10 interesting things we've learned about Colombia so far

  1. Lunch is a big thing! Comparable to a Norwegian dinner. At around twelve, offices, shops, banks etc. close for a two hour (!) lunch break. Lunch, or almuerzo, is usually eaten at a restaurant, most of which have a set lunch menu, consisting of soup as a starter, a big meal with rice, potatoes, meat and veggies and something to drink. 
  2. In Colombia, time is relative. It's seems as if no one in this country are in a hurry. A great change to the fast paced life we're used to in Norway. 
  3. People here are very passionate about their work and the Red Cross. Volunteers put in a lot of time and effort to their activities, in addition to their work/studies. Very admirable and inspiring!
  4. Colombians are very social and energetic! Activity breaks, and dancing in the office is not uncommon. Which brings us to the next point...
  5. ...Everyone can dance! Salsa, vallenato, merengue and more is all learned from a young age, both at school and at home, and most people have some quite impressive moves.
  6. Colombians are very a patriotic people. Flags decorate buildings and streets, and every day at 6 am and 6 pm their national anthem can be heard on the radio. Can't blame them, though, what's not to love about Colombia.
  7. Colombia sits on the equator, meaning there are very little seasonal changes. Here in Cúcuta, for instance, it's scorching hot summer all year round!
  8. Colombia is a country of festivos, or holidays! On a world basis, only Argentina has more national holidays than Colombians. They always fall on Mondays, and about 60% of them are religious holidays. But don't mistake Colombians for not working a lot! Most people work Saturdays, and on weeks with no holidays only have Sundays off. Colombia also has the biggest salsa festival, theater festival, horse parade, flower parade and the second biggest carnival in the world.
  9.  You can find a lot of familiar foods here in Colombia, but usually with a Colombian twist; such as salsa rosada, a mix of ketchup and mayonnaise, or perro caliente, a good old hot dog - topped with potato chips, mayonnaise, pineapple sauce, ketchup, mustard and cheese. Yet to be tasted is the specialty of hot chocolate with cheese...
  10. City buses are cheap and effective, also they don't have stops. You just wave at the bus you want to get on, and let the driver know where you want to get off.