Bogota Travel Blog

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Hah! Who needs ´em?

Coming to this country has given me a new insight into being on "Colombian time" as Janneth calls it at home.  People don´t make appointments, they just turn up and queue.  Want to visit the dentist?  Just ring up that morning and ask to see someone that day.  Or maybe even just turn up!  First come, first served.

Janneth and Sol decided they needed to visit the dentist and (gasp! they must be being converted) rang and made an appointment for Tuesday 2 October in the afternoon.

We were supposed to get up early for a visit to Chapinero (apparently a place in town that sells cheap winter jackets) and then to visit a friend of Willy´s who owned a leather factory but - as usual - didn´t manage the extremely early wakeup required.  So on Tuesday when we made it to the area near the leather factory we took a cruise up and down the local equivalent of Manchester Street and there were some eye-opening sights in the middle of the day that you would not get in the middle of the night on Manchester Street, I assure you.

Anyway, after this rather scary episode we made it to the leather factory.  What Janneth hadn´t really explained in detail was that this leather factory was an international export-quality leather factory that made wallets, bags and belts, etc.  This stuff was incredible and a fraction of the price in New Zealand.  Or even in their retail shops on the streets.  Normally they only sell wholesale and in very large quantities but - again, it´s all about who you know - they made an exception for us as friends of Willy!

We spent far too much time perusing their amazing goods and had to ring the dentist to explain we were running late (we still hadn´t had lunch) but hey, we needn´t have worried!  When we eventually got there, Janneth, Sol and Scott all still had to wait an interminable length of time to have a basic checkup.  It would appear the concept of making an appointment is really a waste of time here.

The greatest thing about the trip to teh dentist was that sol and I managed to utilise the waiting time to tick one of my most important boxes for the trip to Colombia - we managed to secure tickets to an international soccer game on Sunday 14 October between Colombia and Brazil in Bogota´s biggest stadium.  Apparently the rivalry between Colombia and Brazil is much like that between Australia and New Zealand - we fight each other to the death but are just as likely to side with the other country if our own is not playing.  I´m really looking forward to this.  Apparently you can be denied entry to the stadium if you are wearing the soccer shirts or colours of either country as tempers tend to get a little inflamed...!  this is going to be EXCITING!!!

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photo by: caliphil007