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First Impressions of Living in Colombia

in Colombia Travel Blog, Travel Blogs

medellin nightlife, good clubs in medellin

A local club in Medellin

EFFECIENCY:

When you think of Latin America there is nothing more that comes to the mind other than corruption and disorder. Many have even gone as far to say that part of the charm is the disorder. That charm may be the case when you are visiting for two weeks, but when you are living in a country that’s the last thing you want to deal with. Colombia has blown me in terms of efficiency. So far every place I have been has been quick and orderly.

VERY PROPER & CLEAN -

Why is South America a mess? Because no one follows the rules. Taking driving for example, a two lane street turns into a 4 lane street. In Puerto Rico, and even here in Medellin, they honk when they are driving near an intersection at night to notify everyone else they are not stopping.

It surprised me how much order there is Colombia. There isn’t a sense of ordered chaos like in Argentina, it is by far more orderly. The streets are extremely clean and when I even tried to litter a Colombian asked me what I was doing!

The people are extremely gracious and have proper manners every where you go. Instead of having that awkward moment in the elevator, you are greeted with an “hola” or “buenas”. Walking randomly on the street at 2am? Drunk? No problem, you will still have a friendly hello if you cross paths. Who knew there were cool drunks in the world?

FAR FROM DANGEROUS:

I mentioned this in my preparing for dangers in Colombia post, I do not feel threatened in Colombia. I don’t look over my shoulder and pay attention to who is following me. When someone randomly bumps into me I don’t immediately put my hands on my wallet and camera to make sure no one is trying to rob me. It’s really nice to be in a country where you can place your cell phone on a table without worrying about someone trying to steal it.

medellin countryside, pictures of medellin, colombian country, colombian pictures, pictures of colombia,

Picture of San Diego neighborhood

MEDELLIN ONLY: JEANS AND SNEAKERS:

The climate is gorgeous in Medellin, on some days it gets a bit warm but for the most part it is a cool 60 degrees F (15 C) at night and in the 70′s (21 C) during the day. Even when it gets very warm in Medellin, no one wears shorts or sandals. Its all about the latest style in Colombia, shorts and sandals are either for the tourists or the coastal cities.

GRINGO IS KING:

Normally cash is king but in Colombia, Gringo is king. When I say Gringo, I mean any white foreigner that comes to the country. The country absolutely thrives on tourism and everyone caters to the foreigners as well. A recent club that I went to on a Wed night actually had more Gringo’s in it than Colombians. I do plan on staying away from Gringo areas and heading delving more into Colombian culture.

 

BOTERO COLOMBIA, BOTERO MEDELLIN, BOTERO PLAZA MEDELLIN, FAT SCULPTURES COLOMBIA, BOTERO SCULPTURES COLOMBIA

SCULPTURE IN PLAZA BOTERO – MEDELLIN

WOMEN:

Now what can I say here. Most of the women in Medellin and around Colombia really know how to cater to their men. They very passionate and romantic from day one and love attention from… well… Gringos. They are very old fashioned as well as they expect you to take them out and have a good time. Did I mention they were gorgeous?  When I visited the center of Medellin for the first time I was breaking my neck looking around everywhere. By the end of the day, I knew there would be more where I was headed so I saved my neck the torture.

NO SMOKING!

In 2nd and 3rd world nations smoking is rampant! After living in Buenos Aires, I really thought I was going to have lung cancer by the time I was finished with my tour around South America. In Colombia, laws restrict smoking in certain indoor locations and have only seen a handful of people smoking while I have been in the country for the last 5 days. Hoorah Colombia, Hoorah!

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Festivalpig April 2, 2011 at 1:42 am

afv d v

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Festivalpig April 2, 2011 at 1:43 am

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Festivalpig April 2, 2011 at 1:49 am

woops! 2 no sense posts- couldn’t find the delete button :(

just wanted say you’re right about the safety, organisation & people are awesome too- blame Hollywood & Fox for bad publicity :)

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Adam April 7, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Awesome! Colombia is my favorite country I’ve ever visited, and the one month we spent there was not nearly enough. Out of all the places we’ve been, Colombia is one that I think we’d have no trouble moving to. Everything you said is so true, and I’ve yet to meet friendlier, happier people anywhere else in the world. Their smiles are contagious!

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WanderingTrader April 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I was really amazed when I got here, especially coming from a place like Buenos Aires where a lot of people are cold and rude. Everyone here is always in a good mood, love it! Thanks Adam

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Jeremy February 25, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Medellin is a gringo’s paradise.  I went there and had gaggles of school girls following me around downtown screaming “monito bonito”, If you ever want to feel good about yourself and your whiteness, Medellin is the place to be!

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April D. Thompson April 11, 2012 at 9:54 am

Medellin is the next city on my list after Kingston. I enjoyed my trip to Bogota and hear so many great things about Medellin. Plus I need to work on my Spanish.

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admin April 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm

You are going to LOVE MEDELLIN.. most travelers that I have met arrive in Medellin thinking they are going to keep traveling through south america and they end up staying in Medellin a lot longer than they should! lol. Thanks for the comment!

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Daniel August 6, 2012 at 11:44 am

Medellin is awesome!! the best sout american city for me. you find the best people, any stranger threats you like if you were a king and they are very very kind. i lime medellin better than bogota.

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Marcello August 14, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Couldn’t have said it better myself….

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Arnold September 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm

First, let me say that I happen to love Colombia, feel in many ways as if it is home, want to be there more. BUT, to say that it is orderly, that things work smoothly, that the legalities are smoothly functioning, or that traffic is orderly is absurdity. I have been spending more and more time in that beautiful country over the past 10 years, but I cannot possibly say that it is a piece of cake. Answers are too often misleading to absolutely wrong. Getting things accomplished on a scheduled basis is not necessarily a given – might work, might not. Legal matters take many stops – each person smiling, nice, kind, and doing their job, but the job requires many offices along the way. Efficient or honest approaches are too often woefully lacking. People are great, streets are not necessarily safe – nor are they in the US – but it is always best to be alert and monitor where you are walking – and what you are wearing. Pedestrians have no right of way by law. Simple. Don’t think that walking gives you right of way anywhere in most Latin American countries. It does not. Bigger makes stronger, from trucks on down. Getting something done at a bank can take weeks rather than phone calls. Interest rates and bank charges are obscene compared to the US. On the other hand, the economy is booming. It is a good place to invest – but know that selling is not a piece of cake by listing and waiting. There is no Multi-list. It is a nation of every man for himself, and aren’t women pretty and sexy. Women can have very good positions, but the cultural differences are huge. THAT does not make the US culture wonderful or even necessarily good, but do not expect European of North American methods, and do not believe that a word is a bond. it is not. Before anyone considers living in Colombia, they need to understand the Rule of Papaya. And, with that said, I love being in Colombia, living there – with times to go away to decompress. I always look forward to my return with greater anticipation than returning to anywhere else.

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Marcello September 14, 2012 at 9:08 am

Thanks for the note Arnold.. in comparison with other Latin American countries Colombia is extremely efficient. It is not up to par with Western standards I agree with you, the only efficient 1st world country in S. America isn’t even that orderly and efficient as western standards but Colombia is extremely orderly in compared to other Latin American countries. I agree with most of your other comments as well… love to hear from others that love Colombia as well

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Sofia January 27, 2013 at 2:42 am

Sounds like a great city! I’ve heard the girls are stunning in Colombia ;)

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