Look around Medellin, and you’ll see fondas everywhere.
Fondas are the colorful places with old wooden tables and chairs, a place to eat and dance, even on the chairs you were sitting on during your meal.
With so many fondas, it can be hard to choose.
This is not going to be a Top 5 post. I don’t feel I have had enough time here to make an educated opinion about which fondas are best.
I’m just going to tell you about this particular fonda, a place I have really come to love.
But I won’t tell you its name, not yet. I wanna do something different in this post. I wanna describe the place first, reveal its identity at the end.
Sure, you could scroll down and cheat and find out before I tell you. I can’t stop you. Do what you want. I’m still gonna tell a story.
I guess I’ll start with how I first noticed it.
It was from the taxi one night, maybe 1½ years ago, because I used to pass this corner on my way home to my Belen apartment (Hint #1).
I turned my head when I heard the music and I saw a place full of people.
It was so colorful, all aqua blue and red and yellow and orange and fluorescent green. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. I made a mental note.
It’s funny how long it can take to finally make it to a place you’ve been thinking about visiting for a long time.
I don’t know what kept me from doing it. Probably my routine. I hate routines. I am trying to rid my social life of them. Routines are meant for work.
It’s hard sometimes, though, when you’re social and professional lives intertwine, like mine do.
Maybe I’ve found a solution.
It was a random decision, but I went to this fonda for the first time a couple of Thursdays ago (Hint #3).
It was a bit of a quiet night, I’m sure a big part of that attributed to the fact that December and the nights out to see the Christmas lights and all the parties emptied everyone’s wallets.
In the big booth in the corner, there was a group of people there to celebrate someone’s birthday. My Belgian friend Koen, one of the people I invited to the event on this night (Hint #4), ended up talking to a couple of them and I joined in. They were really nice.
They said Fridays and Saturdays are much better than Thursdays, that there are a lot more people on the weekends nights dancing to the crossover music, and I told them I would go back, but with how long it took me to get there the first time, who knows when that will be?
I met the owner too, Gustavo, a really nice guy. He said the same thing, that I should come back on the weekend.
Come to think of it, the night I first noticed the place, it was a Saturday.
We left shortly after that and the entire birthday group said goodbye and wished us well.
As we walked out the door, I looked back for a second, just to stamp the colors in my mind.
I’ll see you soon, La Parranda de Rumber.