrangements and they confirm that even if I don’t want to go to the disco, I have to pay. I go back to the gorilla, where a smaller Colombian group is already paying. I motion to the gorilla that I’ll pay… the gorilla in front of the Colombian group mutters “5 grand” with a slight shame in his voice. Even that doesn’t move me anymore, I pay the buck and head off to the Swedes.
Wheel of Fortune, Manginas and Good Luck
They’re already in the mood and immediately send me off with the roaring surrounding crowd to the wheel of fortune. I spin it and slowly see what’s on it. I don’t understand half the stuff, but I’m getting the Beer Race. I call on Alfred of course, the bartender sends 2 bottles down the bar and we’re stumbling along. Whoever’s slower pays. Phew, the Swede has no chance of beating the Czech. Don’t they have prohibition in Sweden? (They don’t.) … beer bottles fall empty on the bar along with my ten-thousand.
Alfred is the bartender.
Alfred’s up next, dialing Mangina. What the fuck is Mangina?!?! …I didn’t need to see that. Does anyone need a description of what a Mangina is? MAN gina? … okay, so you pull down your pants and underwear and don’t show your privates. It takes a little skill and… Well, I won’t go into details. The alternative for the girls is much simpler, they only have to show their breasts.
Alfred’s Swedish comrade Philip is doing a LapDance for some lady. He doesn’t even blink and he’s already in his underwear, wiggling his ass in front of a random uncomprehending lady he stole from the bar and sat on a stool in the middle of the room.
I quickly buy another beer, because I’m too old for this. I see a few more Manginas and dances and it’s my turn again… I don’t want to do it, I’m a dry and cowardly guy, but the cheering crowd won’t let me go uninvolved. I’m gonna… trrrr… free party. Ho ho, oujeee… The cramp in my stomach from the nervousness preceding my spin that I’m not going to do Mangin properly brings the gay god-knows-what’s-pañaca back to my floor. But in the end, I swallow it with triumphant glee.
Little advice: if you’re planning to go to Colombia, please practice how to make a Mangina in front of a mirror at home.
A few more Manginas running around, some Swedish sexy dancing, some bodyshot (the lady is pretty good at coming to everything like a blind man to a violin, so she enjoys the ass wiggling in front of her face and the guys drinking from her belly button) and it’s my turn again. And karma says what? Karma says BeerBong. With a funnel with a long tube at the end, they pour bottles into me. That’s the last time I’ll be spinning around happiness. Somehow it doesn’t make me happy, a tribute to getting older 🙂
For me, Santa Marta is over…