Pissing Over Medellin…

***Note to the Reader: This particular post, “Pissing Over Medellin,” contains explicit language that I hope is not gratuitous, but rather, central to the telling of this particular story.  If you’re offended by strong language, then by all means, don’t read!  For everyone else ~ enjoy this little tale of the fateful day I arrived in Medellin…

At the moment, I sit on a roof terrace overlooking Medellin, the city made (in)famous by Pablo Escobar, sipping my coffee.

But how I got to Medellin, on a beautiful, yet awful bus ride from Guatape…..that, is another story…

Pissing Over Medellin, Travel Guide for Guatape in Colombia, Girl Who Travels the World

Me during happier times, in Guatape, Colombia….

Pissing Over Medellin…

We’re stopped on the edge of a highway, overlooking the sprawling city of Medellin, that lies way below us, at the foot of many valleys.  Fifty motorcycles are lined up to our right.  Like us, they’re waiting to pass a construction barricade, about thirty minutes outside of Medellin.  A Colombian man with a blue baseball cap is on the side of the highway, relieving himself next to a fairly unbothered-looking cow.

Just watching pisses me off. 

Pun intended.

For the last twenty minutes, my urge to pee has grown from mild desire, to outright panic mode.  My body randomly convulses, trying to hold this it in.  I might be involuntarily groaning…..I’m not sure; the consciousness is getting a little foggy.  And I’ve had to squeeze my Kegel muscles so tight that: if anything were inside of me right now ~ I just might cut off [its/his?!] air supply.

That’s pretty damn tight.

I want to jump out the window & make a run for it, find the nearest bush ~ or even some concrete, & feel that aching moment of relief as I relieve myself.

But I can’t.  

I’m stuck inside a bus with a driver who won’t let me off the bus.  Moments before, in desperation, I’d pushed my way up to the front of the bus.  “Senor! Necessita banos!!”  Which was said while frantically pointing outside.  He looked at me blankly, not taking much interest.

I have zero embarassment at this point; the need is too great.  So to really drive the point home, I point down to my crotch, then out the window.  NECESSITA BANOS, SENOR!!!”

He just shrugs his shoulders, & nods his head side-to-side.  “No.”

Por que no?!”  Like I’m really going to understand his answer.  He replies in Spanish, & I have no clue what he’s saying.  But the answer is definitely, “NO.”  No one knows when this barricade will lift, & I suspect he’s telling me that, when it does lift: he’s leaving.  And if I’m on the side of the road, peeing ~ he’ll leave without me.  At this point, I’m willing to roll the dice & take my chances. 

Apparently, he is not.

Pissing Over Medellin, Girl Who Travels the World

This is where I want to be: on the side of the road, pissing over Medellin.

The Story Continues…

I return to my seat.  While walking back, I realize that standing actually gives me some relief, so I remain standing.  That is, until the bus driver glares at me.

We’re not really seeing eye-to-eye today, me & this gentleman.

I return to my seat, climbing over the poor guy sitting next to me.  Almost immediately, I regret this decision.  Sitting places so much pressure on my now-full bladder that I almost squirt right then & there.  For some reason, I begin to laugh so hard I can’t breathe.  Is this what it means to be hysterical…?!  In my imagination, I can see myself pissing all over this guy’s bus, & for some reason….the thought brings me immense delight.  “How do ya like them apples, SENOR??!”  I can’t stop laughing. 

Until I look at the next guy sitting next to me, who’s giving me a very worried side-eye; he’s trying not to stare, & is probably worried about my mental health.  Frankly, I don’t blame him.  Not a bit.

So….How Did All This Happen, Anyway? 

Just how exactly did I get myself into this particular predicament, you might wonder ~ while traveling solo in Colombia?

Cut to two hours prior: I’m at my favorite little cafe, having breakfast in Guatape, a town I’d grown to LOVE, with its bright streets & colorful murals.

Pissing Over Medellin, Girl Who Travels the World, Guatape

Brightly-colored shops in Guatape, Colombia.

How the Morning Started…

On that particular day, I started with a double espresso.  Then, I guzzled two bottles of agua frio, washed down by 16-ounces of mango juice ~ the specialty at the cafe that day.  The owner offered it as a a gift on my last day in town, which was very kind.

Now, two hours later: all that liquid is swishing around, looking for a simple chance to evacuate.  LIKE RIGHT NOW.  Many times in life I’ve had to pee ~ I think we all have.  But this time is different.  I’ve never felt anything like this before or since.  Just trying to hold in this tidal wave is excruciating.

Because this sh#t just ain’t gonna wait.

We’ve been stopped now, due to construction, for about fifteen minutes.  Or my mind could be playing tricks on me…maybe its been five minutes, or thirty minutes.

I just don’t know.

But my bladder knows.  And she will not wait.

The crowd of motorcycles on our right of us is now approaching one-hundred strong.  If I have to pee, I will not only need to pee in front of them, but then I’ll need to walk back through them to get back on the bus.  Unless the barricade lifts before my return.  In which case, my bus ~ along with all the motorcycles, will roar the hell outta there, leaving me by myself on the side of the road.  And what would I do then….hitchhike down to Medellin??!  And hope to find my baggage at the bus terminal….?

Don’t hitchhike in South America!”  I’d heard this warning soooo many times during my South America research.  And to potentially be hitchhiking outside a (formerly) dangerous city that I’d never been to??  Was I crazy?!

I don’t know.  

But I do know, sometimes you just have to say, “F#ck it.”

Pissing Over Medellin, Colombia Travel, Girl Who Travels the World

What would Pablo do?

The longer I wait, the more likely the barricade would lift.  I can’t seem to sit still at this point, the pressure is too intense.  So I grab my purse, sling my jacket over my shoulder, & head up to the front of the bus….again.  At this point, I’m channeling my inner Escobar.  Up at the front, I point to the doors & say, “Abierto!  Por favor.  NECESSITAS BANOS!!!!!”

The driver simply shrugs ~ but this time, he opens the doors.  The look on his face says, “If the barricade lifts, I’m leaving.  Without you.”

And just like that….I’m out!  I’m free!!!  The happiness & sheer joy I feel is indescribable.

Making my way through the motorcyclists.  “Excuse me!  Pardon me!  Permisso!”  Get out ‘da way!!!

I come to the edge of the highway.  There’s a barbed wire fence.  DAMN.  And that same unbothered cow stares at me from the other side of it.

F####CK.  IT.

I look around.  There’s a smaller guard rail to the left that I can hop over.  But it means I’ll be pissing in front of EVERYONE: all the motorcyclists, my entire bus, the gazillions of cars trapped here….everyone.

I make my decision in about half a second.  This is war!!!  It’s an outright assault on my bladder!  Who cares if a bunch of Colombians I’ll never see again watch me pissing on the side of the road??! 

If you ever get desperate enough, I promise you: you just won’t care.

So I leap over the guardrail, drop my stuff, pull my shorts down so fast & start pissing so hard, I feel like a horse just letting it rip.  The relief is so powerful, so heady, so immediate ~ I don’t even care if I piss on my own two feet.

Pissing Over Medellin, Girl Who Travels the World

Medellin, Colombia.

The Final Act

I see Will Ferrell beside me, in my heady hallucinations, wearing a burgundy suit straight out of “Anchor Man,” calmly remarking: “Surrounded by the Colombian hills & with the faint aroma of coffee & rich mahogany, Noelia squats here, taking a long, sweet pisser on the side of the highway, right above the fine, fine city of Medellin…”

Induced by relief such as I have never known, I imagine the godfather of Medellin himself even, Pablo Escobar, is just to my left, smoking a cigar, with a half-grin on his face.

You’re pissing on my city, Noelia.”

Si, Pablo.

He gives me a blank stare.  Then shrugs, lips turned down, & nods his head as if to say, “F#ck it. Medellin has seen worse.”  Then wanders away, back down the highway, towards the city.

Rarely have I ever been so happy about anything ~ ever, in my life.  That’s how good this is.  I pee for so long, I wonder if the bus will leave ~ not because the barricade has lifted, but simply because this is the longest pee anyone, anywhere, has ever taken.

Pissing Over Medellin, Girl Who Travels the World

Never have I been so happy in my life.  RELIEF!!!!!

As the danger passes, adrenaline no longer floods my body, & I actually manage to take a good, hard look at the city below me ~ spread out across valleys of green hills.  The cow shuffles beside me.

Tall buildings, the haze that hangs in the air, green hills that all slope down….down….into the massive valley that is Medellin.  It’s all in front of me, as I finish the most rewarding, the most sought-after, hard-won pee of my life. 

And I realize: I’m pissing over Medellin.

I think Pablo would understand.  And I think he would’ve done the same.

***Footnote to the Reader: I made it back to the bus in time, minutes before the construction barricade lifted.  As relieved as I’ve ever been.  

xoxo Noelia

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