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CREATURES OF A LOST WORLD

COLOMBIA | Thursday, 8 December 2005 | Views [1043] | Comments [1]

I think that it was Baudelaire, (correct me if I'm wrong here), who once described cats as "the insects of a lost world". I wonder what the bardlike frenchy would have made of Colombian riot police. These fellows have a covering top to toe of some sort of kevlar body armour, buffed hard and black, keratinised, distinctly scarab like. I'm sure this wasn't just for show. Due to their presence and a moat full of little chaps in white spats, helmets and matching clubs, seperating the fans from the pitch. The whole match proceeded in a most orderly fashion. I remember some sort of legend about South American footie clubs having moats full of crocodiles between the pitch and the fans. Looking at some of these lads I think I might prefer the crocodiles, you'd die more quickly and mercifully.
As the floodlights came up The opposing teams of Barranquilla Junior and America de Cali frothed out of the mouths of two giant inflatable Aquila bottles while the arbiters appeared from a seperate white mini-tunnel. There they were sheltered by a 'turtle' of riot shields until they were beyond the reach of projectiles. Three of these human shields were also placed around the corner flags to protect the player taking the corner from a similar shower of projectiles. I took it that they weren't talking about projectiles of the rotten tomato variety here. The kevlar body armour looked a little like that stuff that the evil lads wear in "The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers". It could easily deflect a SAM-7 missile.
Carlos told me cheerfully as I made my way to the bathrooms to tap off the ninety minutes of beer that I should be proud; I was probably the only englishman in the stadium. The penny didn't actually drop on that one until I was elbowing my way to the trough in an overfilled, sweaty, stadium toilet, being leered at by a horde of unsteady disappointed little brown drunks. Just like hooligans but smaller. It did occur to me, for a fleeting moment, that I was the only one in an away strip too but that was probably the least of the contrasts. Here, trying to flip it out between a white belly and overtight waistband, above a urinal that was the right height for a six-year old, trying to avoid, not entirely sucessfully, splashing onto the throng around me, I was definitely the swine of a lost world.
But like every other activity in Barranquilla so far everything went swimmingly. We melted away happily into the heaving tumult of Murillo: the bars, lights, music and the smell of chuzos cooking on charcoal permeating everything. 

Tags: People

Comments

1

damn

  tj Feb 28, 2008 3:22 AM

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