Confronted with my own mortality, in the form of a silver revolver held fifteen inches from my face, the world around me came to a quiet standstill. Instinct took over. There was no time to think. There were no options to consider. I did what I had to do, and I did it without delay.

June 15 started like any other day. I roused myself out of bed around 9 AM, and opened the blinds to expose the western mountains of Medellin, as well as my view toward barrio Belen. I’d been back in Colombia four months, and was due to extend my tourist visa for another 30 days. After three years in the country, the process was second nature to me.

June 15 also happens to be payday in Colombia, which means more people are visiting ATM’s to withdraw cash, and more thieves are on the prowl to take advantage.

I showered, dressed, and walked out the door with 150,000 pesos ($40) cash. Half this sum would go toward the 72,350 peso deposit required to extend my visa. The other half would help pay for taxis to and from the Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS) office.

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  • David Lee

    In late 2007, I quit my job and left the comfortable life in the USA for the open road with nothing but a 20-pound backpack, a …

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