Narrowly missed being shot...damn!

Trip Start Aug 07, 2008
Trip End Dec 10, 2009

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Flag of Colombia  ,
Friday, March 6, 2009

My time in Bogota is coming to a close, after almost 5 days - and itīs been good. Seems that unlike Central American capitals, the South American ones are actually well worth a visit.

On the first evening in the hostel, some model agency girls were asking around for 8 gringo guys and 2 girls to act as extras in the Colombian soap īLas Detectivasī - apparently a Latin American Charlieīs Angels type production. The thought of 3 hot Latin chicks in catsuits (and the 80.000 pesos for 4 hours work - 4 nights accom, basically) meant we up for an 8am start the next day.

It was THE most boring thing i have done in my life - 5 hours of sitting in a restaurant pretending to eat and talk whilst the retarded Argentinian lead actor forgot his lines again and again and again. Needless to say, no hot chicks in site either. Well, one, the lead actress, but she seemed like a super-bitch.

On my table was a 20 year old who had been here for 2.5 months teaching business English (and hadnīt learnt ANY Spanish - twat!!!) and a 55 year old local lady, also an extra, who only spoke Spanish. Needless to say, apart from inquiring how much it pays (1.2m almost tax free for a 35h-week...) i ignored him and spent the 5 hours practicing my Spanish. Basically time well spent, as we got into a heated debated about religion (well, a monologue that i could occasionally chip in to but never change the course of) - standard issue brainwashed Catholic she was.

2) The Gold Museum was cool, as was the interesting Police museum (free private guide, Pablo Escobarīs stuff is there too). The demonstration in Plaza Bolivar was amusing, the city is nice, cosmopolitan and pretty safe. We never found īZona Industrialī near Portal del Norte (itīs basically the place to buy untaxed western goods that have been smuggled in) despite trying. The Trans Milenio mass truant system worked well (take note London...) and the people were friendly.

3) The Salt Cathedral...was weird. Itīs not often you visit something with such a descriptive name and are surprised by what you actually see. Itīs not old...itīs really only 10 years. Lots of religious BS about/background, modern design, blue LED lights... The 3D movie was crap, except the last 2 mins (i want the other 15 minutes of my life back) and it had been turned into a bit of a Disneyland. Maybe when itīs old, in 300 years, itīll be what i expected. Worth a visit, but itīs certainly an odd one.

4) We also popped by the Ļbullet proof tailorĻ in the hope of getting shot whilst wearing one of his trademark garments (he is basically the Armani of bullet proof jackets/clothing - they even do a bulletproof t-shirt!). I turned up under the guise of being a banker on vacation (kinda true) with my lawyer friend (actually true) ... as i doubted theyīd deal with tourists. Turns out we were right. We were shepherded directly into the plush boardroom, shown videos, shown the products, almost measured and the we sat down to discuss detailed mission and operational requirements!

We fabricated an amazing amount of bullshit in that hour - our careers, requirements, where we were staying, plans...and ultimately excuses. Thank god we had a bit of a business background and lingo between us! Seems they bought it too - as unlikely as it was that weīd actually buy something, their clients range from government to celebrities, politicians to stars, criminals to business people - so why not us? And, even if not, business is business and we might need one in future - and given what weīd seen, they seemed like THE business to get it from. We left clutching business cards, brochures and other materials.

And they apologised profusely for not being able to shoot us there and then (seriously!) as the only person who was allowed to do this was the owner and founder of the firm. He was in Hong Kong attending a major security conference...undoubtedly busy shooting people that might actually need his products!

Off to Manizales in the Zona Cafetera tonight, 8 hours away.
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