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Party Life
Here we present unique experiences from the wild partylife around the world.

Living la vida loca in Cartagena, Colombia

2004-01-05
Twist and jump at Mr. Babilla disco
Living la vida loca in Colombia - "Locombia", by dancing Salsa on tables, chairs and bar desks. Do you think you are normal if you dance on the floor? Yes, most people around would see it that way, but not in Mr. Babilla disco in Cartagena, (Colombia). No matter how drunk you are, you are expected to twist, jump and balance on the bar desk, tables, chairs and other furniture in high altitudes.

Colombia Locombia - the mad country - as the press like to call it. The name can wake associations within many areas. One of them is the party life. From my wild experience in Cartagena, I can confirm this. Cartagena de Indias is situated on the Caribbean Coast, and the city is legendary both for its history and its beauty. It has been immortalized on countless canvases, glorified in plenty of books and photographed in every detail countless times. Cartagena deserves every one of these tributes.

Recharge your batteries in the afternoon. Take your siesta seriously, you will need it later. The dance party at Mr. Babilla doesn't start until 12.00 o'clock in the night, but from there you have to go the whole way to the sunrise. Before that it is quite relaxed.

Exactly 12.00 o'clock many hundred people storm in to dance, kiss, sing, shout and celebrate in accordance to Salsa rhythms. Music is at full volume all the time. No limits, just rejoice! It was just what I experienced in July last year. I still dream about a comeback!

Photo: Here and now!

Dancing the night away up in the roofs in Mr. Babilla disco in Cartagena, Colombia. If you invite out a Colombian lush beauty you have to be prepared for at least 3-4 hours non-stop dancing. Your fuel for the night is Rum, with a lot of "umbrellas" in the drink. "Hi - ho, sexy girls and a bottle of Rum" (from a good old pirate song).

The macho culture is apparent. The only way to impress a girl is to twist and jump the wildest you can. The higher you climb on tables, chairs and not forget the bar desk, the more respect you will get. Even though you can't dance properly, Salsa, Meringue or Rumba, it is the effort that counts.

The suggestive rhythms drive you crazy. Caribbean music is so fascinating. Colombian music has elements of both the African rhythms of the Caribbean, Cuban salsa and heavily Spanish-influenced Andean music.

Photo: Look up! Pretty girls are soaring in the air!

I don't like altitudes, but when I saw all the pretty girls there I forget the fear. Soon I find my self-dancing near the roof. Heights makes me dizzy, especially with much "circling".

It took a long time before I climbed down again; by then I had already met someone who would like to know me better.

Photo. Dancing on the bardesk - without falling down?

Mind your steps with Salsa.

Neither in Cartagena or other places in Colombia, you have to worry about getting to know the locals. Making contact with them is very easy. They are very open-minded. Sometimes they take the initiative themselves by asking questions or making an innocent joke, which they expect you to comment on. Further they often will invite you out for a coffee or a beer.

Cartagena is an incredible fascinating city, with an incredible fascinating people. Hope you meet them some day!

Stein Morten Lund, 18 September 2000
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