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"Cosas" and Customs in Colombia
Alternative Title: When I almost went to Colombian Prison...
"You fookin' moron!"
I was shaking my head standing over the toilet seat in Medellin's José María Córdova International Airport. Hands trembling.
The thought had never crossed my mind. Not a once. Got damn, I was a dunce.
Obviamente, Colombia is known for certain tings' since the days of ole' Pablo. And while the country offers so much more than just those "cosas" these days, there's no denying you can find what you need to succeed around every corner in the wonderful pais.
See what had happened was...
We had a big night out with the boys.
First night in a new country for many of me mates and we wanted to get grimey. So we did what any group of semi-degenerate 20-somethings do in times like this. Follow a stringent procurement process until we secured the bag.
Errr, bags. Plural.
Then the night went on without a glitch. Common "cosas" while in Colombia. Enjoying a lil' rumba from until the wee hours of the morning. Perreando. Ya tu sabes.
Nothing out of the ordinary for a big night out here.
Life went on.
The following weeks were wonderful. Working hard, having multiple maids serve us like kings, exploring nature, mujeres, and more. The thought of "cosas" completely off my mind during the following two weeks.
Even took a flight to the coast of Colombia and back with a few of my buddies. A little Caribbean escape from the lavish lifestyle we were living in Medellin at the time. Had a damn good time.
But all things must come to an end.
The three-week trip ended far too quickly, we all packed our sh*t, and one by one made our way to the airport for our flights home. I was the last to leave. Flying to CDMX for a few days before jetting off to Asia.
I get my boarding pass before waltzing through customs and immigration without a care in the world. Putting my bags, phone, and wallet in the x-ray machine -- or whatever it is.
I get my passport stamped and start looking for my gate. Then I see him...
An aggressive looking Colombian military officer with a drug dog in tow. Sniffing everything in sight. Walking straight towards me. Holding eye contact. Sizing me up. With my blonde hair, green eyes, gringo AF lookin' arse.
It hits me.
In this moment.
That I may or may not have a few "cosas" hidden in me wallet. Hidden well, but no match for that K9 nose less than 10 meters away. My hands start to shake. I feel sweat start dripping down my armpits instantly. Ain't no deodorant doing sh*t in a situation like this.
My eyes break eye contact with the military man and quickly dart around looking for a bathroom. I have about 3-5 seconds before that dog could be sniffing my sh*t up and down.
Luckily, there's a bathroom a just a few meters forward -- on the opposite side of where the drug dog is. And when I say "luckily" here, I fookin' mean it.
I try to play it cool.
Slowly make my way to the bathroom. Trying to act normal, while my heart is practically beating out of my chest. Those few steps to the bathroom felt like an eternity. Rotting away in a Colombian prison is one of the last tings' I'd like to be doing with my life.
Finally, I make it to the bathroom without any drug dog issues.
There's one stall open.
I open my wallet and my memory served me right. "Cosas" hidden in plain sight.
Immediately flushed down the toilet.
Two flushes for good measure. Then I let out of sigh of relief. For a few minutes. Trembling. Two hands against the wall, head down, just breathing and sh*t. Trying to comprehend how lucky I'd been.
Because here's the thing...
I'd taken those "cosas" on two domestic flights in Colombia already.
Passed immigration with those "cosas" already.
Was about to board a plane to Mexico with those "cosas" before I remembered.
Oh, and if you've ever flown to Mexico from anywhere else in Latin America, you know you get to go through an extra special security area where there's generally multiple drug dogs and one of the larger x-ray machines I've ever seen in an airport.
Even though I didn't get caught while in Colombia, there was no way in hell I was making it through the HEAVY customs and immigration process found in the basement of Mexico City's Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez.
Not my finest moment. Hell, could have been one of my worst. But here I am. Alive and well. Here telling you the tale of my idiocracy in Colombia.
Stay shape out there, ladies and gentlemen.
Or at least sharper than me ;)
Que te vaya bien,