Well i’ll start before I arrived here actually, because in truth, I wasn’t excited at all about this trip. I wasn’t scared or nervous, I felt nothing at all. Just felt like I had a trip to the chemists pencilled in. For me, it didn’t feel like a once in a lifetime trip at all, it felt more of a hindrance than excitement. These ‘amazing’ things that people sometimes do? They don’t always feel amazing. A week before I was due to fly I had absolutely no idea why I was doing it. If it got cancelled, I wouldn’t have cared one bit.
But, it’s not like me to be a miserable cunt, so I won’t bore you with my feelings when you’re just here to find out what I think of Latin Americans & their funny ways. Well, sorry to disappoint, but on morning one of day one, i’m actually enjoying it. It’s an 11 hour flight, which filled me with dread, but I slept most of it & didn’t even watch any of the shite films on board. Something that did baffle me mind, I saw someone take 2 dogs on the plane! No, not in baskets in the holder area, actually walked them onto the plane! I thought Drago Lounge were taking liberties for letting dogs sit where I eat but this is one step beyond! Anyway, I didn’t even notice them on the flight so they weren’t all bad. There was however a screaming baby somewhere, which made me wish that I had brought my Rottweiler on board.
Apart from that, the flight was fine, had an empty seat in the middle so I could let it all spread, but the guy next to the window kept saying ‘Si’ & ‘Gracias’ to the air hostesses when they came round, which made me feel like I had to aswell. I wouldn’t mind adopting the lingo usually but listen love, I can still see the Severn Bridge. You adopt my language until we’re 100 miles out to sea & then we’ll call it even.
Got to Bogota at 4am local time, which meant I planned to hang about until sunrise at least because fuckkkk strolling through Colombia in the dead of night with a backpack on. That would be one instance of victim blaming you’d have to allow. Listen to this though, i’m in South America, the land of the tropics & bums in thongs…and it’s 6 degrees celsius when I get there. Six. I just left 5 degrees 11 hours ago! I was tempted to get them to turn the plane around under the trade descriptions act you know. Bogota is known to be a cold city apparently, but imagine living in South America & you chose the cold bit. You’d just move wouldn’t you?
I found a Mcdonalds breakfast & sat around for daybreak anyway, finally heading into the city about 7am, still cold, full of traffic, but light at least.
I get to my hotel & it’s locked, no surprise there at 7am, these people have a 2 hour nap in the afternoon don’t they? They don’t understand that there are two 7 o’clocks in a day. I bang the door because i’m stuck with all my bags on a side street that I am totally unaware of. I was a walking ‘MUG ME’ sign for any criminal coming home from the nightshift at this point. Some traveller who was no doubt up playing the acoustic guitar let me in & showed me around, so I left my bag in a safe space & headed out. I knew there was a viewpoint in the area so I just start walking…not even 500 yards into my first stroll of Colombia, a homeless guy shouts at me from across the street, and it’s only me & him on it. Alarm bells here. Luckily, I dropped a spanish phrase on him…’No hablo Espanyol’ (I don’t speak Spanish) & kept it stepping. He nodded and kept it stepping also. I felt so empowered that I felt like following him & telling him to ‘say something else in Spanish you Puta, I got all the answers’…but then remembered who I was & let go of the idea.
Finally get to this viewpoint via cablecar, because this altitude is killing me & it’s a 90 minute walk. So fuck that. Nobody told me about the altitude, i’m just out here bareback with my popcorn lungs from back home. I knew I wasn’t just unfit & lying because the local exercise up there & they were panting like a shitting dog. I saw one woman coming up the hill toward me & I immediately thought ‘crackhead and/or prostitute’ because she had a tank top on, sweat dripping down her face & she looked on her last legs. I soon realised when I had to walk that little incline that she wasn’t infact a crackhead, that’s just how you look after walking up it with little tp no air in your pipes. There’s a church at the top, so I went & had a little sit down in there & watched the locals praying, all very cultural isn’t it?
No wonder Escobar got away with it for so long, fuck chasing anyone around this place, your lungs would pack in like a old raisin after 20 yards of light exercise.
By the way, this all happened before midday, so who knows what comes next?