By good fortune of a Colombian world cup qualifying match and a bank holiday clashing together, I managed to grab a whopping 5 consecutive days off work- whoopee! Along with other language assistants from the UK around Colombia, we decided our puente (long weekend) would be spent in the City of the Eternal Spring, Medellin.
Colombia’s second city, once rated as the worlds most dangerous (due to the infamous Medellin Cartel and Pablo Escobar) is in the paísa region, and before I headed off I was told to expect beautiful women; a vibrant and attractive, cosmopolitan city; fantastic weather; wonderful art; and (from my Mum) ‘a lovely wee woman at this square and she has a wee stall where she sells this famous drink, it’s like a slush puppy but it’s famous in Colombia!’.
I arrived at Medellín’s airport around midday. I got myself a wee bite to eat, found the bus stop and hopped on. I arrived at the hostel in good shape, and the lovely receptionist Maria showed me a map of the city, explained all the main tourist things and how to get to them and gave me a brilliant welcome to the city. That evening I set off for the Exíto (a supermarket) and stocked up on a few essential supplies (Water, Recreo biscuits etc.). That evening it thundered and it lightninged (Yeah looks like I’m forgetting english) and it rained so I chillaxed with other guests in the hostel- an international bunch of English, Australians, Kiwis, Americans and even Venezuelans. We watched Ratatouille, one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. (No joke it was nearly as bad as The Three Musketeers, and that’s saying something!)
Friday rolled around, and after 2 months of eating Colombian food, the call of an English fry (not as good as an Ulster fry but beggars can’t be choosers) was too tempting to resist. Out of the blue, around the corner I bumped into some of the other assistants who had just arrived- perfect timing! Rob, Kirsty and CJ were here. So after they dropped their maletas off at the hostel, we got our big fry with delicious baked beans, lovely bacon and scrumptious sausages! It has hopefully quenched my cravings for home foods just a little longer.
That evening Kirsty, Rob and I settled in a little trendy bar in Medellín’s popular Zona Rosa to watch the Colombian match. We had such a ball! Colombia won the match with relative ease, and everyone was in great spirits! Then we met up with CJ and got on for dinner.
The 4 of us then got some very strong cocktails, and played a perfectly innocent game of Never Have I Ever while we awaited for Jay, Steven and amigos to show up. Soon they came in tow with a big group of hot Colombian girls, and the party was in full swing! Several more drinks were had, some people may or may not have taken topless pictures (boys only, of course.) and we all had a hoot. Getting in the party spirit I decided it was time for Rob and I to do a shot. Deciding on my favourite just give us the strongest one (My Mum will kill me when she reads this), it really was a complete laugh-and-a-half when the bartender gave us two huge shots and lit them on fire. Rob’s reaction was priceless- a mixture of fear, intrigue and awe. I managed to down mine in one (using a straw, for any flaming-liquor virgins) but Rob was a little less successful. He was determined to finish it despite my constant reminders that I wouldn’t think any less of him if he couldn’t, but nonetheless after
3 4 goes he finally managed to get it in him.
Alex joined us as the party continued, having come straight from the airport, suitcase in tow. A little later, I joined Rob and Kirsty in the early taxi home. It was a long day for us! Rob took Alex’s bag to bring to the hostel and we shot off. The taxi driver played great music. We arrived at the hostel and waved him off with a “que le vaya bien and set for bed.
As I was brushing my teeth, I could hear Kirsty and Rob talking. “Those feckers are talking about me!” was my first reaction so I went to check out what the fuss was about. F-our-L. We had left Alex’s bag in the boot of the taxi. The receptionist tried to find the licence plate on the CCTV, but to no avail- and we kind of broke down, not knowing what to do. “Surely it’s only clothes… I mean his passport isn’t in there… Is it? and similar questions floated around. Eventually we realised there wasn’t much we could do but hope for the driver to return, so I got us to put our trouble in a bubble and we went to bed.
I awoke to good news- the Taxi driver did indeed return, and despite some bargaining for the bag, it was finally back in the hands of its rightful owner- close one!