Colombia has a reputation for beautiful cities, often with much of their amazing architectural heritage preserved, great beaches, world-class restaurants, gorgeous women and a wild night life not untypical of the whole of South America in fact.
So, what’s not to like? … erm, unfortunately, it is even more famous for being a dangerous place to live, with large swathes of the countryside under the control of really rather nasty Communist insurgent types and/or even nastier drug cartels.
While things have become somewhat better in recent years it is still a destination for the intrepid and not your Mum. Unless you don’t like your Mum of course.
Despite the dangers, it was not to take Jakarta based Kiwi expat, Wony Tud an environmental consultant, too long to come up with the answer “yes” to a recent offer of a relatively short but well remunerated posting there, reluctant though he was to leave behind the
flesh pots multi-faceted cultural attractions of Jakarta in general, and Blok M in particular.
Now signed up for the duration as our Central America and Caribbean stringer (he was real cheap – ED), Wony was in the fabulous city of Cartagena on Monday, waiting to mobilise for a dolphin counting mission or some such and sharing a late night sherbet or two with colleagues at Mister Babilla, located on the Avenida del Arsenal (yes, he is a bloody Arsenal supporter but is otherwise reasonably normal – ED). It is here that we hand over the baton to Wony with his firsthand account in this e-mail received in the Editor’s in-box yesterday..
“We had been in there for about an hour or so when a couple of smartly dressed guys came in and sat at the table next to us recently vacated by four quite stunning Flamenco dancers. The place is wild, if you can imagine the Jaya Pub on steroids and minus the geriatric band and barmen then you have it.
It was bloody noisy and there were already a few pissed Yanks dancing on the bar, however, I swore I could hear the guys at the next table speaking Indonesian for Christ’s sake, so I tuned in.
As you know my Indo is passable but not great, however, I picked up enough to know that it was Paddy O’Finnion who had featured ad nauseam in your organ of late as he was talking about shafting a few more GOD functionaries and, strangely, talked about having given the Indonesian Ambassador here a lockbag with his underwear in, apparently a ruse to divert them away from where the “digital stack” really was. BTW, that photo of him you published at Raffles is definitely him!
Anyway, to cut a long story short I phoned my mate in the Central Detective Division in Jakarta and told him where O’Finnion was and, less than an hour later, the local Policia marched in mob handed and had him on the ground and handcuffed faster than you can say Bolivarian Revolution.
He protested long and hard that he wasn’t the O’Finnion they were looking for but rather his younger brother and pleaded with them to check his passport. The Policia were having none of it, however, and took him away where they checked his fingerprints against what they had been sent by Pak Polisi and voila!
Heavy bribe at police headquarters got me a five minute interview the following morning, sorry, no receipt ED, when Paddy appeared grateful to chat with someone in Indonesian, even if it was mine. He is really very worried that “they” consider knocking him off as the easy way out of the problems he is posing to GOD and BJC (President Bapak Jack Caldwell – ED).
Asked about the “Digital stash” he had given the Ambassador, he laughed and said, “all they will find in the Lockbox if they ever get it open is yesterday’s underwear” adding that “the real deal is still in Jakarta under lock and key and, if I should happen to die on the way back, then a copy will go to every news editor on the planet, it’s all organised”
So, there you have it, the inside story from the NottheJakartaPost‘s man on the spot and indeed his own pivotal role in it. The ramifications are huge of course, not least for BJC and GOD and we will be bringing you our analysis of the implications in full next week.
Paddy would be very well advised to either “berpuasa” until he gets back here to Jakarta or, better still in view of the two days flight time, take his own food and drink with him.