The raindrops crash against the windows. They hit it with thumping noises and then slide down, leaving a thin trail of water quickly replaced by more drops. Each drop is like a little soldier defeated in its effort to invade my home. Maybe one drop on its own is not powerful enough, but millions of them could conquer the window, filtering through its edges and knocking out the glass. I’ve seen on TV how hurricanes can blow over houses and uproot trees. A hurricane looks like a rainstorm mixed with a powerful blast of wind, but they haven’t taught us about natural disasters in school.
Puddles have grown at the edges of the road outside, joining up and becoming small rivers. The water seems like it’s almost level to the sidewalk. People wouldn’t be able to walk among the cars stuck in traffic now. They would get their shoes and socks wet. Two cars have broken down right in front of the entrance to our building. Their parking lights are on and the lower part of their tires seems covered by water. Their drivers won’t leave the cars in the middle of the rain because they would get soaking wet and probably catch a pneumonia, ending up in the hospital.
Abuelo repeats all the time that Bogotá is built to the edges of every mountain surrounding it and that the roads have never been big enough for the growing traffic. When he speaks with anyone about the history of Bogotá, he says that there used to be a lot of lakes and rivers where there are barrios now. When it began to expand, the government built on top of the Sabana de Bogota, which Abuelo said was a beautiful, green valley. When he was young, Bogotá was only what we call “El Centro” although it’s not in the middle of the city anymore. The surrounding barrios didn’t exist. Instead, Abuelo used to spend his school vacations in these areas where there were lots of streams and nature. He used to go fishing and fly kites with his friends, but now we don’t even feel the wind because it’s stopped by tall buildings.
When we take the bus to go to El Centro with Abuela, I only see grey buildings and everything feels dangerous. One must be careful crossing the roads. We normally cross the roads running. In general, grownups say that there is no point in trusting traffic lights. The streets are also full of potholes and manhole covers go missing all the time. The pavement is cracked everywhere and sometimes it could be dangerous to step on the cracks, in case the slabs give way and you end up on the dirty ground or break an ankle. It happened to Doña Mariela, the neighbor downstairs.
Both my Dad and Abuela have told me that being alone in the streets of Bogotá is very dangerous. I don’t understand why everyone in my family spends so much time away from home. Yet if they can go out at any time of day or night and nothing happens, then I’m not sure they’re telling the truth about the dangers in the city. Abuela says that it is different for women and girls because we are weaker and cannot defend ourselves. There are a lot of homeless people in El Centro and they would try to rob us and could take us away.
No one in my family has told me what I should do if I ever got lost after being left alone in the apartment because the family members didn’t come back home at the end of the day. I think it is also dangerous to be so alone. What should I do if I end up being taken away by a flooding river? I know my home phone number by heart. Just in case rescuers need it to locate my family.
The rain is loud but it’s also like a kind of silence. Maybe that’s why many people like taking a siesta when it rains. I don’t sleep during the day because I’m not a baby. Also, if I take a siesta, I wake up feeling as if I had two short days instead of a long one.
But now I feel hypnotized by the sound of the rain. It is like a wall of sound that blocks any other sound. I can barely hear Dora’s radio program or the hissing iron. The rain is taking over my world or perhaps it is taking over the world in general.
(…to be continued…)
Transadaptation Volume 4 – Material Dissent
January: A Blinding Light and Then, All Darkness – Jonay Quintero Hernández (Spain)
February: The Opportunist – Lauren Voaden (United Kingdom)
March: A Stranger in my City – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)
April: A South African Soundtrack – Sarah-Leah Pimentel (South Africa)
May: Full Circle – Ina Maria Vogel (Germany)
June: La Lluvia en Bogotá – Adriana Uribe (Columbia)
July: Freedom – Krisztina Janosi (Hungary)
August: A Bus Ride – Svetlana Molchanova (Russia)
September: Transcendence – Armine Asryan (Nane Sevunts) (Armenia)
October: Motherhood – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)
November: Nine Days – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)
December: Open – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)
Background – Context
Transadaptation Volume 3: Evanescent – Young Adulthood Transadapted, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2022)
Transadaptation Volume 2: Conceived – Childhood Transadapted, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2021)
Transadaptation Volume 1: In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)
Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)
La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)
The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)
L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)
From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)
Emblems and stories on the international community
Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world
Credits (left side top to bottom, middle, right side top to bottom)
Bogota, Columbia – La candelaria 3 – Simlinger (Shutterstock), Bogota, Columbia – La candelaria 2 – Simlinger (Shutterstock), Bogota, Columbia – At the station – Simlinger (Shutterstock), Bogota, Columbia – Black shadows – Nicolas Ladino Silva (Unsplash), Bogota, Columbia – The street – Mikhail Mokrushin (Unsplash), Bogota, Columbia – At home – Alex Mercier (Unsplash)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed