Well I made it through my week-long bootcamp. My body is spent. Everything hurts. I’ve already fallen asleep 4-5 times this afternoon/evening. Surprisingly I’m sad it’s over. I almost thought of signing up for 2 more days on Monday and Tuesday before I go. But then I realized I should probably let myself recuperate a smidge and not do any sort of real damage before flying to the other side of the world for a month.

Mission: accomplished in getting my taxes done today. Glad that’s sorted.

On the way there, we happened to pass this tiny little hole-in-the-wall Colombian restaurant. I strained to see through the door as we drove by and spotted buñuelos which are one of my favorite Colombian snacks. I also secretly hoped they had empanadas. Luckily, my mom also loves empanadas and hasn’t had any in a few years, so we stopped in there on our way home to see if it was any good.

They started speaking Spanish to me immediately so I thought I’d try to run with it. I managed to ask all of my questions, make sure they were Colombian empanadas made with corn and not flour. They did. They were made to order. So I ordered a half dozen and a couple of buñuelos for good measure. The woman asked me a few other questions, offered some other options, and asked if we wanted some chips and salsa to hold us over while we waited for the empanadas to be made. I’m still shocked I made it through the whole thing without any English crutches or any real stutters. It was probably one of my few successful complete conversations in Spanish. Though, to be fair, talking about food has always been my forte when it comes to Spanish and ordering empanadas is 100% in my wheelhouse considering they’re probably one of my favorite Colombian foods, if not one of my favorite foods altogether.

Either way, it was a successful adventure. The buñuelos were amazing and while the empanadas weren’t as good as my grandmother’s or my cousin’s, they were still probably about an 8. Not to mention, they were crazy cheap at a bunch a piece. That’s also something I take as a sign of a legitimate establishment - these foods aren’t meant to be expensive. In NYC a fancy empanada is upwards of $3-4 if you’re lucky. No thank you. I’ll take my authentic, cheap foods served with no frills, but are damned tasty. I’ll definitely be going back there when I have a craving.

For now, though, I’m off to watch some YouTube and go to sleep before midnight for the first time in at least a few weeks. And hope I can actually move tomorrow. Right now all signs are pointing to “good luck with that!”