Angered by recent unfair cross-cultural exchanges, the City of Chicago complained about how “so totally annoying and lame” its sister city Bogotá has been lately.
Bogotá, the capital of Colombia which boasts a metropolitan area home to over 8.5 million people, became Chicago’s latest sister city in 2009. At first, Chicago was thrilled with its new city-to-city partnership and spent an inordinate amount of time getting to know their brand-new sister city with student exchanges and economic development trips. However, after two years, the relationship became strained as Bogotá’s novelty began to wear off.
Eager to maintain Chicago’s approval and finding itself having to compete with her 27 other sister cities. Bogotá began to aggressively seek Chicago’s attention but only managed to become a “big pain in the butt” according to Chicago city leaders.
Chicago’s City Council knows full well that they are supposed to continue to actively promote cultural and commercial ties with the third largest city in South America. However, the Aldermen just collectively cross their arms, roll their eyes, claim that Bogotá “acts like a complete dork sometimes” and complain that they don’t enjoy the same things anymore.
“Sometimes we just need our privacy and Bogotá is always annoying us when we are hanging out with some of our other sister cities,” Mayor Rahm Emanual said. “We keep telling them to leave our room when they start getting all weird, but they just won’t listen.”
Designed to promote international commercial partnerships and cross-cultural ties, the sister city program first introduced Warsaw, Poland to Chicago in 1960. Since then other sister cities have come along, each having to deal with the growing pains of being the newest addition to the group.
Bogotá recently complained that Chicago and the other cities ditched them at this spring’s Sister Cities International (SCI) Annual Conference, drawing rebuke from the global diplomacy-focused organization.
“We can’t have you just running off and leaving your other sister cities to fend for themselves just because you aren’t getting along,” said SCI Chairman Brad Cole. “We really need you all to be nice to each other for this program to work.”
Toronto, Chicago’s Sister City since 1991, defended their treatment of Bogotá at the conference, saying, “that little pest just kept following us around everywhere we went.”
“Bogotá completely embarrassed us all when they asked that question about sustainability at the Best Practices: Green Energy workshop,” said Toronto’s Sister City chairwoman, Lynn Osmond. “We were like ‘OMG, we hope nobody thinks they’re with us’.”
Chicago defends itself by charging that Bogotá completely ruined their chances at making new city-to-city connections at the conference.
“We were sitting there talking to Paris, France and things were getting really good when along comes Bogotá and ruins everything,” said Chicago’s Sister City Board Chairman Samuel C. Scott. “Ugh! We wish they had never been incorporated.”
Sister City International officials claim that this phenomenon is not uncommon and cities sometimes feel as though they are stuck with their sibling cities and don’t share anything in common.
The SCI chairman suspects that Bogotá and Chicago just need a break from each other and that Chicago will soon appreciate Bogotá has to offer.
“Fighting with sister cities is a normal part of these relationships,” said Cole. “It really is a beautiful city with many universities and libraries. They don’t call it ‘The Athens of South America’ for nothing. I’m sure Chicago will come to realize that Bogotá can be pretty cool to hang around with.”