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With traditional epicurean treats such as Sancocho, Bandeja Paisa, Fritanga, and Lechona, and desserts like Buñuelos, Manjar Blanco, Postre de Natas, there is no worry about going hungry ! Add to that aguardiente (a popular licorice flavored alcoholic drink, literally translated “firewater !”), or Ron Viejo (a quality Colombian Rum), or ... Fun, good food, and culture in Johannesburg What to do, where to eat, and places to see the Big Five (buffalo, elephant, rhinoceros, leopard, and lion) in the South African capital and its surroundings A Juan de Dios Usuga, nada le gustaba más, por encima de la plata, el aguardiente y la adrenalina de coronar embarques de coca en Estados Unidos, que las niñas. Interpretaciones alternativas de soñar con aguardiente. Se ve unido a acciones muy cotidianas que se relacionan inconscientemente con el hecho de podernos ver realizando el consumo de cualquier líquido, y por ello se une indirectamente a: ; Soñar que bebe agua: La persona busca una alternativa para purificar su sistema y librarlo de cualquier impureza que pueda estar teniendo. Como buena hija de su madre, Mariana heredó parte de la ‘fobia a lo supersticioso’. Ya mayor de edad, con sus buenos 21 años, seguía cumpliendo las típicas eventualidades que la alejarían de la mala suerte; «no entrar en aviones con sombrero puesto», «evitar que le barrieran los pies», «tocar madera cada vez que decía algo negativo», etc. Traduzioni di frase UN AGUARDIENTE da spagnolo a italiano ed esempi di utilizzo di 'UN AGUARDIENTE' in una frase con le loro traduzioni: Un aguardiente y una... coca-cola. Inglese Olandese Francese Italiano Danese Tedesco Latino Finlandese Svedese Norvegese Russo Ceco Indonesiano Croato Aguardiente Polvo De los Muertos Lait Grand bassin méta Un ensemble de collares préparés de Egun Préparation et utilisation Vous allez dessiner un très grand cercle avec la Cascarila. Vous mélangez l'eau bénite avec du lait et des aguardiente dans un très grand bassin / bol en métal. Vous le placerez au centre du cercle. Hoy en día, la opción de Mejor Crema De Orujo Gallega es la mejor selección de internet para ti y otros compradores, y más si además consigues impresionantes rebajas de hasta el 20% todo el año.. El equipo de Derecho a elegrir ha recorrido casi todo el mundo digital durante bastante tiempo, para enseñarte una mega lista con los mejores productos. La cultura del aguardiente hizo que, contrario a lo que podra pensarse, la primera fbrica que existi aqu no fuera de telas sino de aguardiente. El cronista de fines del siglo XVIII Jos Antonio Benites, narra que en 1784 y 1787 fue construida la real Fbrica de Aguardiente mientras que el primer telar tuvo origen en 1790. Combining activities with lunch and drinks and transport can start to get pretty expensive in Puerto Rico when planning independently. This San Juan cruise saves you money by merging a catamaran cruise with lunch, local sangria, beach time, and even an optional upgrade for hotel pickup and drop-off.

Latino Pantheon (idea for a new pantheon)

2020.05.23 10:23 ThyTwank Latino Pantheon (idea for a new pantheon)

Latino Pantheon (idea for a new pantheon)

¿What could be a Latino pantheon?
So to start, when i talk about a Latino pantheon, I’m not proposing an umbrella term for other pre-Hispanic religion that aren’t in the game (examples like Aztec ,Mapuche ,Guarani); that’s not the intend with this rather different pantheon.
If you are from a Latino country something that most countries have “mitos y leyendas” which means myths and legends in Spanish; but when talking about this “mitos y leyendas”, latinos usually don’t mean about myths from their indigenous ancestor; the creatures and entities that appear under this term are beings created from the syncretism between the various aboriginal beliefs, African slave beliefs and Catholicism, a lot of this creatures come specifically from post-colony times and are part of foundation myths of South Americans country, they could be compared to entities like the yokai from the Japanese, but the people who study a lot of this beings as cultural phenomenon of the Latino identity usually compared to other similar beliefs like Voodoo. A lot of this folk creatures do have big cultural impacts as national patrimony to some countries, and are still believed to exist in rural areas of those countries (a lot of them even have statues on their honor)
¿But using the term Latino can be generalizing?
This is point is where one interesting about this creatures comes into play; a lot of them are shared by multiples countries, yeah sometimes the story has little changes depending on the country, but they are still depicted in the same way. The best and most well-known example of this is La Llorona, it’s possible that you may have heard of her before; but something interesting of her as myth is that she is present all Latino America as part of common folks; for example in Mexico she is considered national patrimony, but in other countries La Llorona is very tied up to their identity as much to the Mexican, and not even that, both the story and the appearance of La Llorona are always very similar to each other, she is always represented as the ghostly figure of mother with skull as a head (a common motif on a lot of Latino legends), her lore always been is of the spirit of mother eternally looking for their child and her cries disturb people from villages. But this aspect of been shared by almost all Latino America is not unique to La Llorona, of courses there some cases of myths that are exclusive to individual countries, but a lot of them are usually shared between at least 2 or 3 countries.
¿Do they fit in Smite?
Another thing that this Pantheon does is really encapsulated the Latino folk and identity very well; while Mayan as pantheon is one that does represent the continent, Latino as an identity is much more than just indigenous roots, and this myths and legends do reflect the mixing of cultures and heritages that is the continent, a lot of this character, coming from post-colonial times and been part of the independence of a lot of this country could bring a new flavor to Smite (if we talk aesthetic wise, they would be pretty similar to Voodoo gods, as in their a more modern looking as a pantheon) but validation wise to fit into the game; they would be in between the Arthurian pantheon and Voodoo Pantheon; as in they are no gods like Zeus or Thor, but do hold culture value and importance for the latino identity.
Possible playable “Gods”
(Note: I will put their country/countries of origin in front of their name to give some context)
La Llorona (almost all Latino America)
- The legend of la Llorona is alters a bit depending of the country; some say she uses to be an indigenous woman who got pregnant by a colonizer who she though it was in love with her, after been betray by the man, she kill her kids and then herself, others say she was a widow of a libertador during a civil war, who end up having kids with another man, but when her husband came back alive after many years of been mistakenly dead, she ran through the woods until she feel to a river with her baby at arms, drowning; while others say she used to be young girl working on the countryside, who fell in love with his master’s son and had a baby with him, putting her into facing abuse from her master, in a desperation act she throw her baby to river, but in guilt she follow her child into the water dying. But no matter how the story goes, every country in South America talks of her as the chilling figure of a phantom woman, with a skull as her face, lurking from rivers to villages, crying and screaming “Ayyy mis hijito” as she endlessly searches for him.

https://preview.redd.it/w4yb087q5h051.png?width=356&format=png&auto=webp&s=9ee35afd09570042a79f3d8591e8498199580d61
La Patasola (Colombia)
- A monstrous woman who lives in the mountains of Colombia, known for jumping in the valleys with her one goat leg; Some people say she is ghost of cheating wife, whose husband kill by chopping one of her legs with a machete, but people say this version is just an alteration of the creature made by jealous man on the country side to make their wives more loyal; It is say that she is an ancient creature of the forest, adorning her self with golden bracelets and hunting men for centuries, she is also say to have extremely long arms that she uses a crotches to move better and her mangled hair is nest of snakes that slither around all of her body; she is say to be a vampire of the forest, sucking down her victims blood and leaving their bones broken. People in the countryside still hang mirror outside their houses, so if she sees herself in the mirror she would jump back to the mountains.

https://preview.redd.it/xn9bjz5v5h051.png?width=424&format=png&auto=webp&s=64be809073caebab26d9f39e8b476a70ebb3d191
El Silbón (Venezuela)
- Describe as man with long legs and long arms (Kinda like idk Slenderman; just like proportion wise), wearing a big straw hat and common farmer clothing; on his back he carries a sack full of bones: the legend talks about a man who was happily married to a woman, but his father though ill of the woman, saying she was hooker and she will only bring him pain, so his father decided kill her, after hearing this, the man enter into a rage fit kill his father in front of his grandfather, after gaining back his sense the man understood his wrong doings and was punish by grandfather by been whip on his back, after that his grandfather cursed him to live for ever carrying a bag with his father remaining; and from them on the man left home cursed and become the monster known as el Silbon; besides the bag full of bones, El Silbon is most known for whistling eternally (His name is kinda a countryside way of saying whistler); people say that when you hear his whistling so loudly that it almost hurts your eardrums, that means he is very far away from you, but if you heard it as if its very far away, he is dangerously close to you; people say that all of his victims end on the sack; he is also depicted drinking Aguardiente(alcoholic drink); He can be scare by the sound of dog barking.

https://preview.redd.it/xeml2l8w5h051.png?width=362&format=png&auto=webp&s=b5e434b75c39eb92f64fb8036cd7b29829ac7d44
Boto Colorado (Brazil and Peru)
- The Boto Colorado is a legend from the Amazonian region of Brazil and Peru that talks about the mysterious abilities of the Pink River Dolphin; it is say that they are lure by the sound and music of people partying on the riverside, there they take shape of a beautiful young man (the only part that doesn’t change is the blowhole, so they usually wear hats to conceal it) and crashes the party, where they focus on getting people tired by dancing, getting everyone wasted and luring the youngest girl with him; when the whole party is dying and everyone is passed out, he takes his female victim and leaves with her to bottom of the river to never be seen again(sometimes they just get the girl pregnant and then disappear). People in Brazil call fatherless children “filho do boto” and when a young stranger comes to a party, he is asked to take his hat and bow down to see if he has a blowhole

Lola (Chile)
- A female ghost that pulls with chains behind her the casket of her death husband; in live she was married to a miner who got rich after finding a big mine of gold, after that her husband started to get distant from her, sooon enough he lost all interest with her wished to leave her, this make her fall into a great sadness which then turn into anger which lead to her killing him; after this she became crazy escape to hide on the mines, so time later she came back to her village, there she started to kill all miner men, blaming them for the death of her husband, she continue with this massacre until she was kill, but now her ghost lurks on mines looking for the one who “killed” her husband while pulling his casket; miners usually have precautions about her when going to work.

https://preview.redd.it/3b767lfx5h051.png?width=165&format=png&auto=webp&s=cebf91c3171ad98e4ed5c7e25fdc2b8016ed3d43
El Tio (Bolivia)
- During the Colony, the village of Potosi became famous for been the city of silver, the giants mines of this village where fill with great amounts of silver; so the Conquistadores send all of the indigenous people to work endlessly on the mines, after sometimes the indigenous people started rebelling against this work, so the Conquistadores created the statues of El Tio, a demon shaped figure and put them inside various places of the Potosi’s mines, making the works beliefs of his powers surrounding the mines, the workers ended up seeing El Tio as patron of the mine; El Tio is still to this day seen as a godly figure of the mines for the people of Potosi (yeah people still work there in the mines); the statues have becomes shrines to put booze and coca leaves in order to please El Tio and for him to bring luck to miners, so they don’t get lost or die on the mines, other practices that are still present to this day is to sacrifice a llama of El Tio; People who study El Tio as a cultural phenomenon compare him to Voodoo and the loas (Like Baron Samedi)

https://preview.redd.it/p8paygpy5h051.png?width=326&format=png&auto=webp&s=08db21f879993ecf8f6e2a26df3dc4bb345dedb2
Maria La Larga (Colombia)
- In the region of Tolima, Maria La Larga is almost describe as a deity, this entity takes the form of beautiful and very tall woman; she goes to villages around the middle of the night and seduces drunk men to follow her to the local cemetery; when they arrive, she shows her true form, becoming a giant woman with the face of a skull, there she takes her victims put them on the tops of the tallest trees, a place where they usually can escape, after this she disappears becoming a starry figure of herself on the night sky, watching as people from the village come to try to save the unfortunate men from a pretty much inevitable fall.

https://preview.redd.it/ik2v9xtz5h051.png?width=354&format=png&auto=webp&s=77a9d2ff1f31e3710e1a4d593f8371a165a36b05
La Tulevieja (Costa Rica and Panama)
- The Tulevieja is said to be a creature similar to an Harpy, a monstrous woman with a face filled with holes, giant wings of a bat and the talons of a bird; her tale say that she was once a woman known for been always at parties, been with all man she find there and was recognizable for her Tule hat; but all of this change when she got pregnant by a man, from there on she knew she would have to abandon her life of party and lust, so when she enter in labor, she went to the riverbank and gave birth, she then put the baby inside her Tule hat and leaved; after doing this godlike entities felt rage against her and turn her into the hideous monster she is known, the only way that she had to go back been human was to find her baby, but when she arrive at the river bank, the tule hat was empty and the baby was gone, from there on she wears her tule hat and lurks on the riverbanks looking for her baby; she is said to leave a trace of milk wherever she goes, this milk is said to attract ants very fast and great numbers; she hunts people between the hours of 8 to 11 in the night; from 1 to 3 in the morning she changes back to her human self, during this time she usually baths alone on the rivers but if she is seen by another human, she immediately change back to her monstrous form.

https://preview.redd.it/pq4hz3216h051.png?width=250&format=png&auto=webp&s=3b08a37c63c3940e5d30f3a840d78197703719c5
La Cegua (Central America; Especially important in Nicaraguan folk)
- A woman with the face of a decaying horse skull and monstrous hands, she is said to secrete fumes with the smell of decaying corpses, sometimes is said that she combs her hair with a golden brush: people said she once used to a teen girl who wanted a life of parties but her mother never allowed her, so she ended up beating her mother until a black hand manifested and grabbed hers, stopping her abuse and cursing her to become a monster; after that she became the horrible half horse creature she is; usually haunts men who know how to ride horses, by asking them for a rider as a human and turning into her hideous self to cause accidents; people say that a way to get rid of her is by putting mustard seeds on the ground, there she will fake eat them and turn into a fetid wisp and disappear.

https://preview.redd.it/iaq6ln526h051.png?width=589&format=png&auto=webp&s=727392317fde2334c54e1103e62969c956e3d0cc
El Cipitío (El Salvador)
- Said to be the child of the sun, gifted with eternal life, making him stop growing after the age of 10; knowing that people would chase him for to get eternal life, he was born with his legs backwards, always leaving footprints guiding to the other direction; he is also depicted with a giant bulging belly, a giant hat and caring a branch of bananas; he’s a trickster spirit, scaring travelers and throwing seeds to their heads, also known for falling in love with young woman and showering them with flowers; he usually goes to abandon campsite to eat and bath on the ash of bonfires.

https://preview.redd.it/es99wo836h051.png?width=374&format=png&auto=webp&s=6c36513e69c911d28bfaae3776e88fadb9576848
La Mona Bruja (Nicaragua)
- Said to be one of the myths that show the most syncretism from Latino America, the tale of old and fragile lady that moves to villages, where she is seen by the community as this poor lonely woman who never leaves the houses, while in reality, she is a witch older than she appears with the ability to turn into a monkey; as a monkey she wreak chaos on villages and steals all the food and livestock from people, leading them to misery; is said that she was caught after been shot on the leg with shotgun by a men while she was a monkey, and soon as people saw her injury she was kicked out of the village for her to get lost in the jungle.
El Mohan (Colombia)
- Said to an old wizard (mohan was a range that a practitioner of magic in the Muisca tribes) who had the vision of the Colony and the coming of the white men; so he hide in a cave for centuries, where his hair and beard grew so long that it cover his body, and his mind got lost in the isolation so he became a feral man; when he came out of hiding, he started to terrorize people; He learn to play the guitar and started smoking puros, he is said to been seen at night by light of his puro and he can be hear singing as he plays the guitar, talking about the times before he turned into the creature he is; he usually stalks woman and abduct them to never be seen again; is tradition that a man goes with a woman to the river to clean her cloths to protect her from El Mohan.

https://preview.redd.it/nujqwxb46h051.png?width=426&format=png&auto=webp&s=b28ad15111d9e3d7135bbbcdeaa1a43aa7e4d38a
El Hombre Caiman (Colombia)
- A myth from the African heritage of Colombia in the Caribbean region of the country, about a fisherman with a great lust for woman, known as Saul Montenegro; His desire to watch the woman of Plato village bathing was so great that he befriend a witch to make him potions so he could spy on them, one potion would turn him into a caiman while the other turn him back to human, when doing this endeavor, he usually had a backup friend who always helped him turn from caiman to men after he was done spying; he became a prominent spying caiman in the waters of the Magdalena river, where he had eyefuls on the bathing woman; but this backfire when one day another friend came to help him instead of the guy who usually did, when the men saw the caiman approaching, out of fear he threw the bottle to ground an escape, only some drops of the potion fell on Saul, turning half of his body into a men; now half men half caiman he lurks Magdalena River, his only friend been his mother who always brough him food to the river, she ended up dying after finding out that the witch who had made the potion died; after the dead of his mother, the now known Hombre Caiman left river to the ocean; still to this day people on Plato celebrate a festival in his honor; fisherman and bathers of the Magdalena river are cautious about him pulling them underwater.

https://preview.redd.it/lpmw6h856h051.png?width=589&format=png&auto=webp&s=d37666c7f6121fba33b2456ac74cd32d0f8c96b6
Mandigas (Ecuador,Colombia,Chile and Argentina; also presents in other places but with a different name)
- He is said to be a Latino version of Satan; He is usually depicted as a charismatic man in red that is always trying to make deals with everyone; he is say to be the one who cursed La Cegua in some versions of her story; In the colombian legend of Francisco el hombre; he is shown to be a master with the accordion, and that his music makes the forest move and the earth tremble; in some legends about him from Argentina, he is said to live in the Salamanca cave, there he has a great following of witches and is said to have a great collection of frogs that he gives to said witches for protection; In Salamanca, there is a tale of trial to meet Mandigas, in the trail he makes people face creatures like El Culebron (a giant hairy snake) and the basilisk.

https://preview.redd.it/y9mzrh566h051.png?width=364&format=png&auto=webp&s=20cf63f1e8db870c830da15e4736a85798d8ef26
Cantuña (Ecuador)
- An indigenous man from Quito who was know for been a cunning man that learned the art architecture, becoming famous for all the churches and temple he did under the apprenticeship of a kind friar who teach him all he knew; Cantuña was regarded as a hero for making said temple by himself; When a Spanish nobleman came with the petition from the King of Spain to make a the most stunning church, Cantuña took the job, but the nobleman didn’t trust Cantuña for his heritage, so he only accepted with the condition of doing it in short time spam (a matter of days) and if he failed he would go to jail; Cantuña accepted and proceed with his work, the gigantic church was almost complete, but time was almost running out; so from Cantuña despair, appear Mandigas with offer to help in exchange of his soul, Cantuña accepted and from the shadows left of the early dawn, Mandingas summon a legion of little demons (almost like imps) who took the rest of the bricks from the construction and started to finished the temple; Cantuña with his wit, was able to make a plan so he wouldn’t have to give his soul, by stealing the last brick of the church and blessing it with holly magic; when the temple was finished, Mandigas couldn’t take Cantuña’s soul until the last brick was placed; so Cantuña show him the blessed brick, but neither Mandigas or his demons could touch, so Cantuña place the last brick, breaking his contract to Mandigas a creating the Church and Convent of St Francis.
Alicanto (Chile and Argentina)
- A legendary bird with the glistening plumage that could blind men, a curved beak, and the tail of a swan; is said that is omen of good fortune for miners, as it feeds on gold, silver and other ores. The Alicanto is also known for letting miners who follow him stray from home never to return. Its plumes change color and property depending on the last ore it ate, after eating an ore, is unable to walk but it cannot leave tracks behind.

https://preview.redd.it/mb2k0o576h051.png?width=505&format=png&auto=webp&s=54f5fa3eea7aade6beab1bf58ae763c5fc136552
Madre de Agua (Colombia)
- Some say she is amphibian creature others said she is some kind water spirit, Madre de Agua is said to be a protector or deity of water and its animals, described as a pale white woman with blonde hair, usually seen riding in the back of a giant crocodile; seen as a trickster spirit to fishermen and children. Legend said that in live she used to be the daughter of Conquistador who lived on the territory and was known for slaving little tribes who hadn’t fall into the colony, once he slaved a chieftain of a tribe, who denied to say where his people where, so the father started torturing the chieftain until he would tell where his tribe was; the daughter felt for the man, so she free him a both of them escape to place far from the tribe and the father; there they fell in love and started a family, from this love a baby was born, but all of this happiness was kill, when her father found their hide out, taking them as hostage, they were brought to a waterfall where they kill the chieftain by cutting his throat and threw the baby to the from the top of the waterfall, the girl was able to free herself and jumped behind her baby; after this she became Madre de Agua, searching for all eternity her child so she can reunite her family in an afterlife, she is said to sing lullabies to herself in the rivers, if a child heard this song, they would go to river and drown themselves; children who survive this encounters get extremely sick and start seeing illusions of the girl Madre de Agua was in life.

https://preview.redd.it/w1xq0w486h051.png?width=389&format=png&auto=webp&s=1f0d6d87c51df4d6a9982647f89d50375f7b6632
La Muelona (Colombia and Venezuela)
- The ghost of an evil tarot reader named La Maga, who bestowed curses on her clients and was famous for having extremely big teeth; her curses made people lustful, start ignoring the desire to makes families and spend all their; She use to have a whorehouse where most of her client would go while cursed, even with all the wealth and power she accumulate, she end up dying of an infected wound, after her dead her body started to fill her whorehouse with putrid gasses and when people tried to bury her corpse, she open her mouth, ”puking” bats from her inside returning to live as a spirit, now known as la Muelona

https://preview.redd.it/a9tm4uub6h051.png?width=348&format=png&auto=webp&s=b850ae494113c69ea3f8e8602e84ff6adeef362b
Añañuca (Chile)
- This myth tells the origin of the Añañuca, a desertic flower of Chile; once there was beautiful woman of indigenous heritage who was beloved by every men in the village of Monte Rey; even with her big following of suitors, she was never interested in them and made sure not to break their hearts; but this change when a mysterious miner came to town, both of them became friends and from there to lovers, their love was so great that it was known around all Monte Rey, one night her lover had a strange vision of a duende who told him about the greatest mine of them all in a mountain, so the man when on journey to find said mine, but never returned as it was an illusion made by the duende, but Añañuca waited, she waited for a long time until she realize that her lover would never comeback, this made her fall into a depression and later died of a broken heart, Añañuca, loved by everyone on her village was buried, on that same day a great rainstorm hit the desert and on the next day the sunshine bright with all its glory making beautiful red flowers sprouts out of the desert floor, covering all the desert with them. This myth was a way to explain a natural phenomenon that happens on the Atacama desert, named Desierto floreado (desert bloom), during this phenomenon the añañuca flowers grow all over the desert making the desert look pink.

https://preview.redd.it/cfq3zqpc6h051.png?width=327&format=png&auto=webp&s=b511b32955943382f9fe916d91934e4fe78182b7
Ciguapa (Dominican Republic)
- The Ciguapa was not a just an individual, but a group monsters similar to nymphs, carnivorous woman, with a almost blue skin color, long hair that made their cloths and had their leg backwards; this creatures are said to charm men and having paralyzing gazes; when people ignore them they would start to imitate the sounds of birds like the partridge; On full moon they are easy to trap with the help of a dog, when captured they usually died of depression becoming forest spirits and returning to the ground; the colonist used to talk about them riding wild horses: This myth has its origins on sightings of the last survivors of the Taino Tribes who hid on caves to escapes the colony.

https://preview.redd.it/0dqiwzld6h051.png?width=277&format=png&auto=webp&s=2197fb31f7bb5c0a332c50d1de7a9945e8be804d
La Tunda (Colombia and Ecuador)
- A legend from the African heritage of both countries; about a witch of the mangrove, said to have a wooden whisk as a leg; usually disguise herself as a woman selling Shrimp cazuela to people; the food she serves is cursed with her farts, making people her slaves and putting them on a state knonw as Entudados, the only way to cure a person with this is by praying in group while playing the drums in the mangrove.

https://preview.redd.it/9nwr3fje6h051.png?width=356&format=png&auto=webp&s=220529211c305a4d2decbe2829be9ea8dc9f2384
submitted by ThyTwank to Smite [link] [comments]


2019.05.27 06:24 Rocknocker The Ransom of Redneck Chief.

[Inevitable, but necessary, wall-o-text; lots to cover here. TL;DR in the usual place.]
A few decades back, I found myself working for an extended time in the wilds of South America. I work in the oil industry as a ‘hired-gun’ (geological-drilling consultant) so I’m often called upon to drop everything at a moment’s notice and fly into one or another oily forsaken place to help sort out the client’s geological or geophysical quandaries. Since I’ve been doing this for quite some time, I’ve logged a preposterous amount of miles and an even more ridiculous number of frequent flyer miles (I never fly anywhere less than business class and to date, I’ve never had to pay penny one for the privilege.)
Anyways, without all the usual folderol, I get a wire (remember, this was back a couple of decades) that my presence is requested in the capital of a certain South American country (which shall remain nameless, but will say it’s more famous for its botanical exports than petroleum) to help figure out the problems with some of their deeper horizons. They were having all sorts of troubles: lost circulation, twisting off the bottom-hole assembly, key-seating, rebels shooting up their water lines, fines migration, having the night crew abducted and held for ransom; you know, the usual.
So, I fly into the capital to meet with the bigwigs of the oil company who have hired me to sort out this fiasco as Chief Geologist and spend a lovely few weeks wandering around said capital. Although there were lurid stories of all the hoo-hah going on between various factions of the political spectrum, plus the fact that my hotel had armed guards and looked disconcertingly like the Führerhauptquartiere, I remained blissfully disinterested in local events and focused on the job at hand. This required doing research at the company HQ which was within walking distance of my armor-plated hotel.
I’d arise early just after dawn, dress and venture out to walk the nearly-deserted streets to the office. Over time, I stopped to chat with the natty M-16 toting guards in front of some other rival oil company, trying to polish up my oilfield Spanish. I found a lovely little early morning cantina that made the most wonderful (and throat-searing) breakfast burritos and quickly became addicted to both the local Pisco and lime sodas found at near every street corner vendor cart.
I’d usually be one of the first in the office, suffer the necessary pat down, through a metal detector, pet the huge Alsatian sniffer dogs, wander up to the commissary to have my 100-octane morning locally-grown coffee and maybe, just today, a home-made empanada (these were so good…). By the time everyone else arrived, I’d have been thrashing through some problem and usually went into the morning meeting with some solid results and suggestions.
So, during the day I was working in my office, with a mere 2 hours for a catered lunch and then knock off around 5:00 pm for the trek back to the hotel. This one particular day, there was a major clusterfuck happening out on location, so we all huddled around a conference call and sat deliberating until 6 or 7 in the evening.
Sorting out the particular situation, all of us depart at approximately the same time. In the elevator with one of the bigger local bosses, he turns to me and apologizes that the meeting ran late and he’ll give me a ride back to my hotel since my driver obviously wasn’t around.
“Ah, no worries, mate. I’ll just walk back.” After these lunches, I needed the exercise.
“Oh, no! I cannot allow that. It’s far too dangerous for an Anglo to be walking around on the streets…”
“Hell, I do it every day. Never had a lick of a problem and met some mighty nice folks…”
For most humans, purple is not a good color; for an overwrought boss, even less so.
“You’ve been WALKING TO and FROM WORK?!?”
“Every day for the past couple of weeks.”
“What about your driver?”
“What driver?” He drags me back into the office and gets on the phone. He’s convinced that I’m a total cabeza de carne and determined that I was too unstable to be left on my own. I mean, walk the streets alone? Are you daft?
He calls one of the many drivers he has retained and 30 minutes later, an armored Toyota Bluebird (with windows about 1.5 inches thick) shows up. The boss tells me that this company (“Empresa de Vehículos Blindados de [REDACTED]”) was his own company and that I must only go out and about in one of the cars with their particular sign in the window.
“OK, you’re the boss.”
I squeeze into this squat little tank and spend the next 45 minutes careening and slewing through the streets of the capital. I haven’t been in traffic like this since the last Astros game at the Dome. Holy hell, traffic signs were mere suggestions, most lights were inoperative and if the car horn ever quit, the car was officially declared dead. With all that armor plating and bullet-resistant glass, I figured we’d turn-turtle at every sharp corner. I was definitely much safer walking, I decided.
But, I didn’t. I’d squash into that little deathtrap early in the morning, arrive shaken, but not stirred; only to face another 45 minutes of mix-mastering later on the ride home. The driver changed on a daily basis and I rarely had the same one twice. This becomes a little important in just a while.
We were having all sorts of complications out in the field. There were logistical problems, geological problems, drilling problems, problem problems… I had taken upon myself to get on the phone to Cameron Iron Works in Houston and ordered about $3.6 million worth of oilfield apparatus to help sort out the production problems.
I also called in a few favors with several cartage companies to get the materials trucked out into the jungle. The thing was, these folks were by no means incompetent or lazy, just getting them to make a timely decision was worse than pulling pterosaur pteeth. All in all, I spent way too many hours on the phone, spent way more than I was probably authorized to (‘better to get forgiveness than permission’, I always say) and drank way too much coffee, but had sorted out in 3 weeks what took 3 years to fuck up.
Deciding I’ve caused enough trouble for one day, I finally put down the phone and rubber-leg it to the commissary for another cup of their insane coffee. I, being the trained observer that I am, notice that most of the lights are off in the building and no one is around.
Hmmm.
Mighty peculiar.
I then notice its 0030 local time and that I just got so engrossed in spending large sums of other people’s money, well, time just sort of slipped on by me. By this time, I’m so wired, I could have just vibrated back to my hotel, but remembering the big boss’s admonishment, shut down my work station and bid goodnight to the lone guard out front.
I stroll out into the parking lot, looking for the familiar sticker of the cab company which has been reserved for me 24-7, toting my ever-present Wellsite case (a large briefcase with all my if-I-need-to-go-to-the-field-now necessities). There’s a beat-up Bluebird (sorry, redundant) with the sticker (found later to be counterfeit) sitting there idling in the lot so I mosey over and tap on the window.
“Hey, you with [REDACTED] car company? I’m Doc Rocknocker and I work for Engulf-n-Devour Oil Company here.”
The two swarthy characters give me the once over, fire off a bit of machine-gun Spanish between them and reply: “Oh, si. Si. We were told to…wait for you here. Get in.”
“Sweet. I’m staying at the [Armor Plated Hotel], know it?”
“Oh, si. Sure. We can take you there…”
With a cough, sputter, and lurch, we take off in a flurry of blue smoke and flaking rust.
“Yep, these are my drivers.” I muse.
After about 25 or 30 minutes, I notice that we’re not taking the usual route back to the hotel, but are inexplicably headed out of town.
“Umm, guys, ‘Scuse me, but are you sure this is the way to the hotel?”
The two characters in the front seat grin toothily at each other and the smaller one says to me: “Sorry, Senor. We are not going to the hotel. You are now our captive and will bring a great price for [whatever group they pledged loyalty].” With that, he shows me the finely honed machete he has in the front seat and the driver pulls back his shirt to display an ancient, rusty .32 Smith & Wesson.
Message received.
Oddly enough, this is not the first time this sort of thing has happened to me over the years.
In Nigeria, not only did they take me captive but also the geophysicist, the guards, drivers, and the armored Toyota Land Cruiser the security groups used. We all got out of that fine, however, the Land Cruiser was never seen again.
I was in a hotel on Leningradsky Prospect in Moscow when I awoke to tanks rumbling down the esplanade. I asked my comrade if I should be concerned about this event. “Close the shade and get away from the window, дурак” was the answer.
I was shelled in my hotel in Azerbaijan. We just got in after 32 hours of missed connections and worthless itineraries when an Armenian faction (so we were told) decided to air-condition the lobby. Luckily, we were in the bar (Surprise.) and escaped with nothing much more than a class-A case of tinnitus.
In Iraq, the town in which I was working was taken hostage. The whole bloody town. That was fun until the gin, limes, and ice ran out. Got out of that unscathed, after an impromptu air-to-ground fireworks display courtesy of coalition forces.
Well, old sod, nothing to do but sit back and enjoy the ride.
“So you see, Senor, there’s nothing you can do. We mean you no harm, but we will hold you until we are paid.”
“OK, no problem. I have no plans and my calendar looks like it just cleared for a while. Since we’re going to be bunkies for a while, can I at least know your names? I feel uncomfortable calling you Kidnapper-1 and Kidnapper-2.”
After a bit of staccato Spanish, the little guy pipes up: “I am Carlos, and the driver is Estefan (obvious pseudonyms).”
“Hey”, as I extend my hand in greeting, “I’m Doc Rocknocker and it’s nice to meet y’all.”
He shook my hand and looked at me like I’m going to sprout watermelons.
“You are not scared. Not, how you say, afraid of us?”
“Oh, hell no. You’re just another couple of chaps with a cause. I’ve been around the block once or twice and know my role in this little carnival. You say you’re not going to do me any harm, so it’s in my favor to be as pleasant as possible. But, if you like, I can put up a hellacious ruckus and have us all end up bleeding in a ditch.”
Now, just for background’s sake, I’m not a small person. About 1.87m tall, 125-130 kg (depending on season and proximity of the pub), full white Grizzly Adams beard and love huge cigars. Carlos looked like he fell off a charm bracelet, probably 1.25 m tall, 60 kg soaking wet, and Estefan was more like 100 kg, but short, squat and swarthy. Kind of like a stump with gleaming teeth. However, that shiv and .32 were great equalizers. I had already been shot once (years earlier in another part of South America) and really didn’t want to repeat that event.
“Oh, Senor. No, that will not be necessary. Please, we’ll all be friends here.”
“OK, works for me. I promise, no rough stuff and no trying to bugger off if you promise me decent treatment.”
“Oh, Senor. I give my word. See, we didn’t ‘scope you (a favorite tactic of some nefarious types was to spray scopolamine into a passenger’s eyes then rob them, ahem, blind…) nor threaten you. We are not beasts.”
“Nor am I. Now we have an agreement. Let us shake on it as new friends.”
[Begin malicious compliance…]
What’s the use of kvetching and causing a scene? Catch more flies with honey than nitric acid.
So, we drive about another hour into the blackness of rural [REDACTED] and finally arrived at a tumble-down series of tar-paper and tin-roof shacks out in the absolute middle of who-the-fuck-knows-where.
We park and they let me out of the backseat. I groan, stretch and grimace, I’m sore as hell, tired, need a drink, smoke and piss; not in any particular order.
“¿Hey, Carlos, donde es el bano?”
“Oh, Senor. You speak Spanish?”
“Yep. And that was just about it…”(I actually speak it fairly well, but was just hedging at this point).
They both laugh and point me in the direction of their airy outdoor two-seater.
“Posh. It’ll do.”
After the necessary, I wander back to my new friends and ask if they have a drink.
“Oh, Senor. Si. There’s water over there…”
“Carlos, not water. This is an adventure, we must toast and make it a significant event!”
“Oh, Senor, we might have some aguardiente, cerveza, guaro…”
“Great, I’ll have some…”
“Which?”
“All.”
Dawn was beginning to break and my captors were showing signs of definite weariness, from lack of sleep, nerves of the crimes they’re committing and trying to keep up with a Wisconsin geologist who had spent many, many years in Russia (in fact, my previous tour was in Eastern Siberia for 8 months).
“Let’s see, what should we toast to next? Oh, my. Looks like we’re gonna to need another bottle…this one has a hole in it! HAH!”
“Oh, Senor. I’m afraid you’ve drunk up all our supply. We don’t have…what are you doing?”
“Who, me? I’m just firing up one of my double Maduro Churchill cigars. Nothing like a fine morning and a good cigar. Foom!”
Rarely does one see a brace of ersatz tough guys turn such a lovely shade of olive.
“Y’all want one? I always keep a dozen or so in my well-case.”
“Umm, Senor. No. No gracias.”
Seems I’ve thrown their plans into some befuddled state of disarray. They had wanted me to call my office and explain the situation and what steps were necessary if they ever wanted to see me again.
However, jazzed nerves and killer hangovers really don’t mix. For me, it was more or less business as usual; for them, it was an invitation to the upper levels of hell.
They found some others of their cadre to keep an eye on me (even after I constantly affirm that I’ll cause no trouble…overtly) explaining our agreement. They also decided that a phone call now was too risky (they just wanted to leave a message), but wanted me to write up their demands so the note could be delivered anonymously to my office.
“Sure. I’ve even got my notepad and pen here. What do you want me to say?”
A short bit of dictation later, I found they were asking for about US$10,000 (“Harrumph. That all?”) for my release and it had to be within a week. (“A week? Shit.”). I sign the letter and give it to one of their minions who was going to slip back into town and deliver the note.
“Hey, as long as you’re going back to town, can you pick up some more beer and pisco, and wait one, is there a cigar shop in town? I really would like to try some local smokes. Don’t worry, I’ll give you the cash; but I really need another beer or 12. Don’t worry, I’ll share, we’re all compadres here, right?”
After a bit of bad noise, I part company with about US$250 and a shopping list of my necessities. Grumbling a bit, they decide that since we are friends, so far, and it’s best for all concerned to just get the Grande Gringo what he wants. Besides, he’s paying for it.
“Well, that’s all settled. Now what?”
“Oh, Senor. We have to sleep.”
“Sleep? Nonsense. Oh, wait a while.” I rummage through my well-case and come up with my flask. “Forgot I had this. Now we can toast properly, where're your glasses?”
“Oh, Senor. No mas. Por favor.”
“Nonsense. Here’s try some of this (Russian Spirt (home-brewed Siberian rocket fuel, about 160 or so proof)), it’ll put the spring back in your step.”
I pour 3 healthy dollops of a suspiciously-unctuous slightly-yellow liquid into 3 glasses and invite my new buddies to partake of the Russian tradition of the Tamandar.
“A toast! To new friends, may all their plans go forever…well! Bottom’s up! Yow! That’ll make your hammer hang!”
¡DIOS MIO!”
“Like that? Great shit, ‘eh?” I refill their glasses, and inform them: “Now it’s your turn!”
Oh, Senor. I cannot…”
[Topping off his glass] “Oh, sorry. Looks like you need a bit more for a proper toast.”
“Senor…por favor…please…I cannot.”
“But we’re friends, right? I’m playing nice and trying to be a good guest…”
“But Senor, we are just simple folk. We do not have such a good tradition…”
“Well, it’s a damn fine time to start. Toast!”
Got to hand it to them, they actually power-drove through 2 more toasts before turning a lovely shade of pickle-Ricardo green and were almost begging me to stop.
“Must…have…sleep…por favor Senor…”
“Oh, sure. You guys go ahead, I’ll just hang out here and have a smoke.”
The dust didn’t settle for quite a while when they departed.
So, I rummage around my briefcase (found my safety-blitz: another 1-pint flask of potent potables) and a couple more cigars. I was mellow, wired, not the least concerned; except about my new friends. Spirt doesn’t cause hangovers, it’s not that nice.
I perambulate the premises and puff away on another cigar. I poke around the place (being surreptitiously shadowed by other faction members) and smell something wonderful cooking. I walk over, peek through a window and there’s a largish babushka-type woman stirring the most wonderful smelling dish of something. Haven’t a clue what it is, but I realize I’m hungry and maybe I could secure a snack.
After garbled introductions, I was invited in for brunch. I offered to help in chopping vegables or getting water, but she’d have no part of that. She was determined that I was to have a hearty repast, and bade me to sit.
Whatever it was, was magnificent. Peasant cooking at its best; and I mean that in the kindest way possible. Exotic spices, mystery meat, homemade bread, fried plantains, and some sort of local low-octane hootch. I ate my fill, as she beamed that even her boys don’t eat so much. She was ever so pleased that I enjoyed her cooking. She was a gem; huge, friendly and very matronly.
By then, the courier arrived after dropping off the note, and to his credit, he filled my shopping list very nicely. However, I didn’t realize that at the current exchange rate, I just purchased an entire Bluebird-load of beer, booze, and cigars.
I didn’t offer to pay Mama for her hospitality, but I did force US$100 on her for the family. “Buy something nice that your family needs, my gift to you.”
By now, my ‘captors’ had emerged groggily from an adjacent hut and goggled at all the goodies I had purchased. I was handing out cigars to some of the armed locals who showed up and offered Mama whatever she wanted.
“¿Senor. Cigarro, por favor?”
“Oh, pardon. But of course, here, which would you like?”
I gave her a box of panatelas to which she was deliriously happy.
“Senor. Why are you here? Do you know my sons?”
So, I explain my little predicament (offering her a cigar-cutter and lighter), and watch as she gets more and more agitated.
“Jose and Juan brought you here?”
“They said Estefan and Carlos, but, yep, they dragged me here last night.”
“¿Por que?”
“I’m their ‘guest’. They’re trying to pawn me off for cash.”
It was as if a volcano went off. Mama erupts into .50 BMG level Spanish, and levels aim at my two new friends. I guess head-splitting hangovers and being whacked upside the skull don’t go well as Mama basically tears these two characters a new asshole, and berates them for being idiots, horrible and criminals.
“How dare you bring dishonor on our family? How could you do this to me? You know better, but now you are criminal! ”.
I just lean up against a car, fire up another cigar and take a hearty pull off my second flask.
Whaddya know? Dinner and a show.
I grab a relatively warm beer, shrug my shoulders, pop it, grin at my erstwhile captors and smile “Cheers!”
Of course, I could not follow the entire conversation, but the upshot was that J&J were to apologize profusely, plead with me not to call the Federales, and promise to speedily return me to my hotel.
I spoke to Mama: “Certainly, no harm, no foul. But I cannot leave now. I have all this (gesturing to the groaning car full of booze and cigars) but cannot take it with me. Perhaps we can share around a little fiesta.”
Well, that worked great. I finally conked out at Mama’s place about 0330 in the morning. Around noon, I’m back in the Bluebird with a heavy heart and cinder-block liver, bidding all a fond farewell.
The ride back to town was rather quiet. J&J were not only publically humiliated but in possession of hangovers that could detonate sheep at 100 meters. We rattle up to the hotel in a flurry of dust and oil smoke when I ask the guys for their address.
Panic. “You said you were not going to call the Policia!”
“Oh, no. You misunderstand. When I come back here, how will I be able to find you and Mama without an address? Or send your Christmas package from Houston?”
They eventually gave me an address and directions for my next visit, and I gathered up my belongings (even made it out with a couple of boxes of cigars intact) and bade them farewell. I reassured them there would be no repercussions as long as they never tried such a stupid stunt again.
Relieved, we all shook hands and still remain friends to this day.
As for the postscript, my ransom note was delivered to the wrong oil company and my boss figured I just took a day or two of R&R (my contract is just that…mine. I decide when and where I do the job.). That, I thought, was the end of that adventure.
However, the other oil company forwarded the note to the police and there was a manhunt on while I snored the next 24 hours away in the comfort of my hotel suite. They never found me, but they did manage to turn up a number of displaced gringos in the local taverns.
TL;DR: Take me hostage? Hold me for ransom? I’ll tell your Mama.
EDIT: ¡Gracias por la plata! Y oro! ¡Y platino! DIOS MIO! Gracias.
Edit2: Since you were so nice to ask: Tokyo Jokio and Field Camp
Edit the third: New tale. Chopper Floppers.
submitted by Rocknocker to MaliciousCompliance [link] [comments]


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