Culture differences

Colombia is sort of different from many countries in Europe and adapting to it takes a while, but many things are great for example that most of the people are really friendly with foreigners.

The most difficult part to get used to is that a lot of people arrive late to meetings etc.
I remember one time especially, when I was celebrating my birthday and we were cooking dinner. The time was fixed at 8.00 pm and the dinner was ready at 8.45. The first people to arrive were my Swedish friend and his girlfriend at 8.30, apologizing that they arrived really early. The other invited arrived the following hours and the last ones at 10.30, so the only way to serve the food hot was through the microwave oven.

That people arrive late is ok for me if they just call a while before, which means that
I can do something else during the time instead of just waiting. In some countries in Europe, you need to plan to see a friend a week before which is for me too much. I like the more spontaneous style of planning things just a few hours beforehand

Another thing which has amazed me is the Transmilenio and the way of entering and leaving the bus. I guess some toes have been injured during my attempts to leave the bus, I’m sorry if anyone has been hurt.

To enter the bus is also sometimes difficult because of people waiting for another line blocking the entrance. I got robbed another day, but the thief was probably not that happy when he realized that he had robbed a paper with an address. The thieves sometimes enter packed busses and then leaves at the same station.

To travel in Colombia is great, most of the coaches are really good and it’s incredible that some bus companies give a better service to the passengers then some airlines. The landscapes I have seen through bus windows are marvelous. One thing that I still haven’t understood is why people first of all ask in which hotel I stayed. For me, the most important things are the tourist sites and interesting things which occurred during the trip. Some hostels are sometimes even better than the hotels because of the more friendly staff. Sometimes I can’t even remember where I slept so I just say that the name started with hotel or something. A lot of young Europeans travel for one year around the world which may sound really expensive, but everything is about having a strict budget. Most of these people have their backpacks with them, sleep in hostels and travel by bus.

A lot more could be said about culture differences, but that is something I will save for another article.




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