20 Things To Expect When Moving to Bogota, Colombia
Moving to a new country can be exciting. But it can also be nerve-wracking. Having to adapt to a new culture, forming new habits, making new friends. It’s a long process.
1. Bogota is not as exotic and sexy as you thought it was. It’s cold and all the buildings are all made of red brick.
2. People will be really friendly and always willing to help you out. They’ll want you to get a good impression of their country.
3. Most Bogotanos will already have their closed group of friends. Chances are, you’ll befriend a lot of expats.
4. You’ll need to be able to dance to socialize.
Dancing isn’t just about having fun. It’s a vital part of social interactions. Learn a few basic salsa, reggaeton and bachata moves.
5. Food isn’t spicy nor delicious. Unless you’re into fried, cheesy, carb and meat-heavy dishes.
6. On the other hand, there’s a large array of restaurants to suit all tastes. Asian, Indian, French, International. You name it.
7. And you’ll be thrilled with the endless exotic selection of fruits and vegetables.
8. It rains a lot! Carry an umbrella.
9. You’ll get special treatment if you’re a tall and/or blonde and/or white and/or Western or European looking. The colonial mindset is still very present.
10. A LOT of Colombian girls will have had some cosmetic surgery done: botox, nose, boob, ass or all of the above. Colombia has some of the best doctors at unbeatable prices.
11. You get more bang for your buck. Personnel, services, fancy restaurants. Everything is a fraction of the price of what it costs back home.
12. There’s a social hierarchy called ‘estratos’. The different social classes will define how you interact with others and vice versa.
Read my post on the matter here.
13. People will bail on you last minute, not answer their phone, come up with lame excuses and then say they’re ‘sorry’. Your maid, the technician, your Colombian friends. Be patient!
14. People will be late. To work, to your dinner party, and even your much-awaited event. HOURS late. At least they showed up right?
15. Your beloved peanut butter, hummus, almond milk, etc. will be exponentially more expensive here in Colombia. As will be all imported products.
16. None of your Colombian friends will be available on Sunday. That’s family day.
17. Bogotanos love their dogs and their pedigree breeds.
18. You’ll get stuck in traffic for hours and arrived stressed. If your lifestyle permits, know the best times to travel around the city to avoid rush hours (9:30am-11:00am/2:40pm-3:30pm/10:00pm-onwards)
19. December is the best month of the year.
Starting mid-December, traffic gets better, the sun starts shining and bogotanos leave the city. It’s the best time to relax and travel on the outskirts!
20. You’ll also find yourself adopting all the habits and enjoying the quirks of Bogota and its bogotanos within no time.