February 9th, 2003
It all began early(ish) Saturday morning, when my twin called to ask if I had spoken with Dad lately. I hadn't since Friday morning, when we chatted for a bit on MSN Messenger. I asked her why she was concerned. She told me.
My father lives and works in Bogota, Colombia. He's been there for several years now. I can't say that's been easy for me to bear, with the reports of paramilitary groups shooting mortars into the city, kidnappings, car bombs, etc. I was about 99% sure that he was ok, but still, I hadn't spoken with him. I knew he lived in that part of the city, and I figured it was likely that he had been to that place once or twice before. I paged his cellphone with a little message asking if he was ok, but heard nothing back.
This morning, I heard from him, just when I was starting to wonder, and he assured me that he was ok, and had been about 8km away from El Nogal Club when the bomb had detonated, although Dad said he has been at Club Nogal many times for various events, and indeed his company was planning an event there that was supposed to happen in about 6 weeks. I guess not now.
Sunday in Bogota is the time of the cyclovia. The cyclovia is when the city closes certain main arteries for bicyclists, walkers, rollerbladers, etc. from 6:30 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon every Sunday and some holidays. Today, the cyclovia became the focus of a large march and demonstration against terrorism. People sang and carried banners with the slogan "No Mas" (No war/No more terrorism). The march went from the city centre to Club Nogal, about 7km. Dad's office window looks out over the main avenue where the march took place, so he took some pictures which I am including here.
There are several conflicting reports out at present. At the time of the event, it was declared that the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) were responsible. Links to the IRA were declared as well. An IRA operative was recently tried in Bogota, on suspicion that the IRA was teaching the FARC their methods. Certainly the modus operandi of this bombing is similar to those that have occurred at the hands of the IRA. Another source said that it wasn't a bomb, it was a gas-powered boiler that exploded. Wishful thinking in some cases, I think. It still would be a tragedy, but one without malicious intent.
I am getting tired of all this terror. More about the march today.
Books I have Read Lately:
- Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde. I found this author's first work, The Eyre Affair almost by accident. I devoured the first one and thought it was so clever and fun that I carried it in my head for a solid week. I love when books take over my life. Anyhow, the sequel is just as good as the first one. I read this right around the time I was wrapping up my thesis, and I can tell you, it was an absolute delight. I think it is even better than the first -- I actually laughed out loud and drummed my heels on the floor at certain parts because they were so delightful. In this book, our intrepid heroine Thursday Next must battle her way through a new set of challenges. These books are a combination of thriller, sf, fantasy, mystery and comedy. They transcend genre. I want to be Thursday Next in another lifetime, and I simply cannot wait for the third instalment, The Well of Lost Plots. To tide me over until the release in Canada, I spend a lot of time at Fforde Central Station. Plock plock! ( )
- Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes. This was a re-read of a piece of fluff I had lying around the house. Overall, it is relatively amusing, the story of Lucy Sullivan, a Bridget Jones-esque character who is told by a fortune-teller that she will be getting married in eighteen months. This is news to Lucy, as she doesn't even have a steady boyfriend! The best parts of this book are the dialogues with Lucy's co-workers and flatmates. I always laugh out loud reading them. The story is a bit uneven, but it is good for a quick, mindless read. ( )
(All links go through Amazon.ca because of the affiliate program with The Usual Suspects. I spend so much time on there, that this is the least I can do.)