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Mysteries of Colombia

When I’m in Quindío, Colombia -- I’m in my eighth week on this visit -- a favorite evening-plan for me is to get some food for my apartment at Ryori Japanese restaurant and then play blackjack across the street at the Río Casino.

Tonight, as on earlier occasions, I stopped in and ordered takeout at Riori.  While they cook the food, I stop next door to the Laureles supermarket and pick up groceries for the apartment, including sugar-free preserves .. yogurts .. produce .. and sometimes the fixin’s for lox and bagels.

The plan was to put the groceries in my Chevy Sail .. pick up the cooked food at Riori .. and then go play 21 at the casino.

Later, when I left the casino and picked up up my car in the underground parking area, it was 9:30 p.m.  I went directly to the apartment building and started unloading the groceries.

That’s when I realized I had forgotten to pick up the take-out at Riori’s.

They’re open till ten, so I decided to bring the groceries upstairs and go back to the restaurant, about a five-minute drive .. with traffic unlikely at that hour.

I punched my floor number into the elevator at the underground level of my apartment-building’s parking area.

The elevator didn’t go directly to my floor.  It stopped at lobby level first, and that’s when I got a surprise.  A delivery joven from Riori’s was there.  He was holding up a bag that contained my take-out order of several dishes.

It was a surprise because I had not told anyone at the restaurant where I am staying this month.

How could they be delivering my forgotten food order .. when they couldn’t know when I would finish at the casino and arrive back at the undisclosed apartment location?

¿Cómo es posible? I asked the joven.

He was mute on that point.  He told me in Spanish I could pay for the food mañana.

I didn’t press the point.  I tipped him and continued up to my floor in the elevator with my groceries and now my Japanese food take-out.  I was figuratively scratching my head trying to figure out what had transpired.

cccmedia in Quindío

Speculation:

Here’s how I think that Riori restaurant tracked down my location and got me my food tonight....

The restaurant owner/hostess remembered the first place, a hotel, where I had stayed at the start of this Quindío trip -- XYZ Hotel.  I must have mentioned the hotel’s name.

She called the hotel and asked whether such-and-such Gringo was still there.

The reception desk at the hotel told her I had moved down the street to my current apartment building. 

Then, during the last hour of Riori’s operating hours, the hostess sent the joven (HOH-ben) to try to deliver my food.  The restaurant was probably not busy on a Tuesday night and the joven may not have had any other deliveries.  So why not take a flyer on looking for me.

I speculate that when he got to the apartment-building, the joven found I was not there yet.  So he waited.

Shortly thereafter, when I drove into the underground parking at the apartment building -- and this I know did happen -- I found that a gate-bar had been lowered, blocking my motorized access to the lowest level where my assigned parking space is located.  A guard within my sight refrained from immediately letting me drive to the parking space.  He got on his telephone.

Instead of lowering the gate-bar -- and this is an educated guess -- he was calling the apartment-building reception area upstairs .. and alerting the front desk that I had arrived back at the building in my car.

At this point, I speculate that the front desk told the joven, who was waiting in the lobby for my return, that he could proceed to the lobby elevators.

He went there .. and pressed the up-button.

That’s how the joven could have been waiting for me .. as the elevator door opened at lobby-level with me inside it .. at which time the joven surprised me by presenting me with the food I had forgotten to pick up at Riori’s.

cccmedia in Quindío

Well, when you are a member of the farándula you get the celebrity treatment!

I recommend putting your perishables in the fridge before playing blackjack.

OsageArcher :

when you are a member of the farándula* you get the celebrity treatment!

I think there’s truth in that.  In a middle-size Colombian town or city, a friendly Gringo who speaks Spanish is appreciated .. and may get celeb treatment from time to time.

Also, do you remember TV’s “Cheers”?  When the character played by George Wendt entered the bar, the regulars would call out “Norm!”  When I enter the table-games pit area at Rio Casino, one of the regulars almost always calls out my Colombian nickname.

cccmedia in La Zona Cafeteria


*Show business or ‘of celebrity’ -- Wordreference.com

cccmedia :

...one of the regulars almost always calls out my Colombian nickname.

What is your Colombian nickname?  Just so we will know when visiting various pueblos if your (in)famous reputation has preceded us?  :D

OsageArcher :
cccmedia :

...one of the regulars almost always calls out my Colombian nickname.

What is your Colombian nickname?  Just so we will know when visiting various pueblos if your (in)famous reputation has preceded us?  :D

Comodín (koh-moh-DEEN).

From wordreference.com....

comodín

   Wild card.

   Joker*.


*The type of Joker found in a deck of cards.  Batman’s nemesis ‘The Joker’ is El Guasón.

'Nicknames' is a subject that probably fits in with the thread topic, Mysteries of Colombia.

Colombian nicknames include ‘Loco’ (Crazy) .. ‘Flacco’ (Skinny or Slim -- and the actual name of longtime Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco) .. and ‘Gordo’ (Fatso).

There’s a cake and pastry shop a block from where I’m staying named Del Gordo -- Fatso’s.

cccmedia in Quindío

cccmedia :

'Nicknames' is a subject that probably fits in with the thread topic, Mysteries of Colombia.

One reason I like to use a nickname in South America -- I have used Comodín in a few places in Quito, Ecuador, too -- is that the locals in these parts tend to butcher both my Gringo given name and my last name or apellido.

The owner of the international-calling shop/copying center here knows my last name.  I get a kick out of hearing him twist it beyond all recognition and in different ways .. every time he greets me as Mr. -------- as I enter his place.

cccmedia in La Zona Cafeteria

Nards Barley :

I recommend putting your perishables in the fridge before playing blackjack.

When visiting Riori Japanese restaurant, that would mean an additional round-trip between my apartment and the Portal del Quindío area.  No es conveniente.

If there was a fridge handy at the casino, one could theoretically put the shrimp with wok-friend veggies that I ordered inside it.  Maybe the vegetarian spring rolls too.

The temake containing salmon, avocado, semi-faux crab-meat and rice .. probably wouldn’t do so well.  I order one or two of those every time .. and never refrigerate them.

cccmedia in La Zona

I have some pretty outrageous Colombia stories. I'm sure you've read a few. But this takes the cake. Fed Ex in Colombia won't even deliver a package, but you had some Colombians track you down to deliver food?

I'm going to have to call BS on this. Any gringo that's spent time in Colombia knows they don't have the diligence to even walk across the street to deliver something much less track you down.

You have to be pulling our legs. :)

Bp, i can have everything from food from many of the local stores and restaurants to legal drugs delivered right to my door. Fed ex too.

Floridaray :

Bp, i can have everything from food from many of the local stores and restaurants to legal drugs delivered right to my door. Fed ex too.

You must live in some part of Colombia that isn't very Colombian. I would love to even get a gotdamn menu at a restaurant occasionally.

BrandonBP :

I'm going to have to call BS on this. Any gringo that's spent time in Colombia knows they don't have the diligence to even walk across the street to deliver something much less track you down.

You have to be pulling our legs. :)

And, Brandon, you’ve spent how much time in estado Quindío?  I think you’d love the people here.

The food-delivery story is 100 percent true. :proud

cccmedia in Quindío

BrandonBP :

I have some pretty outrageous Colombia stories.

:top: Yes, Yes, Yes! :top:

We love Brandon’s stories .. and this is the perfect thread to tell them.

Bring it on, Bro’!

cccmedia in La Zona

The fact that you can visit Colombia multiple times -- and still be surprised at what can happen here, as Brandon seems to be -- is one of the many mysteries of Colombia.

cccmedia in La República de Colombia

What did you think of this tall tale*, Brandon?...

www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=634337

cccmedia in La Zona


*The story at the above link is also 100 percent true.

cccmedia :

The fact that you can visit Colombia multiple times -- and still be surprised at what can happen here, as Brandon seems to be -- is one of the many mysteries of Colombia.

The place certainly keeps you on your toes. I've had some really crazy things happen.

cccmedia :

What did you think of this tall tale*, Brandon?...

www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=634337

cccmedia in La Zona


*The story at the above link is also 100 percent true.

I sort of liked Fred's suggestion that you slam on the brakes and let them smash into the back of you.

I've been in enough situations in Colombia to realize that life is cheap there. The vast majority are beautiful people, but that small minority will cut your throat and leave you in a ditch if you're in the way of them getting your wallet.

I have some GREAT and fun stories about my times in Colombia. I have some sh1tty ones, too. They were stories I likely wouldn't believe if I hadn't lived them.

The place i live about an hour to 1.5 hours from medellin, nice barrio of san antonio town of  rionegro seèms pretty damn colombian to me. Ha
But bad as my spanish is i always try to speak and be polite to them. And i can pretty much walk around day or night ...by myself. I honestly think if was being robbed my local colombian friends wouldnt think twice about coming to my aid! I really have never felt 100% in medellin. But my Volombian home town? But its because of the local Colombian people that makes it great!!

Floridaray :

I honestly think if was being robbed my local colombian friends wouldnt think twice about coming to my aid!

Your Colombian buddies will CERTAINLY step in for you if you have trouble. I've experienced it. The good Colombians are loyal and will do anything for you. Be good to those guys because they will defend your butt when you need it.

The average Colombian likes Americans. And I like them back. They hate a caspa just as much as we do.

I feel the same way about my Colombìan friends bp! prob not for them id had considered a diff counry but now no need, or want!
But i can get fed ex to my front door
I live in a house but j have a gtingo friend who lives in an apt He  gets hid delibered to the store next dooor.

BrandonBP :

The average Colombian likes Americans. And I like them back. They hate a caspa just as much as we do.

I had to look that one up in the online Spanish-English dictionary....

caspa
  1. a vulgar person -- trash, lowlife. 
  2. dandruff.
(wordreference.com)

cccmedia :
BrandonBP :

The average Colombian likes Americans. And I like them back. They hate a caspa just as much as we do.

I had to look that one up in the online Spanish-English dictionary....

caspa
  1. a vulgar person -- trash, lowlife. 
  2. dandruff.
(wordreference.com)

I learned it my last trip. Caspas are nere-do-wells. They hang out in the park and wait on gringos to walk by.

cccmedia :

The elevator didn’t go directly to my floor.  It stopped at lobby level first, and that’s when I got a surprise.  A delivery joven from Riori’s was there.  He was holding up a bag that contained my take-out order of several dishes.

It was a surprise because I had not told anyone at the restaurant where I am staying this month....

cccmedia in Quindío

I got take-out food at Ryori Japanese restaurant over the weekend for the first time since the delivery-surprise episode.

I paid my tab from the night I forgot to pick up my order.  Then I took the opportunity to “schmooze” with the anfitriona about that incident.

I asked her, ¿Cómo fue posible a rastrearme?  How were you able to track me down?

She chuckled for a few seconds .. and then explained.

She said the owner of the restaurant lives in the same building where I’m renting.  He had seen me at the apartments and at the restaurant.

How much time did the joven have to wait for me at the apartments before I got back (from the casino), I asked the hostess.

No mucho, she told me.  10 minutos.

cccmedia in Quindío

I work in a lot of departments in Colombia and see a lot of stuff and most of it is comical with the good the bad and ugly
my job is in ariel survey so we travel a lot  and take taxis from the airport to hotels and vice versa, I have probably spent 5 million in taxis in 7 mo and it is covered as a expense so i don't mind the gringo tax and accept the rip off most of the time
Taxi fares vari depending on what city we operate out of so for a example Yopal is 5000 for 4km   
so when they charge the g tax say 7000 for the trip, i pul out a 50000 and then theres a oh! no tiene cambio i dont have change for that large bill so then i say why are you charging me more than the fare thats on the meter i nail the assholes all the time and its funny to see a driver suck it up and lose face and bring his fare to justice and i give him a 5000 note
I once jumped into a cab outside the hotel in yopal and the driver asked a donde va where to i answered airport he said i don't know where it is can you help me find it! i told him to stop the car and i got out and jumped into a different cab, i no this is mean but WTF it was 4 km away

time to get away from taxis i hate the basterds ,not all but a high percentage
Airport security after check in it varies from department to department I smoke so i use a lighter and the fn Dorado security has about 20 of my lighters and other things like my toe nail clippers that my mom gave me 30 years ago, they were the non traditional type like wire cutters
The most memorable time in Dorado security was when my carry on was subject to inspection and i did not understand what they were saying there was something in my bag that i wasn't a where of and this little back pack had more storage compartments than i could remember they rummaged thru my back pack and pulled out a cheap old fashioned wine bottle opener
they held it up like a dog that had a new bone and said it was prohibited on flight and i looked at them and said oh! you found it i have been looking for this thing for a couple of weeks
there were a couple of off duty airline crew behind me and they couldn't stop laughing and we went to a lounge and had a bunch of drinks

we park our aircraft on the ramp most of the time at the terminal when there are no other options and QUIBDO was the best ever! in security pre boarding I mean the most Hilarious
So when you work airside at any Colombian airport that has comercial flights you must obtain security clearance to get a airside pass and it is not a problem but it is different from department to department 
So in Quibdo the capital of the department of Choco we get our passes and have to go thru pre flight screening every time we go to the ramp, just like regular travelers holy shit this job just got a lot harder because i work in Maintenance of the aircraft and i was passing thru security ten times a day on bad days
In the beginning security asked me to take off my belt and shoes to pass thru the metal detector and i complied with remorse then after a week of this BS off comes the belt and down goes the bermuda shorts why because i had lost about 25 pounds in 3 months of working in the tropical heat of Colombia
Everbody had a good laugh in security and i was never asked again to take off my belt i was in commando that day

My tour in quibdo was 7 weeks and half way thru it we were hit buy gunfire while survey flying in the remote area of the Darien in north west Colombia
the aircraft was heavily damaged and the crew was ok and made a safe return to Quibdo
Now its my turn to solve the problem and it was the second time we took hits from gun fire this time it was worse and we had to fly to Bucaramanga to get it repaired
so away we go thru security and like normal pre boarding  inspections you put your stuff on the X-ray and walk thru the metal detector
this was a a little confusing for security cause i did not have a boarding pass i told security i was flying on our company plane to go to Bucaramanga ok no problem have a safe flight
we returned 3 days later to continue our survey contract and finished it with no more incidents
the contract was completed and the aircraft were dispached to Bucaramanga and i was flying commercial to Bogota
so when i showed up at preflight security to get on a commercial flight  ,security never even asked for my boarding pass because they were so confused about my mode of travel that they did not even bother to check anything wow its like i was a Ambassador
I HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR THE PEOPLE THAT ARE TRYING TO TURN THIS PLACE AROUND AND THERE ARE VERY NOBLE PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTY
I feel very privileged to work in this nation and am proud of being part of the change the country wants
what ever the subject is there are always good stories
my stories are about the real Colombia
not about what its like to retire in Colombia
that will come in ten years if i don't get shot lol

flying around Colombia  is cheap but has its hassle
a good example is Cali Bogota Neiva i set off at 10 in the morning from the Bario de Jardine Southern Cali, a beautiful place and similar to Canada or any place in the Americas Norte
my flight is at 1 in the afternoon Avianca to Bogota y Neiva
No problem getting to the airport 65 grand COP and a pleasant trip  wow i thought lots of time to get to Neiva
then there was delays on the flight times and they don't post it it on the video screens  and when they do they have the wrong gate numbers
you must be on constant guard when you want to fly in Colombia the system is ass backwards and this is why there are delays,
action reaction is the norm in Colombia and the whole society functions on this norm in chaos

The meaning of Conduct has no meaning in Latin America and its funny to me because i get payed no matter what happens, so sit back and smile and watch the shit evolve
So now we get out of Cali after a 2 hour delay ok no big deal  cause i am used to this shit living in the far North of Canada with its weather problems
We arrive in Bogota and i have 15 minutes to get on a connecting flight at the Avianca terminal 2
I get off the plane and consult a Avianca Rep and she says no worries the flight to neiva is delayed and you won't miss your flight
ok where the hell is terminal two
i walk down the corridor towards the baggage claim and see a bunch of people standing in line for what i don't know and seeing no signs
i ask a person what is the line  up for and she said for terminal two Avianca so i got in line and couldn't help wondering WTF is going on
the bus arrived and every body fought to get on for the trip to terminal 2 Aviancas world
so i get off the the bus and wonder whats going on so i consulted a person with the red and white uniform and she said you must run to this gate cause the flight was leaving immediately
I said to myself this is BS and went to customer service and low and behold they issued me a new boarding pass and yes the flight was delayed
ok its time to fly so get in line and show your boarding pass and id so you can get on another bus to get to the airplane to fly to another city WOW this was a long day I flew a total of 1000 kms and it took 12 hrs
i can drive this distance in Canada in 12 hours
oh well time is money in my pocket
and my job can be shitty
but all in all i think is i am in the most wonderful place on earth i love the challenge
NWT man

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