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@wwaycorrigan

[Listen to an audio version of this blog entry here.]

‘Sure this lad will clearly do anything to stay in Colombia. Just look at his record. Nine visa applications in the last seven years plus three salvoconductos. We could ask him to submit a big, juicy papaya next time, and no doubt he’d do it.’

Wrong Way's love for Colombia, although not unconditional, has been apparent these last few years. Colombian officialdom is putting a big strain on the relationship now.

Alas, it appears to be unrequited love. (Image from Facebook.)

Social media diplomacy
It’s stretching it somewhat to think that officials at La Cancillería Colombia have actually ever uttered words similar to the above. It’s highly unlikely that there’s a red line under my name at the country’s visa-issuing authority — well, I’m pretty sure there wasn’t, that might have changed now in light of recent, unsolicited media coverage.

Nonetheless, and at the risk of coming across as a “victim” here, I’d wager that throughout these seven years since getting my first Colombian visa few other independent foreigners based here have handed over as much hard-earned cash as I have in terms of visa applications and related processes.

Events of the last few weeks have reminded us that obediently and quietly following the visa/immigration rules in Colombia, especially if you’re having difficulties in obtaining exactly what you want, doesn’t always work in your favour.

No. The more advantageous route, for certain individuals, is to kick up a public fuss, rally the masses to your cause — if you can, that is — and Colombian officialdom will cave in to your needs. You do this while at the same time repeatedly say how much you love and respect the country.

You could equate it to a man telling a woman everything she wants to hear in order to sleep with her. In truth, with just the gentlest of scratching below the surface, his actions show how he cares little for her. She is no more than an object to be used and abused.

Yet, mesmerise your target with public displays of affection that conceal a threat, appear as a caring, loving, selfless individual and in no time the putty shapes itself exactly how you want it.

‘No serious foreigner thinking about visiting or living in the country would seek out the advice of these “Colombia can do no wrong” types.’

Dishonesty is the best policy. Respect is only forthcoming if the other party loses respect for itself. It’s not a relationship of equals, it’s one of domination, built largely on false premises.

Forbidden fruit
In the specific case of Colombia’s love affair with its foreign-born influencers — influencers whose business model is to say practically nothing negative about their adopted place — submissive Colombia believes it is getting something in return: The positive promotion of the country abroad.

The reality is more a case of Colombia being sold to Colombians. No serious foreigner thinking about visiting or living in the country would seek out the advice of these ‘Colombia can do no wrong’ types.

Again, you’re telling your sleeping partner exactly what she wants to hear yet both you and her know it’s an act, a fantasy. And what you tell her doesn’t really go any further than the bedroom. If it does happen to reach a wider audience, most observers are intelligent enough to understand it’s little more than sweet nothings whispered at the moment of passion.

I’ve never been great at these exaggerated displays of affection — not too many Irish people are really, it’s safe to assume. However, my attempts to stay in Colombia since the independent visa application became more complicated in 2018 have, it could be argued, smacked of desperation.

It reminds one of the old saying here, ‘Él que muestra el hambre, no come,’ ‘He who shows hunger, doesn’t eat.’ It’s time I started devouring that life-giving papaya myself rather than foolishly giving it away.
_______________________________________________________________
Listen to Wrong Way’s Colombia Cast podcast here.

Facebook: Wrong Way Corrigan — The Blog & IQuiz “The Bogotá Pub Quiz”.  

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La vida en Colombia desde la perspectiva de un periodista y locutor Irlandés, quien ha estado viviendo en el país desde 2011. El blog explora temas sociales y cultura, interacción con los nativos, viajes, actualidades y mucho más. Escucha su podcast acá: https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-colombia-cast.

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    This aversion towards, bordering on utter contempt for crying has something to do with, it's safe to assume, my childhood. I was, after all, a serial crier into my mid-teens. Then, from about 15 onwards, I started to develop a strong dislike when seeing others well up for reasons that I would have considered rather inconsequential. During that time, no doubt having to deal with me, her last born, I recall my mother crying for what seemed like the merest of reasons. It used to get my blood up. Even if I'd been told it was all largely down to the menopause, it's unlikely I would have been sympathetic to her plight. Selfish teens, eh. Dry your eyes, mate This clearly left its mark. For in my current abode, the landlady, a nice woman I hasten to add, cries on an almost-daily basis. It's not only, as has happened a fair few times, a headache when she does it speaking directly to me about some grievance or another (these grievances have nothing to do with me, by the way!). It also irks me simply when I can just hear her sobbing away in her room. I know I should probably be a little more empathetic considering she suffers from depression, it's just when the tears in others come they invoke a negative, somewhat cold reaction in me. Rather than wanting to help I have a desire to walk away. It's not that I lack understanding. In fact, I'd wager I take the time to listen to and empathise with other people's gripes as much if not more so than the next person. I just wish they'd leave the crying out of it. The British-Irish band The Pogues sang in Streams of Whiskey, 'there's nothing ever gained by a wet thing called a tear'. That's not fully true, but I wish it was.   _______________________________________________________________ Listen to Wrong Way's Colombia Cast podcast here. Facebook: Wrong Way Corrigan — The Blog & IQuiz "The Bogotá Pub Quiz".

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