One of the things I did while I was in Ecuador was visit the Galapagos Islands with the intention of stealing a tortoise and sailing it out to international waters just so I can bring it back to Canada and raise it until I eventually grow bored of it and attempt to flush it down the toilet but it’d be too big to flush so I’d probably have to turn it into soup or release it into the wild where it’d probably piss off a gang of moose and get stabbed.
It may not have been a well thought out plan but it was my plan so you can shut up about “Only human laws don’t count in International Waters, not animal laws” and just let a person dream, OK?
To get to the Islands I had to take an airplane from Quito, the capital of Ecuador. There was a brief stopover in Ecuador’s second largest city, Guayaquil. How do I know these facts? It’s called reading the in-flight broucher. Oh snap, you’ve just been learned.
It was on this flight into Guayaquil that something magical happened and made me turn into the charmingly funny and witty and dashingly handsome adult I am today. What, dare you ask, was so magical about this flight? I’ll tell you dear child. I sat right next to two Colombian Drug lords.
I.Sat. Next. To. Two. Colombian. Drug lords.
I’m not even kidding. Honest to god drug lords. My first indication that they were Colombian drug lords happened to be the fact that they looked as if they had walked off the set of Miami Vice and on to my airplane. Gold everywhere. Grey tweed blazers over black t-shirts, dress pants, coke nails and moustaches.
The moustaches were a dead giveaway.
After reviewing the movie Taken multiple times before I left the country so I was up to date on my “insurance policy” which was basically “If kidnapped and sold into the sex trade, call Liam Neeson”, I knew making eye contact would probably lead me down some type of horrible road littered with Colombians and cocaine.
Folks, I made eye contact. Honestly, how could I have not? How often do you get to be thisclose to a drug lord?
Unfortunately I should have listened to my movie instincts because the moment I made eye contact to the one sitting nearest me he started striking up a conversation that I couldn’t understand because he was speaking whatever they speak in Columbia (Columbanese?) and I can barely master the English language on a good day so I was at a loss for words.
The guy kept trying to speak to me despite the fact I couldn’t understand and it frustrated his friend to the point that he decided he was going to translate. He only knew a handful of English so it didn’t really help my efforts of “not inadvertently agreeing to be kidnapped.”
Because, honestly, that’s all I got from that conversation. That by forcing mini vodka’s on me from the plane they would get me drunk and sell me into the sex trade and maybe Liam Neeson will or won’t come for me because in the movie he was totally a dick who ignored the fact his daughters friend got kidnapped too and left her to rot. I didn’t want to be that daughter’s friend in this scenario.
They did get extremely excited to find out I was Canadian as if Canadian meat goes for a far better price than say Russian meat. Since I didn’t want to be kidnapped and turned into bacon, I feigned interest in what was going on outside the window and that every cloud I saw was more beautiful than the last.
This backfired because the guy next to me suddenly got interested in my intense interest for what was happening out the window and tried to get his friend to ask me what was so interesting that I wasn’t having any vodka they kept trying to slip me.
Fortunately when they ended up getting off of the plane at Guayaquil and the old couple who sat across the aisle from me (who, also, ended up being on my cruise but more on that disaster later) started talking to me about how when they were in the airport those exact same guys next to me ended up losing a briefcase that had $60,000 in it and had started freaking out because they refused to go to the Police and how terrible it would be to show up to their boss empty handed.
So basically not only was I sitting next to two drug lords, I was sitting next to the two worst Columbian drug lords in the history of druglordshipness.
Which was pretty awesome considering they probably would have botched my kidnapping leaving me free to enjoy the rest of my vacation.