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Monthly Archives: July 2011
On Friday night, I was hanging out with my Australian friend Andy and he told me he and a Colombian girl he was dating were going paragliding Sunday and invited me along. It was only 80,000 COP (~$45) and he showed me a video on his phone and it looked too cool to pass up.
As I’m winding down to the end of my time in South America, I thought I’d put together some travel tips based on my time down here. They’re mainly going to be geared toward long-term backpacking-type travel, but some stuff might come in handy for South American travel in general. This is part one of my “Pretending I Learned Something” series and today we learn about: hostels!
When you’re meeting up with someone you know in Colombia, there are a few common smalltalk questions they might ask you. Most are pretty similar to what you’d hear in other South American countries like, “como estás?” [“how are you?”] or, “qué tal?” [“what’s up?”]. One that seems unique to Colombia is “¿qué más?” [literally: ‘”what else?”]. I’ve been told that it’s equivalent to “how’s it going?” and so if that’s the first question I get, it’s easy to just say “bien” [“well”]. I get tripped up if they ask me “¿qué más?” when I’ve already used up my bien. For example, I get this a lot:
Before I came to Colombia, I’d never been stood up for a date. Girls had canceled on me, sometimes at the last minute, but I’d never actually gone to meet up with a girl and stood around waiting, only to have her ultimately never show up. In my first three weeks in Medellin, I was stood up for first dates by four different girls. No cancelation, no apology, usually no contact ever again.
I’ve been in Colombia about two months now and I’ve felt pretty comfortable as far as personal safety. I definitely was a bit skittish when I first arrived, given Colombia’s reputation for violence, but after a couple weeks, everything seemed fairly safe and I relaxed a bit. Then I had a class with my Spanish tutor that scared the crap out of me.