Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I can't seem to catch a break on Strip Passport.
In 2007, I lived outside my home country for six months. I stayed in Barcelona for two weeks. But somehow, I just kept repeating myself. I haven't added a new country since I flew to Bahrain for bacon in February, 2006, while living in Kuwait.*
So when C and I were trying to figure out where to go for a much-deserved spring break, I was determined to find somewhere new. Somewhere I'd never been. And it was only fair to make it somewhere he'd never been too.
"How about Bolivia? You been there?"
"Yeah, I have. What about Cambodia?"
"Twice. You been to Dominican Republic?"
"Yeah, with work. How about Sri Lanka? Oh, wait. Of course you've been to Sri Lanka."
And so on.
In the end, I didn't come up with a new stamp for Strip Passport, which delights its creator to no end as he is steadily gaining on me. But I can't very well design my life around what gets stamped in my passport, and anyway, I was only in one border town in Colombia in 1993.
About a year ago, Amanda got to see Cartagena and Bogota, and said they were marvelous. Then Bob Harris sent back incredible photos, and that was it. Forget Strip Passport. Colombia it is. Only 35,000 Continental miles too.
Here are a few photos from my 1993 excursion into Leticia, Colombia. It's an Amazon town, and I was on a riverboat journey from Iquitos, Peru to Leticia. My primary memory of Colombia is that we were allowed into the cages with the animals at the zoo.
*Okay, I wasn't really in Bahrain for bacon. I was there to visit my old friend Daniel Kratochvil, who was a professor there. But it amuses my writer colleague Edward Readicker-Henderson to say that I was there for the bacon, so I go along with it.