Walden World

The wacky and wonderful tales of Beth's and Catherine's global adventures. And all things Walden too.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019


If anyone is reading my blogs apologies for all the weird spelling etc.  I am working on an ancient tablet which has a mind of its on and autocorrects half of what I write so I cannot punctuate or spell properly.

Which brings us to communication.

C is crestfallen. No one has any clue what she is saying despite her years and months of study of spanish.

The colombian spanish is accented in a much different way than the mexican spanish we can both understand quite well and can make ourselves understood in.

But we all try our best and soldier on in our attempts to be understood.

Take yesterday for instance.  While buying bus tickets to manizales and trying to figure out where the bus was, a young hipster looking guy was asked by bus staff to assist us.

"Follow me" he said.

We followed, along with other Columbians he was our bus saviour. Confirming we were on the right bus etc..

The ride was for half a terrible ordeal of faSt suicidal driving  down one lane twisted mountain roads where you could observe the most breathtaking mountain views.

Which was a shame as I had to take off my glasses and grasp the seat in front as C kept saying "I need to get off this bus right now!" as we knew any second we would go flying off the sheer drop thousands of feet to the valley below.

Our hipster saviour and I started chatting. By me to refocus me on something other than my total, but really breathtaking doom.

He was a cardiovascular doctor doing a special degree. He apologized for his terrible English.

It was much better than my panic spanish as we rounded another sheer drop bend and the few mini bus occupants were thrown against the wall.

He asked me what I did  and I replied in spanish I was a human rights lawyer. He was very impressed and told me that human rights protection in Colombia was non-existent.

He said that he belonged to a special group. They protect people and do works for the community.  He said "how do I say?" "Me and my dog do work for people trapped in seismo...the buildings, my dog looks for survived. Finds them"

"Wow, really finding survivors the rubble? That's so great!"

"Yes he has saved many"

The doctor continues: "My dog and I also, when bad in Colombia, they kidnap people, my dog and i go to negotiate to get the people back"

This was puzzling. Your dog was involved in kidnap negotiations, I thought. But hell, this dog finds people in rubble, maybe if, I don't know, the narco terrorists kidnapped someone and they were right behind the dog could follow the trail to the lair and then the doctor starts negotiations!

"What do you call when you have no use?"   The doctor asks. "When you no work, not wanted?"

I'm trying to figure this one out.  "You can't find work?" No he responded. "You can't work because of disability?" "No. No use.  My dog is of no use."

I was about to  cry, they put his dog down, because he can't work anymore.

"Your dog muerte?

"No how you say money because you are old - from government"

"Old age security? Pension because you are old?

"Si, si, My dog has only that."

I was completely mystified and was about to ask "your dog is receiving old age pension?"

 Well I thought,  maybe , I dont know, they give hero dogs some pension?

He was about to show me a picture of his dog, but then the photo disappeared as it does on all these cheap burner phones in Colombia. Then he got a phone call.

A minute later I finally got it and started laughing but at that point I was sure we were going over a cliff so our odd conversation was left behind.

Today in the volcano spa I asked C if she heard any of the talk I had with the doctor.

"Yeah, heard the whole thing, his earthquake rescue dog, and negotiations with cartels and he was about to show you a picture of his dog"

"That's what I thought too...but he mixed his words up, he mistook the word 'dog' for 'dad' - he was talking about his father not his dog"

Now of course, in my head, I still have this idea of some sort of Lassie Wonder Dog, sniffing our rubble survivors, fearlessly negotiating with Pablo Escobar in a hot jungle somewhere: "woof woof..OK Pablo, (cue dog panting sounds) woof woof...let's see if you are man enough... (Cue sweet puppy eyes no one can resist)

Pablo Escobar: "confrides, let this kidnap victim go for a low price...this dog is too cute but you never know, he may turn on you!"

Cue tense spanish music.




Post a Comment

<< Home