Friday turned out to be an exciting day for connecting with new people living in Medellin.
First, I had an impromptu meeting with Adriaan, editor-in-chief of Colombia Reports.
I learned a little more about how he arrived in Medellin, and found his story similar to my own.
After getting some food and coffee, he took me to one of the poorer barrios where we had another drink and played some billiards.
While I forgot the name of the specific barrio, he assured me it was the stomping ground of Colombia’s future beauty queens.
We already have plans to begin working with one another.
Searching for a Room to Rent
I then took the metro from the city center toward Envigado, where I met up with my friend Martin to view an available room in the same apartment where he lives.
He rents from Maira, a Colombian university student, and while the walk from the metro is a little longer than I´d prefer (10-12 minutes), the apartment itself is beautiful!
Well furnished, with a modern kitchen, clean bathroom, balcony, cable TV, and pool. If my ASUS laptop’s AC adapter hadn’t been stolen two weeks ago at the hostel, I would also have wi-fi internet access.
My apartment search in Medellin was over!
At Casa Kiwi Hostel, I am paying about $49 per week. If I take the apartment, I can get that down to $40 per week, with a private (albeit small) bedroom.
And since my status living in Medellin is still week to week, the flexibility to pay as such would be great.
After a quick bite to eat at the apartment, we took the metro to Floresta and found the karaoke bar where the Couchsurfing group was celebrating the birthday of Nacho. I had attended his ´going away´party my first Saturday in Medellin and it was a blast.
On this night, I saw some familiar faces, and met several new Colombians and travelers.
Andrea from the University of Antioquia, and Fernando (who resembled Green Day’s Billy Joe), both offered to help me find cheap apartments near their school ($20/week).
And Chad, who arrived in Medellin two days earlier, had already found his first student to tutor! He offered to help me get set up with classifieds and/or marketing online, which sounded promising.
I continue to hear private tutoring is a more lucrative route than working for a school. For one thing, you do not need a work Visa to begin earning money.
On the other hand, without a work Visa, your time in the country is limited to 6 months (and I am fast approaching the 2-month mark).
My future prospects looked a few shades brighter after a successful and unexpected day of networking!