Well, after two full weeks of successfully avoiding Pablo Escobar’s replacements in Medellín, I finally made it to Bogotá. However, before I say anything about Bogotá (or, more interestingly, the wacky way I got here…), I’d be remiss not to recount for you my last weekend in Colombia’s second largest city.

I honestly can’t remember what I did on Friday (not because I was wildly intoxicated, I just think I probably didn’t do anything interesting), so I’ll just skip to Saturday. On Saturday, my local contact and I headed to Sabaneta, a suburb of about 45,000 people located about 15 minutes away from Medellín. Compared to Medellín, which doesn’t really have anything to offer culturally except neon lights and shopping malls, Sabaneta supposedly has some sort of Bohemian art scene. However, I didn’t really see that. Perhaps because I was only there at night, I simply found a lot more neon.

However, besides the same-old (awesome) neon, I’ll admit the city square, which if you’ve been anywhere in South America you know every city must have, was filled with a different kind of crowd. There were more families, less hookers with fake boobs and this guy:

And speaking of families, hookers with fake boobs and that guy, why is it cool that the families of Medellín’s 15-year-olds OK a surgeon to “enhance” their daughters’ chests to make it look like that guy’s eyes are trapped under their skin trying horribly to get out? Seriously, it’s like every girl above 14 looks like she has two baby heads trying to give birth above her ribs. It’s unreal. (Pun intended.) I also saw a great deal of what looked like botched nose jobs. Honestly, a good fourth of the female population looked like shorter, lighter versions of Ru Paul to me, so you can imagine my surprise when I was told Medellín’s women are known for being the hottest in the world, something that a woman from a very different part of the world always loves to hear…

Now, while I didn’t notice any more or less attractive women compared to other cities in the world (maybe I’m biased because I lived in Moscow for so long), I suppose I’m not one to judge whether a woman is “hot” or not in the sexy-time sense in the first place. Regardless, though, I can certainly tell if a girl is attractive or not. And while I think my Soviet heritage probably biases me to the tall, thin, high-cheek-boned look of the Motherland, I saw some very nice-looking, put-together women in Medellín. However, what I discovered via conversations with men is that they don’t care whether a woman is “put-together” or not. That is, women generally pay attention to different things than they do. Perhaps this is a “duh” moment, but for me — someone who toiled at a liberal arts college where most of the men act more feminine than the women (uh, no offense) — this was a revelation. Whereas a man might admire the chick with a clown-load of makeup on dressed in a unitard made of netting if she has a nice-enough body, I find it repulsive. Instead, I’ll notice the girl’s general demeanor first, mainly, her choice of outfit. If her sh*t is tight, I might judge her face next. If it’s natural and she has good bone structure, I’ll probably classify her as attractive. Those, apparently, are the girls the guys don’t notice in Medellín (although not that you’d want them to as that guy above was one of the more attractive male specimens in the region). For instance, the other day on the metro (the only one that exists in Colombia), I noticed a girl was wearing similar footwear to my own. She had paired her boots with a cute, mid-thigh-length sun dress and topped it with a sweatervest. Basically, she was dressed like me. Naturally, I’m all, “This girl has got it going on.” Moreover, she hadn’t messed with her body or face and she radiated a natural beauty. But my male friend I was with didn’t notice her. He was too busy staring at the false-eyelashed hooker standing directly behind the genuinely attractive chick. Sigh. Men are such simple-minded creatures.

And speaking of women, after Sabaneta, my hooker-admiring friend and I ended up meeting a friend of his at an underground lesbian club. Gotta say, the male gays throw a better overall party. The lesbians, on the other vadge hand, were kind of dull. But maybe that’s because most of them were unhappy housewives creeping behind their families’ backs. Welcome to Catholic Colombia. I gotta admit, though, when I first walked in, I felt a little weird. While I’ve been known to go to gay clubs every now and again in the States with my gay friends, I’ve never been to a lesbian club. It was an odd feeling and made me understand more why some heterosexual guys I know don’t like going to gay clubs. I always chalked it up to homophobia on their parts, but now I don’t think so. In my experience, I felt like an imposter. I mean, in the gay clubs, I’m the “fag hag” or whatever. My role is clear. In the lesbian club, though, I’m just a mindf*ck.

And speaking of mindf*cks (I’m chock full of ridiculous segues today), Medellín’s metro system has a line made out of a CABLE CAR.

This seriously blew my mind. But more than just an awesome ride, this cable car line is actually very important as it goes to some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, which allows those people to get down into the city and find jobs. And while the jobs may mostly be as servants for rich people, it’s still money earned honestly rather than in the drug trade. Seriously, little Juanita needs someone to bring her a glass of fresh mango juice while she recovers from her boob job during the summer between the eighth and ninth grades.

Yeah, Medellín is kind of f*cked up. Yet, for whatever reason, I still had a great time and can’t wait to visit again.