Crazy Cartagena

My goal after volunteer duty today was to go to the gym and do laundry. The plan was to take the bus to the mall with the gym and then walk or taxi to a place I found online called Beer and Laundry. I know I am from New Jersey and I wanted to do 2 of the 3 Jersey Shore things minus tanning. Lol I get the irony. But crazy Cartagena had other plans for this Jersey girl today.

Getting Laundry Done

I did some extra research this morning and discovered Beer and Laundry closes at 6pm so I wouldn’t have time for the gym and clean clothes. Priorities of not smelling won out.

So then the plan became to take an uber from near the foundation  (I just started uber here yesterday and it’s ok) and go straight to the laundry place. I leave the foundation at 330pm so should have lots of time!

Cartagena is crazy however and boy did I learn today to be ready for anything!

Crazy Cartagena Clears the Streets

I went to the furniture store that I can walk into to use my phone to request the uber pickup. This store, called Jamar, is on a very busy main street with lots of traffic and people. I left the store to wait on the sidewalk.

Seconds later, there’s all this yelling on one of the buses in the road. I couldn’t see much because the bus was in the inside lane blocked by other vehicles. A bunch of kids (late teens-ish) ran from the street onto the sidewalk in a group. I backed away as much as I could, especially when I saw one of them had a brick and they all started chasing the aforementioned bus. The bus was stopped in traffic so they didn’t have far to go.

I walked quickly the other way but couldn’t go too far because my uber was coming. So of course, because I stupidly didn’t go far, the kids all came tearing back by me. They ran into a supermarket, very quickly followed by a lot of police. Everyone pointed to the store for the police.  I really have no idea how all those police got there so quickly!

Still Waiting for Uber

So remember I am still waiting for an uber. I know that’s not important but duh I still need clean clothes! So I check my phone to see where it is. He cancelled on me! Ugh! Seems to be common here. Anyway, a woman and her little girl were walking by and warned me to hide my phone! As they do here! Which is very nice of strangers to look out for me! But I’m thinking “there’s twenty something cops, some in riot gear, and I STILL can’t look at my phone!?” Ugh.

The cops grabbed 2 of the kids from the store and surrounded them on the corner by Jamar. It’s 33 degrees out and some of them are in full body armor and more are showing up in trucks and jeeps and it’s like a war on the street for 2 kids (well they caught 2 but there were originally at least 4).

Uber Finally Arrives

So, after 3 attempts (all using my phone inside my bag) I finally got an uber driver who actually picked me up. In that time, more cops arrived, they took the kids away (both had cuts on their faces that weren’t there when I first saw them) and a bunch of the cops were still there getting frappes from a street vendor. I got one too! Fresa was the flavor, which is strawberry. Delicious although it gave me an ice cream headache more than once.

The uber driver finally picked me up at like 415pm and I told him the story of what happened  (so my Spanish isn’t too terrible!). He explained that the giant police presence is necessary because if they aren’t there people may join in with the hoodlums. Also the football stadium is nearby and there’s a game tonight so I guess hoodlums are likely.

Update: one of the other Uber drivers pretended he picked me up and charged me 5000 cop for a fake ride! That’s more than $2 and I have already disputed it! Update #2: Uber has deleted the false charge.

Getting Clean Clothes

So I did make it to Beer and Laundry at about 440pm. The women running the joint are amazing and doing my wash super swift so I will have it by 610pm.

Never A Dull Moment in Cartagena

So much happened in such a short amount of time! This afternoon was definitely a reminder to be ready for anything! Of course I don’t have any photos because I can’t use my phone in the street!

Update #3: I took some photos of the scene from my taxi this morning  (you thought I would take the bus?!) So you can see the location where the action went down yesterday.

Jamar Cartagena
The Jamar Store where the action went down on Thursday
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Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, blogging about the places we visit and the adventures we have. Love hiking, cycling, scuba, animals and adventure.

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