Random Thoughts from Colombia

– I am getting used to standing up when a powerful person enters a room. It is a pretty cool feeling for 20 people to be sitting around a large conference room, making small talk, and then for The Guy to enter, everyone stands at attention immediately, and he shakes each person’s hand.

– The drivers we’ve had open the door to talk to someone on the sidewalk, not the window. They never open the window. I think the windows are like permanently locked for security reasons.

– Airport security in Colombia and most third world countries is less a security process and more a “Welcome to the gate!” process. I take nothing out of my bag, I don’t remove my shoes, I walk through, they do a half second of metal-dector-to-my-body, and grab my bags and walk on.

– 1 in 5 women under 20 in Colombia have been pregnant. Many of these women want to be pregnant, according to surveys. Colombia has six times the pregnancies as Venezuela. Lack of education and Catholic church influence affects this number in a big way.

– There are 3x as many words in English than Spanish and this discrepancy is only growing. Most new tech or medical words (like “internet” or “email”) are in English with no Spanish translation.

– Colombians are remarkably optimistic. They’ve been this way for years – even when violence was high. One person told me a low point in morale for Colombians is still higher than high points of most other countries.

– Uribe is the counterweight to Chavez in the region. Lulu (Brazil) likes to play nice to everyone, he’s not standing up to Chavez.

– The weather report for Colombia has thunderstorms like every day. The same was true in Ecuador. Yet, such rain rarely materializes in either country. Bottom line: don’t trust weather reports for Colombia and Ecuador, especially when they have rain for 20 days in a row.

– The Apple Store in Bogota is called an “iStore”.

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