Medellin, the so-called city of eternal spring, has long since shed the violent reputation of its drug-dealing past. That said, although the crime rates have fallen considerably, you still have to be on the look-out and take precautions when out on the town, just like in any big city. Two things in particular they say to be wary of, are jealous narco boyfriends and a drug called Scopolamine (Scopolamina).
Scopolamine is a naturally occurring deliriant found in plants such as datura and belladonna. Deliriants are rather nasty substances in that they induce “frank” hallucinations, meaning the user cannot distinguish between hallucinations and real objects. Typical effects of Scopolamine are amnesia and submissive behavior. It is odorless and tasteless powder that is added to the victim’s drink rendering him/her susceptible to the will of his/her assailant, typically resulting in multiple visits to ATMs to empty the contents of bank accounts. There have been other cases reported of victims helping their assailant clean out their apartment and having absolutely no recollection of the event the following day.
Which leads me to an interesting story of a night out on the town some while back. I was staying in a swish hostel in Laureles, a middle class neighbourhood in Medellin. There I met two handsome young chaps from Europe who told me they had been approached in the street by a rather attractive, but slightly older woman in a BMW with dark windows. She beckoned them over and reproached them for ignoring her overtures in the bar the previous evening. Strange, they thought, as they had not patronised any such establishment that evening. She gave them her phone number and invited them out for a night on the town. One the two, Vincent (named changed to protect identity) accepted and arranged for her to come by the hostel to pick him up. We were convinced she was some kind of sugar mommy or that this was definitely some kind of set up and poor Vincent was about to be yet another innocent Scopolamine victim.
The BMW pulled up and we peered through the window of the hostel trying to get a glimpse of the mystery woman. Alas, we could not get a decent view and Vincent was whisked off into the night.
That night I had my own little adventure. I went alone to the famous Parque Lleras. I was recommended a club there. Unbeknownst to me, there was a gay party that night. The music was ok, so I stayed for a while until it closed at 3am. I asked a couple of guys there if they knew of an after-party. They said they could take me to one, so we jumped in a taxi and sped off in the dark to some industrial part of town to Club Wild. My two companions assured me it was so wild, they would have to “protect” me. It was a mixed crowd – straight, gay and everything in between. But, compared to Berlin, where I lived for 5 years, it was pretty tame.
I was immediately a favourite on the dance floor, attracting several admirers. A tall, curvaceous brunette with an enhanced cleavage took a fancy to me. This was not at all unusual as every single women in there had fake breasts – it was like a competition to see who had the biggest. I attempted to compliment her with my basic spanish – you’re an attractive women. No. Yes, you are. No,….. I’m not a woman. Lucky I found out in time!
I made my home back to the hostel as the sun was coming up and who should I meet also returning from his night out, but Vincent! His eyes were wide and his mood exuberant! He began to tell his story….
He had gotten into the back seat of the BMW. Two heavies occupied the front seats. They drove around town while Sugar Mommy proceeded to ply poor innocent Vincent with all kinds of substances completely unknown to him. Powder (cocaine?). Pills (ecstasy?). Paper (LSD?). Once he was suitably intoxicated, they proceeded onto various nightclubs around Parque Lleras, where she was welcomed to reserved tables in VIP areas as some kind of local celebrity. They danced the night away, finally returning back to the hostel with the promise of a future liaison, but the next time, “just the two of us”.
Later I had left Colombia and noticed a photo had been uploaded onto Vincent’s wall, featuring him doing the bump and grind in some nightclub with a particularly attractive woman. I remarked that he must still be enjoying himself there in Colombia, to which he replied, that in fact, it was the same night and the diva in question was indeed Sugar Mommy. So, I enquired with great curiosity, had he followed up and what was the result? He had tried, he explained. He called her and she was very vague on the phone. Then silence. A man’s voice: if you ever call this number again, I’ll kill you!