Life on the funny farm

“Don’t go near that duck,” my housemate ordered, as we walked to our corner shop.

“It’s a psycho.”

I watched the huge bird with some confusion as it waddled along the pavement, squawking angrily.

The four of us live in a two-storey house in the middle of an urban area in central Bogota.

Although I wouldn’t quite call it a housing estate, our neighbourhood is certainly residential.

We are surrounded by busy main roads, shops, hair salons, launderettes and cafes.

I gave the duck a wide berth.

Two days later it was back in the road again.

Jonathan, Mila and I were forced to scurry past on our way to a local restaurant.

“Be careful of that duck,” Jonathan warned.

“It can count.

“It might not do anything now, but it attacked Mila the other day because she was on her own.”

I didn’t say a word but dutifully walked a large loop around the bird.

That afternoon I went for a run in Parque Simon Bolivar, one of my favourite places in Bogota.

It is an oasis of green, surrounded by the endless hustle and bustle of a busy, modern city.

I was running quite happily when I heard a small commotion in the bushes to my right.

A flustered chicken soon scuttled past, apparently being pursued by a large, grey rabbit.

When did I turn into Alice in Wonderland?

But once I noticed these strange chinks in Bogota’s ‘modern metropolis’ armour, I couldn’t stop.

I realised just how many ragged horse and carts were working the streets, trotting merrily beside the taxis, buses and shiny Transmilenio system.

Colombia’s capital gives every impression of a hip and trendy city, with its glamorous coffee-guzzling workforce and its thriving cultural scene.

But I’m convinced there’s something funny happening down on the farm.

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