Our unenviable stamp of approval

January 22, 2017



I got married recently and was lucky enough to receive many generous gifts from my family and friends but my favourite, if you’re allowed a favourite, was the seven shiny new dairy cows my husband and I received from my father-in-law. You cannot receive a cow as a gift, or seven, if you’re a city person […]

Posted in: Colombia, Valledupar

The day I became a true Colombian myth

January 13, 2017



I was lying next to my husband in bed when he let out a loud and inopportune giggle. “Are you okay?” I said, astonished, because I had been on the verge of sleep. He responded with a roar of laughter that echoed around our otherwise silent room. “I was just remembering,” he chuckled into his pillow. “I […]

Posted in: Colombia

Ten facts that prove Colombia is fictional

October 19, 2016


Welcome to Colombia

My name is Victoria and I have spent the past six years, two months and twenty-four days writing almost 250 stories that have attempted to tell the truth about a country called Colombia, and every single one of them has failed. That’s because the more truthfully a writer writes about Colombia, the more fiction he or […]

Posted in: Bogotá, Colombia

Sandwiches and sour grapes: Will being smart ever pay off in Colombia?

August 28, 2016


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The other day my boyfriend was walking through the lobby of our building when a voice with an English accent that sounded exactly like Prince Charles said, “Good morning, how are you?” and my boyfriend started and turned around to find Juan Carlos, our doorman, grinning from ear to ear. “I’m learning English online,” he said. “I have […]

Posted in: Bogotá, Colombia

Colombian peace: The mother of all dilemmas?

August 17, 2016


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Many years ago one of my editors turned to me, ashen-faced, after an hour-long discussion on the telephone and said, “Heaven help me, that was a mother.” Seeing the confusion on my face she continued, “Give me Government lackeys, drug lords and millionaires any day of the week. As soon as someone picks up the phone and says, […]

Posted in: Bogotá, Colombia

Is it time to start kissing invisible Colombians?

August 9, 2016



When I was eighteen I wanted to travel to two countries on the opposite side of the globe and my father, who has a work ethic, said he would only contribute financially to that dream if I got my ass into the world and worked. He put me in touch with an agency who sent me to […]

Posted in: Bogotá, Colombia

Colombians and phone calls: The love affair of the century?

April 10, 2016


Love affair of the century?

Some months ago I went to visit a Colombian friend who now lives in another country and that’s the sort of trip I like to make because it means comparing notes on how it feels to be a foreigner. My friend has just two issues with his new country. The first is that some of the […]

Posted in: Bogotá, Colombia