Category Society

Cattle farming in bygone Colombia

The following conversation was held with a 50+ year-old Colombian man. (I’ve kept the original lines of the Colombian with minimum editing for maximum authenticity) Me: So what’s your plan for the Christmas holidays? Colombian: I may go to Villavicencio. (VV is a very popular place for Bogotanos to take a dip in the pool […]

Is Hong Kong in Japan?

This happened before I went away. I called my bank to tell them I was traveling so they wouldn’t block my card.. Instead it seems I taught a geography crash course.. BANK: where will you be traveling to? ME: Hong Kong B: Which country would that be? Japan? M: No, Hong Kong. It’s a ‘country’ by itself. HK China […]

Not moving at all!

(When traffic is like that few wonder how it’s possible to stay active. Ok this was back in Quito, Ecuador. Though it’s just the same story in Bogotá. It seems that I had been brainwashed by Sebastian Yatra even before the 9th Dec at Armando when I thought it was my first time hearing it!) Usually the […]

How much does the newsvendor earn in Bogotá?

Some things in Colombia remind you that we are still a developing country with features that go back half a century. The guy in the picture sells El Tiempo, the biggest newspaper in Colombia. He goes around your block at 7am every Sunday without fail. (It may seem early but actually as I’ve been converted it’s not really that early for Bogotá.) […]


Today I belatedly heard that the richest man in Colombia Luis Carlos Sarmiento who defines monopoly (through owning 4 major banks and financial institutions in the country plus lots more in central America) was criticised for illegally abusing power as he held up the traffic last Friday. For sure many residents of Bogotá, like me, have suffered the same […]

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 […]

Why is Colombia a developing country?

What we can see in the photo is the typical entourage of a politician here in Bogotá – 4 SUVs and 2 police bikes. (Actually it’d be great if someone can tell me why on earth they need so many SUVs. How does that enhance their personal safety while hiking up taxpayers’ burden? Colombia is already having enough of a problem […]

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 […]

No TV in the living room *shocked face*

One of the first few things I noticed when I set foot in this country is that there’s no TV in the living room! To some of you this may not be surprising, but to a Chinese, this is rather odd..! You will find just a sofa, a fireplace and a coffee table in the Bogotano […]