The city of polarities


Restaurant Abasto

If you are a regular on this site, you may have already noticed that Bogotá is really extreme.

There are potholes running across the whole width of roads that are in desperate of need maintenance, but restaurants like the above that are super stylish and near to perfect. World class museums live next to uncollected rubbish due to corruption and mismanagement.. Huge income inequalities and shopping malls filled with American and European luxury brands. Third world infrastructure brings you to with sexy night clubs..

In a developing country like Colombia, life in general is quite a bargain and affordable. So I have got used to a habit of just going for a service or a product without asking for the price (NB this rule only applies to local products). This practice is especially necessary due to the indecipherable number of zeros a price can consist e.g. it’s not easy to understand whether box of tea that costs 7,000 is reasonable or not.. So I was astonished to find out the other day that I was charged COP 12,000, or US$ 6.7, for a shirt service! It costs much more than a set lunch menu here from your restaurant next door, and more than double of the same service in HK! That’s more expensive than most other places that I know in the rest of world!

Lesson learnt- be careful what you ask for!


  1. According to the GINI index we are one of the most unequal countries in the world, no wonder why when when you think how the education has been segmented into “estratos” and your highschool and college is likely to determine your path in life.
    By the way, the restaurant you referenced is “Mercado”, located in Parque de la 93. “Abasto” is in Usaquen.

    1. Thanks Andres! Yea I know what you mean.. Have you seen this?
      And thanks for the correction!

  2. very interesting article…as long as the quality of life is good enough…prices dont matter that much!

    1. Quality of life isn’t that good.. May need to write an article about that..

  3. […] have a REAL privilege. They aren’t subject to the same road conditions as the rest of the city. Here’s what happens. They roam across the city with 2 police motorcycles leading the way, […]

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