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12 things I have learned about Colombia

all seasons in one day 23 °C

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1. Here in Colombia, football gives people hope, and it brings people together in such an amazing way. I have never seen anything like it before.

2. No one understands the word vegetarian. There is no food for vegetarians, in 98% of the restaurants, delis, bakerys, bars, and cafes I have been to. I get fed meat by accident on a daily basis. I have even been told by a lady that she is vegetarian too, due to arthritis, while she sipped on pea and hambone soup.

3. You must carry tissues everywhere you go in case you need the bathroom. Most places don't have toilet paper... or a toilet seat!

4. The people here are just so incredibly kind and considerate. I have never felt uncomfortable or scared, and people go out of their way to talk to me and be my friend. They really want me to make sure I don't believe the many terrible stereotypes the world has about Colombia. Of course, I never did - that's why I am here!

5. Some things are dangerous - like getting into a taxi on the side of the street at night. But the people here have developed amazing phone applications that do all the work so you can get safely home.

6. Men really know how to treat women like ladies. I have been guided through the street, had umbrellas held over my head for me, been given seats on public transport, been paid for constantly, and had food/ cocktails ordered for me. Its amazing. Sorry to say, but New Zealand men officially suck.

7. So far, i have found that things aren't served ice cold here - like freshly squeezed, delicious juice is served at a luke warm temperature. Same with drinks from large fridges are often barely cold. I have even seen people refuse ice cold drinks in preferance of room temperature ones. I prefer drinks to be ice cold, so I have learned to remember to ask for ice.

8. There are different accents to the different parts of Colombia, and everyone thinks theirs is the best! I have learned to nod and smile, because to me everyone sounds pretty much the same. So far, my Spanish is at a level where I can only differentiate home countries - not cities or regions of each!

9. Sadly, the roads are in a really bad condition due to political corruption. And the drivers - well, lets just say using an indicator may help! There are often no seatbelts in the backseats of cars/ taxis/ vans, which all sums up for a terrifyingly, yet often hilarious, experience. I have learned to carry mareol (travel sickness pills) with me everywhere I go!

10. There are many tourists who come here and don't speak any Spanish. I have only met 5 local people who speak English so far, yet many tourists who speak NO Spanish. I have learned to be prepared to play translator at any moment, especially in tourist areas. This can be awkward, especially if one is angry at the other. If you are going to travel to a Spanish speaking country, it's kinda seen as rude not to speak at least the basics.

11. I had no idea how diverse Colombia is. There are so many different parts - deserts, beaches, mountains, villages, cities, rivers, lakes, canyons, snow, surf - you name it, it's here!

12. Aguardiente is the most delicious drink ever. However, I have learned to increase my daily water intake, as the locals told me to, to prevent the worst guayabo (Colombian word for hangover) ever!

Posted by chasingsummer 16:46 Archived in Colombia

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Now I know 12 things about Colombia too

by peteroconnor

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