When traveling in Colombia, one should anticipate some dissidents. I mean the politics down here are even messier than what we have in the states. Between the Rebels, the cartels, the influx of refugees from even less stable countries… and the F&@$ing taxi drivers…
Medellin (our second stop in Colombia) was once the home of Pablo Escobar, the a Colombian drug lord and narcoterrorist. His cartel supplied an estimated 80% of the cocaine smuggled into the United States at the height of his career, turning over US$21.9 billion a year in personal income. He used this wealth to basically single handily build the city into beautiful city it is today, with coliseums, public parks, schools, public transit, and all things that make a population love a person. That’s one of the reasons the US and Colombian governments had such a hard time catching up to him in the early 90’s.
So a city with this kind of history is someplace that you’d expect to be pretty rough. Well it is. On the first night here some of the company witnessed a lady get mugged in front of our hotel. A Few hours later our security team had officers stationed in our lobby who gladly will walk us anywhere within a few blocks.
If you’re going outside of a few blocks it’s advisable to use Uber due to the fact that Taxi’s down here have been known to take Americans to rougher areas, have two people hop in on either side and then take you on a tour of the cities ATMs where they make you do max withdrawals and then move on to the next ATM until you are completely broke. Because of this, Uber, with its tracking abilities and record of who is driving and where they are going has become popular. One problem, Uber has no legal standing in this country and most people will tell you it’s illegal.
A few days after we got here the Taxi Guild went on strike over the fact that Uber hasn’t been shut down by the government. The shortage of taxis alone slowed the city down, but that wasn’t enough for them. They also shut down entire streets with their protests and attacked any driver they suspected of being an uber.
Due to these barriers to transportation I did not venture out much. Although honestly I really didn’t have time. We spent two days loading in, then 11 shows in 5 days and Load out… so sorry folks, not a lot of photos on this one because I have either been at work or in my hotel enjoying my UberEats.
Bogota however was a completely different story. I mean of course you still don’t want to walk down dark alleys by yourself, but venturing out in this city is so much easier.
I only had a single day off in Bogota, so I organized a group of people going to Mount Monserrate. It is this beautiful mountain peak that overlooks Bogota. There are restaurants, a church, and an open air market up there. All of the photos I have from Bogota are from an afternoon spent up there with great people.
Another great person who is worth mentioning is Edison. He was one of our security specialist and I really can not say enough good things about him. He kept us safe. He was the one who took us on a tour of Cali. He was the guy who could get you exactly what you needed no matter what the obstacles. He also is now a good friend who I am definitely staying in touch with.
Back to Bogota! So I had the day off and then 2 days of load in, an opening night and then back to Florida.
My first stop in Florida was Miami to visit Cole. While we were at happy hour with his coworkers we had the realization that we literally have been getting into trouble together for 25 years… Yes, let that sink in this guy has been putting up with my shit for a quarter of a century. He also clearly thinks I’m more of an adult than I actually am… Either that or her really doesn’t like his nice sporty car that I am borrowing for the next few months… No one tell Jeff (my Jeep) this, but a Subaru BRZ is more than a sufficient replacement… And no Mom, I have not been driving in a reckless manner and I have only been speeding a little bit. In fact the nice police officer let me off with a verbal warning. 🤷♂️
At any rate I’m now hanging out at Feld Entertainment Studios working on the new ice show, Mickey’s Road Trip. There isn’t much I can share about it at this point, but what I will tell you is that this is a fun crew who for some reason had a Dog The Bounty Hunter costume on hand. I refused to wear the vest…
I also have a lot to say about the hotel that I’m currently in, but “Fat Camp” as I’ve dubbed it is gonna wait.