Monday, 30 December 2013

Reasons to be cheerful

It has, by all accounts, been somewhat of an indifferent return to our 'second home' of Colombia. Indeed you might say – but we won't – that it has been bordering on negative. The time of year we returned has played a factor in terms of us getting saddled up again with any significant work – well before December 25th this country goes into holiday mode, with English classes generally being the last thing on most people's minds.
The hopefully prosperous trek on the year 2014 begins
Where does the road lead in 'our' year of 2014? Pic from

Now not racing around Bogotá playing the part of the on-call, 'flying teacher' has left us with time (too much time in some ways) to explore other, more fulfilling, employment options, something that was (and is) one of our chief goals for this latest stint in the country.* Alas, little progress has been made thus far on that front – again, the prevailing ambiance among the masses right now of 'leave it until next year' is, we hope, a big reason for this.

So we will be looking for an upturn in fortunes when things get back into full swing (or the Colombian equivalent of that) in the coming weeks. In this regard – and also in an overall context – we do, we think, have reasons to be cheerful looking forward to 2014 and beyond. Sure 'tis the season to be positive (and in writing, to make barely relevant lists to pass as acceptable articles); and we can do that from time-to-time, contrary to what some believe. Right, here goes:

Let's start with the new year itself. The numbers '2' and '14' resonate deeply with us, for birthday reasons. So having both together in the one year, it's got to be a positive sign, right? A cynic might say that it means nothing at all, '2014' simply representing the amount of years since the birth of a highly contested/controversial saviour. Eternal damnation for such cynics we say. And no, we're not engaging in a process of seeing a straw and clutching desperately. One mustn't ignore the obvious.
On another point, this year sees us enter the last of our 20s. So we're just coming nicely to the boil; or so we'll tell ourselves.

Pieter and his 'wonderful' selfie
Looking, eh, good there Pieter.
While there were many good reasons to be back home in Ireland earlier in the year, a sense of being slightly trapped and 'dependent' was not one of them.** We feel we have a little more freedom here, whether that's actually real or imagined. It may all just be in the head (and the pocket too; when resources are tight, we can make our money last a little longer here while not severely damaging our 'revered' social life). An important caveat: For the majority of our time since coming back we've had a lovely apartment all to ourselves. That's due to change shortly. Change can be good though.

Goodbye to 'The Year of the Selfie'
Apparently 2013 was 'The Year of the Selfie' – that is, for the uninitiated, a photo taken of yourself, by yourself and subsequently posted to social media (well it's silly keeping it to yourself, right?) The thing is, the looking-in-the-mirror selfie while making a ridiculous pose has been all the rage for Colombian women for the last number of years. Just take a peep at most Colombianas photos on their Facebook page to get an idea of what we're on about. A rare moment where Colombia was, erm, 'ahead' of the posse on the global stage. Here's to 2014 signalling the end of this craze. See, we are being positive.

A star is born
Since returning to Bogotá, we've reacquainted ourselves with some TV extras work.*** Not only that, but we managed to land a brief speaking role, i.e. no mere 'extra', but a 'super extra' with an actual, ahem, meaningful part, on the hit production 'El Capo' (the third series, which is due to be aired from February 2014). Our performance as a San Diego airport control tower guy is sure to make headlines across the Latino world. Hollywood, take note.
'Wrong Way' -- the consummate acting professional hard at work...
The 'pro' at work. Pic credit: Christopher Allbritton.

New York, New York?
Whether Hollywood takes the lead or not, we may in any case find ourselves New York bound in a few months. It's just a case of taking the flight, it's already paid for. We like to explore new places, so the chance to visit 'The Big Apple' and catch up with family would be very much up our street. It all just depends on how our Colombian plans are progressing. Failing that, or maybe in addition, there's always the World Cup in Brazil. Sure it's only a stone's throw away from our current abode – anyone fancy joining us on a boat ride through the Amazon to get there?

6 Nations
Mentioning the World Cup, while it will be a great spectacle and we wish Colombia all the best, that Ireland won't be there means we won't be overly engrossed in it. Rugby's 6 Nations Championship on the other hand always gets our emotions up. We saw glimpses, specifically in the November test match against New Zealand – the one (another one) that got away – that Ireland, under new management, could have a big impact in the 2014 tournament. As we stated from the onset, we're being positive. February and March might put paid to that; here's hoping not though.

So there you have it; our 'Reasons to be cheerful', kind of. It's simply a case now of 'let the good times roll'. Happy New Year to all!

*For an idea of what our English teaching work in Bogotá has been like, see The 'money' tongue.

**For more see Any which way but lose....

***Oh the 'glamorous' world of TV extras work in Colombia is explored more at

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