A letter of complaint about our flight to Cartagena

Sent via email to the Ministry of Aviation, La República de Colombia.

Dear Señor or Señora,

On February 20, my partner George and I traveled from Medellín to Cartagena on Avianca flight #9510. That is to say, the flight was supposed to go to Cartagena. However, it has become clear to us that the plane landed somewhere else. We don’t know if this was due to an error on the part of the crew, or if perhaps the plane was hijacked. In any case, we are not where we expected to be. I would greatly appreciate your assistance with determining where our plane actually landed, and helping us get to Cartagena before our vacation ends.

With warmest regards,

El Más Interesante Blog del Mundo

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Dear Mr. del Mundo,

I am greatly concerned by your comments. It is very important to the Ministry of Aviation that every plane lands where it is supposed to. However, our records indicate that your flight did indeed arrive in Cartagena. Can you please tell me why you do not think you are there?

Most graciously yours,

Juan Andajaf, Minister of Aviation, La República de Colombia

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Dear Señor Andajaf,

There is no question we are not in Cartagena. We believe we are on an island somewhere in the middle of the Caribbean. Just about everyone we encounter is either a working class local of African descent, or a pasty white Western tourist with a nasty sunburn. Some of the native women are wearing fruit on their heads, for godsake. The ocean breeze is so strong you can get a serious glute workout just by walking against it. The streets are lined with shops offering overpriced jewelry, restaurants pushing fixed-price lunches with beer and dessert, and corner-stand hawkers selling everything from fake Ray-Ban sunglasses to freshly made arepas con queso. (The arepas are damn tasty, I must report.) If it wasn’t for all the Spanish we’re hearing, I’d swear we were in Aruba or somewhere like that. Please check with your people. I’m pretty sure our plane must have been hijacked. (However, I do want to commend our hijackers for an extremely smooth and pleasant flight.)

With warm regards,

El Más Interesante Blog del Mundo

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Dear Mr. del Mundo,

I am equally sure your plane was not hijacked. The place you are describing sounds exactly like Cartagena. Have you looked at a map?

Cordially yours,

Juan Andajaf

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Dear Señor Andajaf,

I think we would know if we were in Cartagena. We’re fairly savvy travelers. And with all due respect, your country is not the best when it comes to maps. In Medellín, the maps might as well have been abstract ink blots. Let me tell you a little more about the place we’re at. It has an old historic center surrounded by the remnants of a wall that was built by the Spanish in the 17th Century to fend off invaders. The ruins of an old fort are nearby too, with great views of the city. The local beaches are somewhat ratty, but you can take a boat to excellent beaches nearby, or to tiny islands not far off the coast. Wait, I think I figured it out. We must be in Puerto Rico. Which is nice and all, but we’re supposed to be in Cartagena. Can you please help us out?

With lukewarm regards,

Blog del Mundo

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Dear Blog,

Just out of curiosity, did you consult the Google gods to see where you are? It seems to me that would have been a logical thing to do by now. If you do that, I am 100% positive you will find that you are in Cartagena. The city was indeed a military stronghold of the Spanish. It was the first Spanish port in South America to facilitate the export of gold and other treasures stolen from the indigenous peoples. Naturally it was also used to import various things the Spaniards needed to continue exploiting them. Cartagena was also the main entry point for African slaves into Spanish-controlled colonies in South America. A local priest who comforted the slaves and helped them adapt, San Pedro Claver, was the first person canonized in the New World. That is one reason you are seeing so many people of African descent. Their ancestors were liberated in Cartagena, and many of them chose to remain there. I wish to assure you that you are not in Puerto Rico. Have you bothered to ask anyone on the street? Or walked into a hotel lobby?

Yours,

Juan Andajaf

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Listen Andajaf,

I do not appreciate the increasingly dismissive tone of your emails. My partner and I have avoided speaking to anyone in this place because we are concerned about being kidnapped again. In fact, I think I saw our prior kidnapper (an Ecuadorian screwball named Raoul) lurking in a doorway. Plus our phone batteries are dead and we have nowhere to charge them. So we have kept to ourselves and just wandered around the historic city center (which I must say is a most relaxing thing to do in this place, wherever the hell it is). We also walked along the narrow adjoining peninsula, where an astonishing number of modern residential high-rises have sprouted up, mixing with restaurants, shops and public spaces to give the neighborhood a Miami Beach feel, very different from the quaint, colorful, colonial architecture of the Old City it overlooks. At this point you should have plenty of information to pinpoint our location. With all due respect, it’s time to stop pretending you don’t know what happened to our plane.

With impatient regards,

Blog

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Dear Sir,

I am sorry if you detect an unpleasant tone in my emails. However, I am finding it increasingly difficult to take you seriously. Of course I know what happened to your plane. It landed in Cartagena on schedule. Everything you are describing is in Cartagena. The Miami-like neighborhood even has a Miami-like name. It’s called Bocagrande. Frankly, I think you know very well your plane was not hijacked. And I have it on good authority that your kidnapping tale was fictional too. So please stop bothering me with your nonsense. I am a very busy man.

No longer yours,

Juan Andajaf

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OK Juan,

Fine, you got me. After our heart-stopping ride to Cuenca, we never really did see our crazy Ecuadorian driver again. The kidnapping story was just a bit of fun I made up. But it could have happened. It’s happened many times in your country. Don’t try to deny it.

With no regards,

Blog

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Sir,

The kidnappings are a thing of the past. Those criminals are gone. Colombia is a safe place now. If you didn’t think so, you wouldn’t have come here – whoever you are. My authorities tell me your real name isn’t even Blog del Mundo.

Enough of yours,

Juan Andajaf

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Dear Minister of Bullshit,

Give me a break. There are still plenty of criminals in Colombia. And they’re still trafficking boatloads of cocaine from your borders. Where do you think all the money comes from to build all those beautiful buildings in Bocagrande? And of course my name isn’t Blog del Mundo. That’s the name of my website. How stupid are you?

Regardless,

The Most Interesting Blog in the World (that’s in English for ya, buddy)

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Hombre,

You are rude and insulting. This conversation has come to an end.

Up yours,

J.A.

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Hey Dipshit,

This conversation ends when I say it does. You want to know why? Because you’re fictional too. That’s right. This entire email thread is just a figment of my slightly disturbed imagination. So there.

Master Bloggy Blog

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Bloggy Bastardo,

How dare you. I am most certainly not fictional. I am a highly decorated military officer, and the Minister of Aviation of La República de Colombia!

Proudly giving you the finger,

Admiral Juan Andajaf

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Andajaf,

But y’are fictional, Blanche, y’are. I’ll prove it, by having you say polite things to me in your next response. And by the way, you’re not an Admiral.

TMIBITW (.com)

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My Dearest Mr. del Mundo,

Thank you so much for the kindness of your visit to Colombia. I have read your blog and am very happy that you have so many nice things to say about my humble country. Please have a safe trip home. I hope you are able to visit us again soon.

Oh shit, you’re right! I must be fictional. I would never have said such polite things to an asshole like you! This is terrible news. What will I tell my wife and kids?

Most definitely yours,

Captain Juan Andajaf

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Oh Captain my Captain,

Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it for ya. Your family is fictional too.

With warmest regards,

Blog del Mundo

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3 Comments

  1. Mike Dieffenbach

    I enjoyed this very much.

    Reply
    1. Craig David Singer (Post author)

      Thanks Dief!

      Reply
  2. Janet

    Hysterical……………………. but then I would not expect any less irreverent humor!

    Reply

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