November 16, 2007
I took a walk around the center of town near my hotel today. Just about every city in Colombia has a central plaza named after Simon Bolivar, and Manizales was no exception. However, the mandatory statue in the center of the plaza depicted Bolivar having the wings and head of a bird, but he still had a very human body part hanging between his legs. I know that a naked bird-man statue normally passes as an acceptable form of art, but this statue was of the most famous man in South American history, not just some random guy. The beak and wang combination seemed a bit disrespectful to me.
Tonight I met up with Manisha and some of her friends to go to the symphony. The entire presentation was taken from the best of Queen's songs, and it seemed a perfect fit when they played "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Flash Gordon." "We Will Rock You" didn't work well, but overall the concert went great and it was good to get a different kind of cultural experience than the normal tourist stuff most people do when traveling.
Later, everyone went out for some dancing. Salsa wasn't as popular as it was in Cali, and the way people danced was more intimate than the "Let's just have fun and not care who's watching" attitude of Cali. This made sense because in Manizales the climate was colder and the crowd was mostly college students who were motivated by peer pressure, rather than the older crowd of Cali who didn't have anything to prove. But despite the tamer nightlife, we still somehow managed to stay out until dawn.