When I first came to Colombia on holiday in 2006

I was terrified of being kidnapped.

I had read too many horror stories.


Now, of course, I know that I am in more danger

of being knocked down as I cross the road,

than of being kidnapped by an armed group.


But I got a little fright in Sincelejo.

I stopped a mototaxi and asked the driver

to take me to a particular supermarket.


On our way there, he stopped at the side of the road,

for no good reason at all that I could see.


Why have you stopped? I asked, anxiously.

Because it’s shady here, he replied.

If we stop at the traffic lights, you’d be in the sun.



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