Counting four months since I first arrived and having had repetitive safety training advice that’s so constantly reeled that it’s become part of my subconscious, I have by now gathered enough intelligence to be able to take on the streets with confidence! So I thought I should at least make some contribution to the world and give you some advice on how to move around safely in Bogotá, in case any of you ever plan to come to the city!
Don’t wear your watch, if you plan to walk around. Or if you have to, cover it with a long-sleeve top..
Walk quickly, do not loiter.
Don’t walk on the edge of the street to avoid motor-cyclists.
Do not answer your mobile phone on the streets or on public transport (especially if it’s not just a phone but one that has a big touch screen with all the ultra-tech features).
Do not take your camera out for photos unless you have someone around you who can ‘protect’ you, in case someone ever comes over to grab your camera. If it’s really an unmissable picture, hold your camera tight, close to your body.
When you drive, do not put your bags or any shopping bags prominently on the seat of your car. Otherwise when you stop at the traffic lights, in certain neighbourhood, gangsters may pop by, break your window and take your belongings.
Try not to leave your car window open if you are going to be stopped by traffic lights.
And last but not least, take taxis in a safe way!