1/3/2017- in which Amber is involved in a crash, is detained at the airport and gets put onto her first international naughty list. Welcome to “When Travelling Goes Wrong: The Colombian Edition”.
Bogotá is one of the top 3 most dangerous cities (in the world) for women to travel on public transport. But honestly? The scariest thing on my bus ride was the four-year-old girl staring at me. Had I killed a puppy? Was I ugly? I felt a sense of dread.
The British inside me said, “Say sorry like you do when people walk into you”.
The worn-down traveller inside me said “Don’t look at her! You are strong. You can open a can on your own!”
As always, I was weak. I looked at her. And I smiled. My kindness cupeth overfloweth.
So, what happens when an overly-apologetic English girl finds herself in Bogotá? At night? ALONE? *DUNDUNDUNNN*
Not much to be honest. The hotel was fine. Creepy guy was the standard level of creepy.
Above all, I was impressed with myself. I’d crossed the border from Ecuador in the South-West and managed to avoid being kidnapped. Good times!
The disastrous fun, ironically, happened the next day…
One day in Bogotá – what NOT to do
So what went wrong?
First of all, my cab driver ran over a guy on a bike on the way to the airport. Lots of yelling and screaming “Hijueputa” and “Caremonda”. Neither of them pulled out an AK-47 which, frankly, was a bit disappointing.
Despite this painful detour, I made it to the airport in one piece. “Thank goodness!”, I thought. “I can finally go home!”.
The lady at the arrivals counter thought otherwise:
“We have to detain you”.
It turns out that I forgot to get a visa for my changeover in New York – a task which I had remembered whilst sipping a cocktail in Salento. Obviously, I did not leave my cocktail.
I’m escorted down what I like to call the “naughty hall” – named so because everyone looks at you like you’ve done something really naughty. There’s also a lot of security clearance so I feel important.
As per my instructions, I go on to a computer to apply for my visa. It turns out that I can’t do this because I have no money left on my card. Typical Amber lol. Oops, x2.
Oh wait, I have a debit card! Or not, it expired TODAY. Literally today. Oops, x 3.
If the system wants to f*** me, I’m gonna f*** the system. In my untamed rebellion, I use the expired debit card. The form clears, although I wonder if I’m going to get into trouble for that. I send my sister a message telling her that I love her in case this all goes south.
Okay. Alive: check. Visa: pretend check.
Now it’s security time. I run to security and fling my bag on the rack. As with all security checks, I try to appear innocent even though I have done absolutely nothing wrong. I try to act cool. I try to smile at the security guard. I try to act fast so that I can get my drugs through quickly. Only joking.
After my usual display, my bag is stopped and so am I. A scary-looking woman approaches me.
“What the f*** is wrong now?”, I think to myself. Obviously, I think this. I’m English, so I smile nervously. Did someone use my bag to smuggle drugs? Did the cab driver stash the cyclist in there? Oh boy.
She begins to give me a lecture in Spanish, which basically translates to “You tit. You have items in your luggage that are not allowed. Go back to England you tit.”
She pulls out said items and throws them angrily into the trash can. Were they drugs? I do not know.
“Sign your name here”.
She puts my name down on the naughty list. Damn.
To summarise: During my time in Bogotá, I literally did not get out of the cab OR the hotel… Yet I still managed to scare the s*** out of myself. Or, as my friend Matt put it, I “final chaptered the shit out of that book”. Please make a note to write that on my gravestone whilst I
ignore my responsibilities order another cocktail.
Thanks, Colombia… you cheeky rascal!
If your travels in Colombia fell wayside, please tell me in the comments. This is mainly to make me feel better. Hasta luego, parce!
One day in Bogotá – what NOT to do
[In case you couldn’t be arsed to read the article above, I didn’t see a single thing in Bogotá.
I DID, however, spend 12 hours there. Which, frankly, was more than enough for this disaster-prone nitwit.
If you came here to plan the perfect day in Bogotá, check out this awesome post from Explore Parts Unknown.]