My crazy story from Medellin
This story isn’t long, and my two photos above are from later in the day so you can read this story and scroll back up at the end to see that I managed to clean up. And for clarification, the photo on the left is from the tiny bus we rode from the San Javier Metro station to the escaleras mecanicas. The photo on the right is on the cables on the ride up to the Santo Domingo neighborhood.
Okay, let’s dive in. When we were midway through our walking tour, our guide, Juan, was getting ready to let us all break and get food from the food vendors in the square we were standing in. It was near the Plaza Botero and in the neighborhood called La Candelaria. Just as he was finishing his dialogue and there was a break in our small crowd, a local man walked through our group, his hands covered in blood and still bleeding profusely. He was leaving a trail of blood in his wake. He clapped his hands hard at chest level and right in front of me. The blood splattered everywhere. Luckily, it only got a tiny drop on my dress, a lot on my chest and shoulders, and a little bit on my neck. I had just put my camera away (thank goodness) and none got in my eyes or mouth.
I usually think of myself as someone who is not good in emergencies (this was a minor one, some random street person’s blood). And I behaved calmly. Two people on our tour immediately whipped out their little bottles of hand sanitizer, but I turned to my friend and said: “get the Clorox wipes out of my backpack”. And she did. I had almost left them out of my bag that day, I travel with them in my carry-on and wipe down airplane seatback trays, and the armrests with them. I used a few to get all of the blood off of myself and my friends used some too. Once we’d gotten food and were back on the tour, I spoke to one of the British men on our walking tour and he’d gotten some blood on himself too but wasn’t around me when I had the Clorox wipes so I offered him as many as he needed as well. After I cleaned the blood off of myself, I slathered myself in my own anti-bacterial hand sanitizer.
Once we’d rejoined the group, Juan told us that the man had approached him, told him (in Spanish) that he’d been attacked by vampires and that is why he was bleeding. Juan had promptly called the police and an ambulance with Colombia’s version of 911. He then told us that number and said if we see anything on our own that looks suspicious or illegal, to call that number. Specifically, human trafficking, because that is on the rise in Colombia :(. I really appreciated that he pointed that out and made a case to talk about it. Sometimes as tourists, I don’t think we think about those things. Or when we see strange things, we just think “oh, I hope that person is okay.” And really, we should be alert and aware of illegal activity regardless of whether we are on vacation or at home.
I also want to mention that I told my story to one of the doctors who I work with and he said I have no need to worry, in case anyone was worried about diseases. He said if it was in my mouth or an open wound, then I’d need to worry. This is actually what I supposed, but I sought a professional opinion.