Tagsaccents al fondo hay sitio america apartments arequipa argentina banos bogota buenos aires checkpoints colombia comedy coming home confusion cordoba costumes culture cusco ecuador festivals fire food freaking out galapagos girls gym hostels lake titicaca language leaving lima machu picchu malls mancora medellin moray movies new years new york packing list paragliding parties peru pictures pretending i learned something puno quito quotes salta scams seattle spanish stereotypes supplies telenovelas traditions travel tips tv vacation whining
Tag Archives: colombia
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.
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.
I came to Colombia knowing I wanted to get an apartment for a while in either Cali, Bogotá, or Medellín. Cali was too hot. Bogotá was too cold and rainy. Medellín was just right, so I began the hunt for an apartment. The problem was that after being domesticated in Buenos Aires, I’d lost my natural ability to survive in hostels.