Monday, November 28, 2005

Where the kiwi has flown #2 - a vignette of Cali

I wrote this over four years ago, when I first lived in Cali, Colombia.

A flash of light silhouettes Cerro de las Tres Cruces, the hill flanking the west of the city, topped with three huge crosses, a South American Golgotha. There it is again, another brilliant flash illuminating the cloud-strewn sky. But there is no thunder, no sound at all except for the low growl of the ubiquitous beaten up yellow taxis streaming by on the street below. I gaze up at the sky above my rooftop haven - the half moon and early stars are bright and clear. A fresh breeze cools my skin, still slightly sweat-sticky from the heat of the day. I scan the skyline of my adopted city, the endless houselights of the plains to the south, the skyscrapers closer by, the drug-money-funded apartment blocks dwarfing the decrepit colonial villa, now empty and easily corroborating the rumours of murder and cannibalism sometime in its hazy history. The Cristo Rey, a huge statue of Christ on a hill to the south-west, religiously lit up, stands with arms raised in beatification towards the three crosses. And the silent surreal Andean lightening storm continues capturing its snapshots of Santiago de Cali.

Where the kiwi has flown #1 - tsunami diving