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[For an audio version of this blog story click here.]
It’s been quite eventful on the news front in Colombia of late, even more so than normal.
We’ve had corruption allegations leading right up to President Petro that have resulted in some high-profile sackings, as well as the suicide of a police colonel mixed up in the scandal; potentially game-changing reforms to health and pensions have been making their way through Congress; and a new ceasefire with the ELN rebels has come into force as peace talks continue between them and the government.
Outside of grubby politics, the finding of four children lost for 40 days in the Amazon jungle after the plane they were in crashed made headlines around the world. We like a good news story after all (the children, though, do have to deal with the turmoil of losing their mother in that tragedy).
At other times during my more-than 11-year stint based in Bogotá, such stories would have piqued my interest quite a bit, particularly in the guise of a reporter-on-the-ground that I have occasionally been for a couple of foreign media.
It is, however, hard to get too worked up about events over there when one’s mind is preoccupied with personal issues that, by their very nature, are more pertinent.
‘The enfeebling of what I’d thought were robust relationships moves me closer to the exit door.’
It’s why I feel that adults who are sports fanatics — in terms of supporting players and teams, not in the actual playing of sports — must be in an overall comfortable life position. Or they are just a little immature, impressionable and can’t wean themselves off the opium high such voyeurism offers. I have, for the most part, grown out of that sports fanatic phase.
For example, should the Irish men’s rugby team win the World Cup this year, I’ll be very happy for them, but it’s extremely unlikely to have any real bearing on my life, negative or positive. And, surprising as this may be, the Irish players are most likely not concerned about the fate of yours truly. If I’m wrong on that, I’ll happily take any financial support forthcoming.
As for politics, well a crisis in Colombia could have ramifications for me so I should keep myself informed. And I do, to a certain extent.
As much as I live on the fringes here, something I explained in a previous story, I do have a Colombian bank account and some savings, so I want the peso to be as strong as possible (a return to its 2012 price against the euro would be very welcome!).
However, whether the peso is strong or weak has nothing to do with a frenemy’s ability, nay willingness, to repay a substantial loan I gave him. See The fiendish frenemy for more on that.
Now, it’s an overstatement to say that firm friendships have been the foundation for my being here, but they do certainly play a part. So the enfeebling of what I’d thought were robust relationships moves me closer to the exit door.
I do think that leaving Bogotá, at least for a substantial period of time, would be good for both body and mind. Having said that, the biggest concerns in my life these days are largely independent of place — apart from the desire to have my own place!
Regardless of where I am, there’s always the headache of sourcing paid projects to keep in the black. If I was completely desperate, English teaching would be the fallback in these parts, as it has been before. But as I recently explained, I have little desire for that right now. Who knows, that feeling may change at some stage.
All things considered, a considerable Bogotá break, a change of scenery, seems the smarter option. It’s unlikely to be a panacea but it should provide a much-needed energy and enthusiasm boost.
Listen to The Corrigan Cast podcast here.