There are some wild rumours flying around the place. And I´m not talking about just the usual ones circulating around this country, such as the ridiculous one about the reason why all the gents at the See Colombia Towers wear hats is because they´re going bald; or the completely baseless claims that I´m actually a hipster. Don´t people know that when I say I´m a hipster, I´m being totes ironic?
I´m talking in particular about the rumour that´s flying around about that Colombian institution, the Chiva.
It´s been said that the Colombian Government is planning to ban chivas.
¨Chivas¨, as well as referring to a whiskey that people who don´t know too much about scotch claim is the best, also signifies a traditional mode of transport here in Colombia. You can still see these brightly-coloured, windowless buses performing their original function of transporting (too many, some would say) locals within the bus, and piles of plantain, corn and other produce on the roof. However, a more modern manifestation of these timeless artworks on wheels can be found in the major cities, particularly Cartagena, where they transport party-goers around a city loop. I, for one, don´t really expect this ban to happen, as I think there would be too much opposition, but let´s look at the pros and cons of these buses.
To be perfectly honest, the thought of being trapped on one of these things while going around a loop, worrying more about spilling my drink than getting another one; or keeping my feet than trying to dance to music that you have to be in a rather specific mood to enjoy, sometimes doesn´t really sound all that appealing.
I think it really depends on who you do a chiva tour with. If you go with a whole bunch of good mates, it could be a hilarious amount of fun. However, if you´re stuck with a bunch of people you don´t know, who are spending their time talking about where you´re from or the places they´ve done; being stuck on a chiva could feel like a gaol on wheels.
Sure, the people on the chivas circulating the city always sound like they´re having a good time, what with their constant ¨woooohoooos,¨ but sometimes I feel like they feel obliged, after parting with their hard-earned to be stuck on a bus, to woohoo so wildly, to make it look like they are actually having a good time, when in fact they can´t wait to get off the damn thing and do something they really want to. Bah humbug!!!!
Like we´ve said before, the chiva is a Colombian icon with a rich and colourful history. The buses themselves are generally turned out beautifully, and recognisably Colombian. Not only do they help support the local tourism industry (which we´re all about, btw), but they´re the sort of thing that´s fun to tell people about back home.
If you make a chiva ride part of a comprehensive party strategy for an entire night instead of a stand-alone event, and organise a group of like-minded party-goers, you´re setting yourself up for a memorable, and outrageously rowdy, night of frivolity. Although we don´t think this ban is going to happen, it´s a good idea to get in quick, and organise such a debaucherous night, you know, just in case…
So whaddyareckon? Is this alleged banning of chivas a travesty of epic proportions, or actually not that big a deal? We´re intrigued to hear what you think about it. The comments box is below, Gentle Blogger.