A Halloween lunch and walkabout
Jaime Garzón photos in background On the threshold Corner Even the doors have eyebrows Storm clouds The birds and the cage Graffito Juanita’s T-shirt Aerial figure Wings Palm Kimono Halloween llamas Photograph Disappearing tram tracks Where the revolution began Fidel gives the finger Halloween cakes Shot from a speeding car, airport-bound
Worked at a fair pace this morning in the hotel, taking a number of phone calls including one with Amy (Birchall) from London and another with a headhunter from New York. Then by car to El Patio Restaurant for a lunch hosted by María López, and including Margarita Marino de Botero, Felipe Arango, Juanita Rico and Marco Volpe of Coca-Cola Colombia.
Couldn’t resist telling Marco that I hadn’t drunk Coca-Cola since I was in a school bus in Cyprus in the late 1950s when it was driven off the road by a truck and ended up crashing through the wall of a Coca-Cola factory.
The café-restaurant had a number of photographs and press cuttings in memory of the murdered Colombian and humourist journalist Jaime Garzón–a powerful, moving reminder of the 50-year war that the country has endured. Hopefully there will be a definitive peace agreement next year.
Then Juanita and Felipe took me for a walkabout through the streets of the city, which was full of people in Halloween costume. Impressive to see the Plaze de Bolívar, the scene of so much history, including the M-19 siege at the Palace of Justice. Came away feeling I need to read more about Simón Bolívar.
Then back to the Sheraton to pick up my things and on to the airport. As I finished Of Love and Other Demons as we winged back to Frankfurt, I found myself pondering the history of Colombia and its prospects for realising its dream of becoming a developed economy by 2050. Although Colombia is intensely hierarchical, I can just about imagine the dream happening.