viernes, 21 de mayo de 2010

The US Navy and too much T.P

These are some observations from my second week in Bogotá…funny to read them now the night before my departure!

The Supermarket:

When you pay for your groceries in Bogotá, the cashier asks you: “En cuantas quotas se lo quiere pagar?” This is the moment my raised eyebrows reveal I am a gringa. Oh! People pay groceries in quotas…when people go shopping, they are not expected to necessarily be able to pay for everything at once. How practical and thoughtful.

By the cash register, two police guards with guns stand by (I wish I could say which kind for dramatic effect, but I don’t know the terms…one big gun and one little gun each). It’s funny because they are standing in front of the toilet paper as if protecting it from thieves seeking treasure. I happen to grab a pack; only to realize that it comes with 24 rolls…I can’t help but feel everyone staring at me walking down the street with 24 rolls of TP. In my head I’m hoping they are thinking that I’m bringing it to some foundation or something. While traveling, one gets so much more self-conscious about this kind of thing!

Cash Machines:

Cash machines have little mirrors on each side of the screen so that you can see behind you when you take your money out. Just to be safe.


As in the DR and surely other Latin American countries, there are some names here that are borrowed from American or British cultural references or are the product of U.S presence in Colombia.

Some great examples are:

“Usnavi” (U.S Navy)

“Jon F. Kennedy Gomez”

“Miladis” (My lady)

“Yurladis” (Your ladies)

“Lady Diana”

“Lady Princessa Diana”

Slang (some Bogotano, some from the coast):

-Jeta=mouth...colgando jeta=gaping, practically drooling

-tienes afan?=are you in a hurry?

-voy pa esa=I’m there


-gusano=girlfriend stealer

-gonorrea!= insult, gross thing

-bareta=joint, blunt


-emputar=to get angry

so many more…


There are SO many kinds of fruit here that I had never seen or tried in my life.

-Maracuja: passion fruit. In the DR it’s called chinola, maracuja is also passion fruit in Portuguese

-Grenadilla: like passion fruit in texture, but sweet instead of tart. Orange on the outside.

-Pitaya: looks a bit like a yellow hand grenade. Inside, melon-type texture, sweet, clear and watery. Don’t eat too many of these!

-Feijoa: Kind of like a kiwi, a bit grape like, nutty, RICO.

-Lulu: Orange and sour, but tastes kind of like grape juice (we made lulitos…better than a mojito).

-Guanabana: Big, spikey and green on the outside…I think this is dragon fruit in English. Fleshy and white and sweet on the inside.

-Mangostina: like sweet cotton balls.


-arepa: flattened corn bread patty stuffed with cheese (or meat or egg). a staple

-tamale: corn meal roll stuffed with veggies or meat (I had one with tofu…muy rico)

-ajiaco: delicious soup of potatoes, cream, capers, corn…served with avacado and rice. perfect for rainy season

-fritanga: plate of fried yucca, maize and a plethora of meat- chuchullo (intestines), blood sausage, ribs etc.

-bandeja paisa: have to try this…

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario