Day 185 – Snow in Bogota
2009/03/13 § Leave a comment
Let’s face it, cocaine is a topic in Colombia, and some seem to come here in the expectation that they encounter a drug-disney-world. And in a way it can be if you are in it for that, but there actually is much more here too.
While the country sure has a bit to go still before it can put all the trouble of its violent past behind it, it does feel as if the direction it is heading towards right now is not too bad. One can be hopeful that Colombia succeeds on its way to becoming a democracy without its past and still present problems with drug cartels, terrorism and corruption.
Saying that everything would be rosy would be exaggerated greatly though. Just two days ago a friend here had his camera stolen during the day, in a busy street, at “knife-point”. Not a pleasant experience, but on the other hand one that can happen in many places, especially in northern South-America. A German girl in Quit, Ecuador, told me of a terrifying experience, when four guys robbed her and a friend with pulled guns pointed at them and molested her while taking all her belongings.
And just while I am writing this one guy from the hostel tells us that he just saw a women being stabbed in her leg with a knife because a guy tried to steal her bike. I guess the fact that my headphones were stolen from my dorm room, to my great annoyance, is a minor incident indeed.
On the other hand, the place is much safer than reports overseas may suggest and the stereotype of shootings in the streets between rival drug gangs is certainly far off. In fact Bogota is a fairly modern and certainly pleasant and in places, like especially the old town, very beautiful. Colombians are renowned for being very friendly and helpful. And the nightlife in Bogota is not bad at all either. Furthermore, Colombian women are known for being beautiful and outgoing, a striking combination, making the country yet more attractive, as many men here seem to think. 😉
As anywhere you have to use some common sense. Saying that, tonight I am going to try to use a night bus- to Medellin (doesn’t that name in itself carry some “fear-potential” 🙂 ). I will report to you later if that was a good idea… or maybe I won’t… 😉