Given McColl is not a close friend of Christopher, he brings a fresh perspective not seen in the book, as well as a more colorful description of Bogota.
Here is an excerpt:
Logically, it is hard to fathom Christopher Kavanagh in Colombia’s chaotic capital city of Bogota. Kavanagh is without doubt an oddity who, over time, has become a personality in the capital city of the world’s largest cocaine exporting nation. He has been here for so long that he outdates all of us in the expatriate community…
Kavanagh fits in perfectly here. It is said that Colombia is a country stuck in the 1980’s. Perhaps nowhere more so is that true than around Lourdes Park, where the eclectic mix of these dual chic-shabby crowds blends a horrendous display of neon, glam and head-shaven vagabonds.
There are other indications, too, that this is somewhere closeted in a past era. For instance, in 1986, the same year that Kavanagh was sentenced to prison for playing a drug mule, Chris de Burgh’s Lady in Red spent six weeks at Number 1 in the singles chart in Ireland. Here around Lourdes you enter a hair salon and hear that same track every time. Far form being a hyper-modernizing emerging market as the western press so often likes to claim about South America’s metropolis now, in Colombia it’s as if someone hit pause on Kavanagh’s life the day he got banged up. So upon being released, this was a natural enclave into which to reengage with the real world. The overriding impression is one of a technologically modern urbanization set inside somewhere out of a quarter of a century ago…
And so it is for The Mick: he is a feature in an area where features no longer matter, near to this park where the homeless squat to defecate in broad daylight beneath the trees in plain sight of passing traffic and where the occupants of the police cubicle on the corner look the other way as pickpockets and dealers seek out their next victims.
See the entire article here: