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Sincerest Apology to All Colombia CS To-Be Hosts.

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I feel very apologetic to all the passionately hospitable Couchsurfing hosts who have either accepted my requests or voluntarily offered a bed/couch.  Below is an exact account of what happened to me at the customs in Bogota Airport.

A couple of months earlier my passport was stolen in Poland, and although a new passport was speedily made, that one had some serious defects.  (I have to add that normally Taiwanese do things in a rather well-organized and efficient manner, and the issue of the quality of this passport is really more of an isolated case.)  Being (understandably) unsuspecting of the validity of a government-issued identification document, I terminated the European leg of my RTW trip by boarding the flight from Madrid to Bogota, Colombia.

At the Bogota customs I was detained for around two hours.  The more-or-less English-free (non-English speaking, I mean) customs took dozens of look of my passport, exchanged buckets of useless words, and eventually a couple of supposedly more important people, who spoke absolutely no English at all, strode in, ordered to take photos of me from various angles as if I’m almost a criminal.  (And this bunch of imbeciles could mess up repeatedly even such a simple task: first there was no battery for the camera, then the camera didn’t work, and then they didn’t know how to use a camera, and then they couldn’t make properly focused photos.  I was asked to turn to different angles for a dozen of times.)

And then the ruthless customs big guys ordered to send me right back to Madrid on the next flight, refusing to listen to any explanation, refusing to help contact my embassy, and later, according to the account of my embassy, refused to listen let alone accept any possible kind of explanation and insisted that I’m someone that tried to enter with a false passportAnd they also pronounce that they’ll make sure I won’t be able to enter Colombia again, at least for the coming several months.

That’s why I had to cross Atlantic Ocean for a second time with hardly any rest, and as a result I flew consecutively for at least 25 hours, if we count the preceding flight from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Madrid.

I’m very sorry that I can’t meet all the warm-hearted CS hosts.  Believe me: i had all the intention to.  But through really no fault of mine, I had to cancel the entirety of my Colombian journey and, at this moment, tried very hard to think what to do for the coming days and what to improvise about yet again.

Thanks for reading.


6 responses »

  1. Oh I’m so sorry! it’s such a shame that we’re not going to meet for now. I really hope to meet you some time and i’m pretty sure you’re gonna figure out what to do instead coming to Colombia, however you should definitely come some day, you just arrived at the wrong time with some jerks as customs. Take care and have a good trip

    • Yes Francisco, I’d really love to go to Colombia someday, although obviously it won’t be in the near future. However I’m really touched by your really warm words. Thank you so much for your best wishes. Hope to see you someday eventually!

  2. andres yohanny peña

    man, I’m really sorry to hear that. I know You’ll find something cooler to do there where you are, and don’t feel bad, probably God put you there because something bad was going to happen here. you know God always want the best for us. you will have a next time to come and you are welcome. bye take care.

  3. Damian, I´m really sorry to hear all what happened to you with customs in Bogota. It´s a shame to read all what you went throught. Definitely next time you will experience a happy end. I wish you a RTW as exited as it has been until Today. Everything is part of the adventure and things hapends for a reason. Take care. Mariaximena

    • Dear Mariaximena, I was really looking forward to you, you being such a warm-hearted and beautiful lady. Unfortunately that has to wait at least for quite some time. I still have difficulties deciding what to opt for, but in any case life itself is an adventure, and being someone who tends to make the best lemonade when given lemons, I promise to myself I’ll keep reminding myself to strive for my best this time as well.

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