Stop it Bogota, you’re making me homesick

Mildura sunrise
I’m thinking about home

The past week in Bogota can only be described as glorious. The skies are blue from the mountains in the east stretching out west across the sheet plains of La Sabana. The weather is warm, a little too warm to fall into Bogota’s usual weather cycle.


When you step outside into the bright day, the warm air clings to you, offering up a gentle caress that you know could soon turn to a Chinese burn. At 2600m the sun has the same strength as in my land under the hole in the ozone. Slip, slop, slap.

This wave of homesickness hits me as I think of my hometown. It’s summertime there now. The temperatures there are pushing 40 degrees Celsius, but this unusual heat in Bogota, which is really only about 25 degrees, takes me to an Australian summer.

I can smell the sausages sizzling on the barbecue and feel the contrast against the tossed salad, cold from being in the fridge. I relax into the heat and see sunlight sparkling on the river where I’m waiting with my toes in the sand for my turn to waterski. I flinch as I feel the spray from the misters at the beer garden touch my hot skin. I can feel the delight as a cold bubble of water floats downstream, breaking up the warm surface water. I’m squatting beside the road by a tar patch with tiny bubbles on the surface and I can smell the tar as I pop the bubbles with my fingertip. I get sleepy as I sink into the carseat, the hot, trapped air lulling me into slumber.

But here I am, just basking in this glorious weather. Breathing in the lightness of the air that reminds me of holidays, and a slower pace of doing things.

The news talks about this strange weather, that bakes us during the day, and then in neighbouring farm towns just 40km away how it frosts the pastures with minus 3 degrees at night. It’s part of El Nino they say.

My phone tells me it’s cloudy and 5 degrees Celsius, but then again, I never look at or believe the weather prognostications here and at least another 20 degrees needs to be added to even be in the same ballpark as what’s outside my building right now.

This weather has taken me on a nostalgic journey back home. Usually I’m used to the weather nostalgia in name only as Bogota’s predictable four seasons in one day (twice over) is in line with Melbourne’s fame for having four seasons in one day. But now I’m reliving summers of my hometown, and desperate to cling to this sensation.

While this nostalgia brings me a certain sadness, the perfect weather is giving me an energy that was absent. I wake up with a smile and open myself wide to embrace what I’m sure will be a great day.

Damn you Larry Crowne

You know when you want to see a film because it sounds like it should be good but you remain unconvinced by the previews and also harbour a dislike for one of the lead actors? That was me with Larry Crowne.

With two big drawcard leads in Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, Larry Crowne was billed as a summer feel-good flick. It is the typical kind of film you see Tom Hanks shine in, and he had the added pressure of co-writing and directing it. Julia Roberts brought the same character she’s played for many years to the film and despite her boringness and shade of Cameron Diaz’s Bad Teacher, didn’t ruin it for me. However I think Bryan Cranston really stole the show with a brilliant performance.

I left the theatre with the requisite bubble of good vibes, but also with a pang of nostalgia and dash of yearning. I was romanticising.

I was thinking about how exciting it is to live in LA and wondering whether I had been too hasty in making my departure from the city and the film biz. Perhaps I should have stuck it out a bit longer. Did I really give it a chance?

It could be the hardships and solitude of the road that has caught up with me as I am also dreaming of the day of having a real job again back home and how I will take advantage of the delights of whatever new city I find myself living in. I really must be dreaming. What dedicated traveller ever fantasises about, and counts down the days until, they go back to the rat race?

So two months into my roadtrip, Larry Crowne has come in churning up feelings and thoughts I had buried deep down in the mud. I guess I need to sift through them and polish up the golden ones.