Tuesday, March 18, 2014
“I wish I was a Colombian”
That was what I told myself when I had met Simon. He is a college student from Bogota, and he has a beautiful girlfriend. He also rides in a beat up motorbike, with a faded leather jacket. I had met him while scoring some bakes from the city center with Jin, the Korean-American.
Sensing opportunity to sell more to the gringoes he invited us later that afternoon and we embarked into a sharing of our world (Jin would later ride all over Colombia with him -- Koreans are seen as a special curiosity).
During our time together, I had an insider view of his life. He opened up to me in a way that is unheard of in America. To readily share lives with a complete stranger, a foreigner at that, is a trait shared among the inhabitants found outside first world nations.
His dad works for the bus transit operator as a foreman and the mom has a bakery. They were solid middle-class Colombians. Their house is small: 2 bedrooms with one old school TV and a Toyota 1990’s car. He sells bakes to have money for fun, and go to concerts.
His friends ranged from mediocre to pretty. Most of the girls were pretty Latinas. The kind that would send an American-man building shrines and temples and flexing their muscles and revving their cars.
However, these types of Latinas weren’t into that. There were the subdued non-Americanized Latina versions. The traditional Latina with gentleness as part of their femininity. They remind me a lot of Asian girls from Asia. They were into emancipated Simon and the Colombian culture. His bike and his cool leather jacket, the aguardiente and city politics.
This kid has everything good going for him.. in a simple sense. He lives in a fantastic place, surrounded with a beautiful culture, a beautiful world, a loving family, a beautiful girlfriend, loyal friends, and a never-ending stream of top-picked Colombian beauties in his social circle. Simon, middle-class Colombian, statistically, is happier than most American guys will ever be.
When Simon gets older, he will enter the work-force. The workforce is an excuse for productivity time in Colombia. They get shit done, but they don’t take it half as seriously as in the USA. What they take seriously is community, compadres, fine women, Colombian culture, and aguardiente on the weekends. It is a relaxed existence to live the lifestyle of a middle-class Colombian.
Simon will never leave his family until 30 probably. He will live a less stressful life than the average American. He will be integrated to be part of a unit instead of a lone wolf type. He will never hear about “red-pill,” “manosphere,” “feminism,” "MGTOW" - these are absurdities to him. He will probably not even enter a gym (play soccer weekends most likely) and "bulking up" will not even enter his lexicon. Since he aspires to little, he will be content. The irony is that he will always have a beautiful girl that is loyal to him and loyal to his culture and his ways of thinking. The house that his parent bought would soon increase in value as more gringoes flood into the area.
In a way living in a first world nation is not everything, it’s actually not even something. Happiness is not measured in material forms and 401ks. Happiness is finding contentment in your role in an environment that you share a vibe with. It is a feeling of home that Simon has, a place that nobody can take away from him. In a month time, I would be booking my trip to Manila.
“I wish I was Colombian”
That was what I told my Korean-American friend as we walked across the city centre and on our way to Manuela’s dinner party.
“'gual” Jin mutters in his perfect Spanish.