Category Culture

8 days and 15 days

Having been here for more than 3 years, I guess it’s only natural that I have become more desensitised than I was when I first got here so maybe I’m not picking up all the cultural and social nuances like eating cheese with ice-cream and what it really means when someone tells you they’re ‘on my way‘. So […]

Colombian Emojis?

Ok I may be talking about something that’s pandemic in other countries as well. Recently, I realised that when Colombians use 😂,  rather than ‘lol’ or ‘laughing with tears of joy’, the official name of the emoji, they are actually saying 😭! And when they use 😪 (sleepy face with a snot bubble), they don’t mean 😴 (snoring face), but they […]

How to sing English songs the Colombian way

Followers of the blog’s Facebook page may know that I went to see Andrés López’s stand up show. It wasn’t super funny since I’m technically only half a Spanish speaker, but judging by the laughters he got from the audience he’s probably pretty funny. The show La Pelota de Letras apparently has been on for 10 years. […]

A teeth-brushing nation

I’ve learnt that Colombians (or Bogotanos?) are obsessed with teeth hygiene. Or might it just be me who has under average oral hygiene? I don’t mind making a confession here on a private personal habit. I brush my teeth twice a day, and on special occasions, 3 times a day.. If I think about my experience from […]

The Go-Home Syndrome

On several occasions I’ve come across this Go-Home! syndrome that I’ve realised to be unique to Colombians. Disclaimer up front – this is by no means statistical, but purely empirical. It’s just happening to me and foreigners around me, which makes me think it must have happened to other foreigners who have brought up anything about Colombia other than how much […]

What’s in the head of a Colombian?

Here is a quick (I tried to be brief at first but there are just so many nuances..) post about my experience plus my logic to explain the behaviours I have come across in Bogotá, which I hope would help ease any foreigners’ potential frustration when working with Bogotanos. Have you ever wondered why your emails never got […]

Bogotano Politeness

Talking about politeness, perhaps kids should come to Bogotá to learn their manners. They will definitely have a very fruitful journey. I can say Colombia is one of the most polite countries that I have ever been to, if the judgement is based on their propensity to say hi to strangers.. Wherever you go, strangers […]

Say ‘Hi’ in Bogota

The Bogotano ‘hello’ comes in many versions: ‘Cómo estás?’ ‘Qué tal?’ ‘Cómo te va?’ ‘Cómo le ha ido?’ ‘Qué has hecho?’ ‘Qué más?’ ‘Qué me cuentas?’ ‘Qué pasó?’ They all mean ‘hi, how are you?’ Well, actually the fact that Colombians have many ways to say hi doesn’t distinguish them from other nationalities. The weird part is how these […]

Buy, buy buy and EAT, EAT, and EAT!!

Those of you who have read my story in ‘Was Gabo an Irishman?‘ would know that Bogotá (can’t speak for other rural areas which admittedly and sadly are much much poorer than the capital), like other developing countries’ cities, is enjoying a rising middle class and growing wealth. (Although, of course, this is hotly debated among various […]

How to arrange to meet in Colombia

Example I Me: ‘We should meet next week for lunch.’ Friend: ‘Great!’ M: When?!’ F: ‘Text me!’ M: ‘Let’s decide now.’ F: ‘I’ll call you!’ Well, that’s a no then..   Example II F: ‘Let’s have coffee this Friday!’ M: ‘Ok great!’ Comes Friday.. M: ‘What time are we gonna meet?’ F: ‘Oh, I’ve been trying […]