Tag Archives: Communications

Colombian euphemism

6 years ago, Johnson, the column on language from The Economist published an article on how the Dutch understand the British, whose obscure euphemism could be hard to decipher for a foreigner. Having lived in Colombia for 5 years now, I thought I would celebrate my residency’s birthday (3 days ago!!!) by writing the Colombian […]

How to arrange to meet in Colombia II

It’s Friday and for sure many of you are making plans for the weekend, especially since it’s a bank holiday weekend (er..again!? Yea, we only just had one last weekend!! #ThisIsColombia. Remember Colombia is one of the countries in the world with the highest number of public holidays!?) While some of you are heading out for the night, […]

Where’s the love?!

In a country where it’s a social norm to give a cheek kiss even when they first meet, (although I’ve never quite worked out whether it’s a handshake or a kiss, since whenever I held my hand out it’d be totally ignored and the person in question would give me a kiss on the cheek instead, while other times when […]

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 […]

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 […]


Phone ringing.. ‘Where are you?’ ‘I’m coming.’ *Did I ask what you were doing?*   ‘Where are you?’ ‘Around Calle 85’ *But where? By the way the 85th is 1 km long*   Calling again.. ‘Where are you?’ ‘I’m coming to get the keys!’ *AGAIN?*   ‘WHERE are you??!’ ‘I’m at Calle 95!’ *AGAIN?*   In […]