Hey hey, I have finally planted my two feet on South American soil! First stop: Bogota, Colombia, a sprawling city with a clear rich/poor division in the north and south and some progressive, artsy stuff going on in the middle.
I participated in Ciclovia on Sunday, a weekly event in which the city shuts down over 70 miles of streets to allow for walking, biking and other physical activity, and even sets up free aerobics and dance classes. http://www.streetfilms.org/ciclovia-express-version/ This is the predecessor to Sunday Streets in SF, Oaklavia in Oakland and many other ciclovias all over the world. Ciclovia is a nice antidote to Bogota traffic, which is intense!
In response to traffic congestion, Bogota created a law in 1998 called Pico y Placa. How it works is that cars are limited to being on the road to three days during the week (weekends excluded) based on the last digit of the license plate. Sounds like a good idea, right? Except that in response to Pico y Placa, many rich families simply bought another car as a way to get around it. Hmmmm.
Tomorrow I plan to see the gordos and gordas at the Botero museum, which will immediately be followed by indulging once again in the traditional Colombian treat of hot chocolate with cheese. Super delicioso!