Spin the globe. Once! Twice! Now... stop!
It´s a big-city Metro station, rush hour. The mosaic Virgen La Senora del Silencio demurely watches arriving passengers. Riders in suits and tight jeans pass Metro custodians in maid uniforms of white dresses with aprons and white tights (salaries unknown). Metro floors are as spotless as their dresses -- so clean they gleam. Shining! Like the smiles Metro´s construction brought to some locals´faces 15 years ago when it first enabled expanded employment options. Now a gondola-like system extends from Metro´s two ends, gliding over stairs and winding, steep dirt roads that formerly served as the only avenues for displaced persons in high-elevated, low-class neighborhoods.
Passengers queu behind Metro employees with stop signs. A PA politely reminds riders to stay behind the yellow line. (A local joke says, if you want to limit movement, draw a yellow line.) The train that arrives within 10 minutes bears the name of local artist Fernando Botero, as well as a Metro ad: a teenage boy and teenage girl face each other, eyes closed, lips puckered, accompanied by the caption, ¨Metro is a place to be met.¨Inside the train car are commercial ads, small posters of local artists and authors, and a bio of a bootstraps-type beloved former president. He might have liked the Metro as much and supported its developing partnership with local bus lines that riders use to supplement its three lines. He might have also suggested that the Metro be open past 11pm.
A few minutes more -- the train stops -- Les deseamos un buen viaje -- and riders bustle out, past the welcoming Metro library outpost and student photo exhibit that explores the violence of deprivation and the passion that endures.
It´s the end. Let´s go! Thanks to two nice Colombians for the Metro tour! Spin the globe a final time to leave the cultura Metro in Medellin, Colombia, and return to the first world where the Ford and Chrysler freeways dominate Detroit and old cars are involved in fatal crashes in DC.