Avianca Rocks

My flight from Bogotá to London was about an hour late in leaving.

It seemed that we were boarding a different plane from the one we were booked on, which meant all our seat numbers were wrong. By the time it was my turn to board – in the last group – there was chaos.

Just sit here, the flight attendant said, gesturing to an aisle seat.

She is not sitting here, my wife is, said a disagreeable Englishman.

Here, then, said the attendant, gesturing to another seat.

Typical Colombian inefficiency, the Englishman said, annoying me intensely.

When I landed in London, knowing I had missed my connection to Glasgow, I was met by Avianca ground staff, who had booked me on to the next flight and had my boarding pass ready for me. In all my years of air travel, this has simply NEVER happened to me before.

So grumpy Englishman, eat your words.

Avianca = typical Colombian efficiency.

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As expressive an expression as you could wish for

We were out for our team Christmas dinner last night, to a restaurant that serves a special kind of meat from the Llanos region of Colombia.

We all ate loads, but one piece of meat was unclaimed at the end so I asked one of my colleagues if he wanted it.

Oh no, he said, I’m so full that even a grain of rice standing up wouldn’t fit.

How cute and graphic is that?

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More on Colombia’s hippos

Here’s a much more comprehensive story on Colombia’s hippo population, taken from the BBC website.

Here’s an extract:

During experiments with electric fences a while ago someone misjudged the voltage and electrocuted one of the hippos.

“What did the local people do?  They took him, they chopped him up, they barbecued him and they ate him!”

The animal is said to have tasted similar to pork.

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Only in Colombia

A strange story in the news last week:

Two hippos, escapees from the theme park where they had been kept, were sterilized to prevent them breeding.

Pablo Escobar, the notorious drug trafficker, imported four hippos to his private zoo in the late 1970s.

There are now thought to be 36 hippopotami in Colombia descended from the original four. Thirty one are in the theme park, the two that were sterilized and four whose whereabouts, worryingly, are unknown.

The two hippos that made the news last week had been given the nicknames Joaco and Matildo by the owner of the farm where they had arrived after escaping.

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