Fake it ’til you make it: The “Foreign” Colombians

August 9, 2015


What do you mean: "Where am I from?"

I was once asked out on a date by a guy who was half-Argentinian. I mean, he said his mother was from Argentina and he had that lovely slurring “juh” accent all Argentines have, except when I mentioned this to a good, Colombian, friend of mine he said: “Darling, you do realise that guy’s more Bucaramanga […]

Posted in: Bogota, Colombia

Colombia: Rum Country?

June 21, 2015


The future's bright?

A few years ago I was sent to Geneva to write an article and there isn’t an awful lot to do in Geneva, so I ended up in a chocolatier’s workshop, stuffing my face. The elderly chocolatier wore a grey three-piece suit and carried a large gold watch in his pocket, on a chain (I […]

Posted in: Bogotá, Colombia

The Bitter Truth About Brie

May 28, 2015



No-one ever knocks on the door at night. In fact, no-one ever visits at night, but if they do, they’re announced by the doorman, portero in Colombia, whose job it is to formally announce all visitors, from the plumber to the priest. It’s a bit like the way young girls were announced at London debutante balls in […]

Posted in: Bogotá, Colombia

Thoughts on Freedom

April 28, 2015


Rest in Peace

About a month ago, a man died. He was 91-years-old, cheerily wrinkled. He had very nice teeth. And ever since he died, I’ve thought an awful lot about him. Which is weird because until the day he died, I hadn’t thought about him at all. The man was Lee Kuan Yew, the former Singapore leader. […]

Posted in: Bogotá, Colombia

Books, books, all around… that none of us will read?

April 17, 2015


How many does it take to become a bestseller?

Writers get alarmed by business meetings, especially when their books get crushed into numbers, pesos and spreadsheets to such an extent, they’re in danger of disappearing altogether. I stared out of the window, wondering how long my Banana Skin Flip Flops writers’ block would last. No-one has ever reduced BSFF to numbers, pesos and spreadsheets, by […]

Posted in: Bogota, Colombia

The Unbearable Art of Sameness

March 27, 2015


Camera killed the canvas star?

Years ago I went to MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, you know, the one with what’s-his-face’s shark in formaldehyde and the only piece of art that has stuck with me forever was a painting called Arabs Crossing The Desert. I paused in front of that painting and I haven’t moved […]

Posted in: Bogota, Colombia

BSFF: Clichés, Banality and Inferiority Complexes

March 21, 2015


Me. No, wait. I think that's Rudyard Kipling.

The older you get, the more the line blurs between good and evil. But, if you’re lucky, you also learn that you can take something you always considered an evil and turn it into a force for good. In my case, that’s doubt and criticism, both of which I loathe and both of which, apparently, […]

Posted in: Bogotá, Colombia

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