At 2:00 AM, my new Argentinian friends simply will not let me go to bed. After a few hours drinking in the park, my time was up. No, I am not boring. Yes, I like to sleep. No, I’m not too sensitive to drinking Aguardiente. Yes, I like waking up early.
Of course, I end up staying out until 4 to appease the Argentinians (after being called a five year old)… and regretted it at 9 when I woke up for my morning plans. I find a constant struggle between experiencing a new culture’s nightlife and enjoying mornings while abroad. Often times I find myself defending mornings. I guess most 20-somethings are not as fascinated with morning culture as me.
In Chicago, I enjoyed joining the masses running along Lakeshore drive before work (even when I had zero obligations until noon) or waiting an hour on weekends for some of the best brunch spots with a group of girlfriends.
Each city has their own set of morning rituals and I like to be a part of it. Mornings in Melbourne consisted of anything active, sweet scones and surprisingly good coffee shops. In Moscow, I witnessed hoards of fashionable Muscovites wait for their Starbucks during the week and crowd around park benches or café tables sharing a bottle of vodka on Saturdays. Bangkok weekday mornings brought men and women rushing to work drinking fruity breakfast concoctions out of plastic bags.
After spending mornings in the above cities and plenty more, I can confidently say I have found my new favorite place to wake up. Medellín mornings are full of parrots flying through the park and perfect weather. Something about the sun coming through the mountains gives the city a remarkable glow. Old men play cards at a panadería, feasting on baked goods. People crowd around the street vendors selling piping hot “tinto” coffee in tiny green plastic cups. I see more than one person sit on the curb drinking cup after cup, similar to taking shots of liquor. Everyone seems happy in the morning, not at all angry to be up for work or school. While traveling, I surely want to enjoy the nightlife, but I can’t miss out on these mornings.