Playing Tejo in¬¨‚Ä†Cali
Tejo is the national sport of Colombia, and finally, after two months of running around this country, I got to play. Think shuffleboard or petanque, but with explosives and alcohol. A group of friends divides into teams. The object is to toss a metallic disk underhand into a clay bed and to land your metallic disk in the center of the target or to hit a “mecha” (a little piece of dynamite) so that the mecha explodes. Hitting a mecha means points! I was a little nervous about the whole dynamite thing. But it turns out the explosion is rather mild. Another important rule is that team members drink with each toss. The national liquor in Colombia is augardiente, an alcohol made from sugarcane that has the unique and wonderful property of not giving me hangovers (unlike beer and wine and virtually every other drink). The Colombians drink aguardiente collectively–they order a whole bottle and then pour tiny shots into little plastic cups to share. Like the Brazilians share a long-neck bottle of beer. I love these cultures where people order a drink collectively and share. . .