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

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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

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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

Let this be the year I finish last

February 13, 2016

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Kill you Oscar... or convert you?

The shiny new year that is 2016 has been with us for what? 44 days now and already, I’m having a bit of a weird one. Today I was awarded Colombian residency. By the end of the year we’ll probably be at peace. A year of change it’s going to be then, for my adopted […]

There is a campsite in the Serengeti

January 14, 2016

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There is a campsite in the Serengeti where the lions arrive at night. They sleep under the tourists’ vehicles, where it’s warm, and when the tourists see them in the morning they are afraid to leave their tents and have their breakfast, just in case the lions are yet to have theirs. Once the lions […]

Posted in: Africa, Serengeti

The invisible Bogotá demon that could teach us a thing or two about life

January 1, 2016

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There is an invisible demon that haunts cities like Bogotá. It kills slowly, swelling your brain, dilating your blood vessels, leaking fluid into your lungs. It crushes your vascular system, pumps you full of blood clots and then it sits back and laughs as the very fibres of your being begin to hemorrhage. That demon is high […]

Posted in: Bogotá, Colombia