Frustrations of a Gringo

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After living in Colombia, or Barranquilla more specifically, for almost a year now, I feel like I’ve mostly assimilated to the Costeño attitude and lifestyle. While I still stand out like a sore thumb due to my low level of Spanish and Gringo appearance, I’ve probably become as laid back and carefree as most of the coast-dwelling folk. With that said, I still get frustrated with some of (a lot of, actually) the ways they do things. Some frustrations I can acredit to cultural differences, but many things appear completely illogical. On my year long adventure, I’ve noticed many idiosyncrasies and I’ve compiled a list of those most infuriating. Now, this does have to come with a disclaimer so that I don’t offend or give anyone the wrong idea. I see things from my sheltered, South African perspective, so many of these examples may seem pretty ordinary to you.

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Barranquilla is an interesting city. It’s not very tourist-friendly, and generally isn’t a very beautiful place, but it has its charm. It’s the “largest port in the northern Caribbean Coast region of Colombia,” but the closest beach is half an hour away. Before arriving, I imagined you’d at least be able to see the ocean from the city… Sadly not.

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