Facial hair strength increases with monetary value. The 10,000 is a woman, not a mustache, but she deserves recognition anyway.
*Full disclosure: While I’ve been called “unlucky,” “disaster-prone,” or “lacking in risk-aversion” by kinder friends, family, and colleagues who find themselves at a loss for words of reassurance every time I make (with astounding efficiency) a cartoonish mess of my life and personal effects, the fact remains that I am an idiot. While this is, geographically speaking, a steadfast characteristic, and I am just as likely to fall out of a tree, lose my (or someone else’s) ID and car keys, and break the water valve in my dwelling in the same day in Boulder, CO as I am in Zipaquira, Colombia, certain things avail themselves to much less remedy outside of the Colorado/Utah/New Mexico tri-state area. And I have to start taking preventative, rather than remedial, care of my person, belongings, and legal status.
This is for those of us who, despite genuine efforts to get our proverbial shit together, still don’t quite trust ourselves to stop doing stupid things completely and don’t want to die or anything in a different country. Which means that we have to be selective about things like the streets in which we set our purses down with only casual intentions of picking them up again or the fountains in which we jump.
In NYC, one can gauge relative external danger using some kind of scale involving cabs. In Colorado, if something is on fire and/or being eaten by a bear, there’s a good chance that you’ve reached max danger. But international travel can throw a real curveball into your assumedly shrewd calculations. So here is my gift to you, internet. A handy pictorial risk-management guide for use in Bogotá, Colombia:
The Bogotá Canine Danger Scale
The only population asserting more dominance in the public domain of Bogotá than its cars are its canines. And there is a direct correlation between the size and constrainedness of these dogs and the calamity potential in the area for maladroit gringos. We will refer to both of these, for the sake of convenience and aptness, in Units of Ferocity. The lower the UF, the safer and less prone to consequences you are in the event of your ill-wittedness.
Because there are probably more dogs than anything else in Colombia, there are actually far more categories and subcategories than I can list here. But here are some of the more important ones.
UF 1: Small and Tethered
This is the most secure situation in which you could possibly find yourself. Ask someone in really loud Spanglish where you can find Doritos Locos Tacos, or pull out your smart phone and ask Jeeves or something, I don’t know. The point is that you will not be in danger doing these things. People will just think you’re a moron.
UF 2:Large, Leashed and Reflective-Police-Vested
Don’t be fooled by the size of this dog or the fact that the only thing keeping it tamed is but one arm of its human police officer compatriot, due to the other arm being occupied by a semi-automatic weapon. These hounds actually signify a lesser potential for disaster than the baby animals in the following category. I mean, think about it: you’ve got the Super Bestfriends League of Crime Trampling in your line of sight. You will almost certainly be fine, but don’t do anything really stupid. Check for cars before crossing the street and all.
UF 3: Stray Puppies
Here are 3 pictures of puppies.
These aren’t in the same category as the next ones or the ones after that because they are lovable baby dogs. Even the scraggly ones. If you disagree, you are a monster.
UF 4: Large, Shackled, and Unattended
Because look at it.
UF 5: Mangy Packs
Things aren’t looking good for you here. Your phone should have been in your pocket a few levels ago, but if it’s still out, put that thing away. And not the away that involves fumbling with your under-the-shirt wallet with a neck strap. There’s a reason these dogs started hanging out in packs, and it’s based in their own need for security. Don’t go wandering around at night by yourself here.
UF 6: Abandoned By All Dogs
I had to draw a picture of this dog because it is fictional and does not exist in the areas to which I’m referring. I don’t know why you would be here, but you may be a little out of luck. Call a cab or a friend with a car because none of your skills will ever be strong enough for this situation.