There’s getting off the beaten path and then there’s getting way off track which is what Snoop Dogg did when he posted to Instagram while visiting Bogota, Colombia, and, due to a misspelling, promoted the small Romanian village of Bogata. It was the biggest pop promotion of non-tourist destination since Iggy Pop’s tribute to the Sri Lankan city of Kandy, but that’s another story. Inhabitants of Bogata have been quick to capitalize on their accidental fame with a website that promotes the local stew, a few local attractions, and its natural setting as perfect for “chillin’”.
One commenter responded to Snoop’s error with “there is a lot of hemp there” according to Balkan Insight but the attractions of Romania may be subtler than that. As a country it’s had a difficult history. When the dictator Ceaucescu was overthrown it was the poet Marin Sorescu who was asked to make the announcement because Romanians have a profound love of and respect for poetry. And the TV show Dallas, which the country’s communist leaders broadcast in the hope that it would create disgust with western decadence, may have helped foment rebellion. Ordinary Romanians fell in love with the glamour of the Ewing clan. What I’m getting at is that rap and Romania have some surprising things in common.
Snoop Dogg may or may not take the next flight out of Bogata to the other side of the globe, but if he doesn’t I’d like to make this offer: bring me over there and I’ll promote Bagata. I’ll sing the praises of the local attractions, rave about how perfect the countryside is for chillin’, and, seriously, that stew sounds delicious. Even if we can’t work this out please send me a recipe.
I’m not famous but why should that stand in the way of what could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship?
I understand if we can’t work it out, but the offer stands. And if anyone from Bagota comes over here let me know. I know some great places for chillin’.