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What did I just say?

by Alex on Nov.30, 2009, under Blog

Travis and I are in a cab racing north through Bogota. Not as we’re in a hurry particularly, mostly as that’s the driving norm here. I know everyone comes home from Italy or Thailand, Greece or India with tales of crazy driving and I’ve been party to my fair share but past experience does nothing to lessen my flinching as we weave through traffic leaving a generous 6 inches either side as we slice between buses. I try to tell myself that it’s a beautifully orchestrated ballet, each and every driver having practiced their moves time and again culminating in this masterpiece of oh so very close to lethal coordination. But it’s not. And yet I’ve seen few accidents. Maybe these guys are just very very good at what they do… I guess on the plus side I’d think it impossible that you could get pulled over, fined or prosecuted for dangerous driving as I’ve no idea what you could do that might be considered dangerous. You certainly can’t cut anybody up as nobody looks twice at some swerving in front of them, a foot between bumpers.

We’d been looking at houses in which to set up our hostel and I’d diverted a call to answer phone whilst in the middle of a visit. On leaving the house I called the number and, the person being unavailable, I’d left a message. In between winces and sharp inhalations of breath through clenched teeth I get a text, and check this: the message tells me that the person for whom I left a message is now available followed by a verbatim copy of the answer phone message that I’d left. Were I to have been in Japan I would maybe not have paid it much attention, but here? Massively impressed! What a dichotomy – technology and a service that I’d neither seen nor heard of back home and then there being at least one part of the city that gets piped water for just 3 hours a week.

I was also quite impressed with my Spanish, must be getting better if the voice recognition software could understand me…

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