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Crepes and Waffles

by Alex on Nov.01, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

Crepes and Waffles sell a great range of food, both sweet and savoury and have branches across Colombia, Latin American capitals and even in Madrid

As well as good crepes and waffles, they do salads, ‘pittas’, which are more like pizza bases, and hollowed out loaves of bread stuffed with beef stroganoff, cheese and mushroom and other fillings. The salad bar is great value at 7,900 COP and there are a wide range of deserts with magnificent ice cream which you can buy to take away

It is said that Crepes and Waffles only employs single mothers and although I don’t know the truth of this, I’ve only ever seen women working there

There are many branches throughout Bogotá and Colombia, the full list available on its website, some can be found at:

Avenida Jimenez no. 4-55
Candelaria
(1) 676 7633

Carrera 12a no. 83-40
Zona T
Zona Rosa
(1) 676 7646

Carrera 11 no. 85-79
Zona Rosa
(1) 676 7674

Calle 93b no. 12-10
Parque 93
(1) 676 7648

Carrera 6 no. 119-56
Usaquén
(1) 676 7651

Atlantis Plaza
Zona Rosa
(1) 676 7645

Centro Andino (Ice cream and coffee)
Zona Rosa
(1) 676 7338

Gran Estación
(1) 676 7636

Salitre Plaza
(1) 676 7335

To call a landline from a mobile/cell in Colombia prefix the landline number with 03 followed by the region code. For Bogotá prefix with 031

Find Crepes y Waffles on the map here

Visit Crepes y Waffles’s site here

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Bogotá Beer Company (BBC)

by Alex on Nov.01, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

BBC is a Bogotá-based brewery with a number of very popular pub-styled bars throughout town. Although a welcome change from the very average lager sold as standard in Colombia, sadly, aficionados will recognise that the beer is not great beer (it is though better than Colón beer in which I think they put actual colons). The best bet for beer lovers is to drink black and tan, a mixture of the porter and red – this tip was given to me by a beer expert who makes what must be the best beer in Colombia. The BBC bars that I’ve been to usually have a great atmosphere and popping in for a pint can often end up in drinking until closing time, just like back home…

BBC bars can be found here:

Carrera 12 no. 83-33
Zona Rosa
(1) 802 6737/802 9762

Calle 85 no. 13-06
Zona Rosa
(1) 805 0105

Carrera 6 no. 119-24
(1) 802 6784
Usaquén

Carrera 11a no. 93-94
Parque 93
(1) 802 6765

Carrera 5 no. 71a-75
Rosales
(1) 802 8759

Avenida 19 no. 120-74
(1) 743 0497

Torre Suramericana
Avenida Jorge Eliécer Gaitán no. 68b–85 Local C-107
Salitre
(1) 805 1348

Avenida 19 no. 139-07
Cedritos
(1) 742 7763

Avenida Calle 116 no. 17-78
Pepe Sierra
(1) 475 9120

To call a landline from a mobile/cell in Colombia prefix the landline number with 03 followed by the region code. For Bogotá prefix with 031

Find BBC bars on the map here

Visit BBC’s site here

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The Irish Pub, Zona Rosa

by Alex on Nov.01, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

Carrera 12a no. 83-48
Zona T
Zona Rosa

Real name simply ‘The Pub’, this place is an institution. Even when the T is otherwise deserted, the terrace of the Irish Pub is usually packed. Popular amongst ex-pats, visiting business people and the richer of Bogotá, the place is also frequented by those who will spend a day’s income on a couple of beers. BBC (Bogotá Beer Company) beer is sold

Find the Irish Pub on the map here

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La Mona Pizza, Macarena

by Alex on Nov.01, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

Pizzeria
Calle 26a no. 4-45
Macarena

(1) 3420831/3366408 (landline)

To call a landline from a mobile/cell in Colombia prefix the landline number with 03 followed by the region code. For Bogotá prefix with 031

Great pizza at 2,900 COP per slice, and, in true Colombian Economics style, buying a whole pizza costs more than buying the equivalent in individual slices. Cannelloni, spaghetti, lasagne and various starters, salads and stuff are also available, as is home delivery

Mona Pizza also has branches at:

Candelaria – Carrera 4 No. 12-19 Tel: 2821665/3427737 Cel: 312 449 3977

and

Quintaparedes – Carrera 45 No. 24a-09 Tel: 2692492 Cel: 312 449 3977

Find La Mona Pizza on the map here

Visit La Mona Pizza’s site here

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La Villa, Bogotá

by Alex on Oct.31, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

la-villa

Club – western music

Carrera 14a No. 83-56
Zona Rosa

La Villa is the latest club to open in Bogotá, and the best if you are looking for somewhere playing western music, with Armandito, famous DJ of Armando Records plays on Friday nights

The décor is vintage, and the fit out Mediterranean with plenty of terrace space, antique furniture, a fountain and other cool features. Clientèle are friendly as are the various owners, some of whom are there most nights and will do their best to make you feel welcome

Find La Villa on the map here

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A picture of some cute stuff for Sarah

by Alex on Oct.25, 2010, under Blog

cuteosity

I was in Puerto Nariño in the Colombian Amazon with my fiend Kate on top of a watch tower. Watching and stuff. She went down before me and I was overcome with disdain as the sounds of her ahhhhhhing scratched at my ear drums. I reasoned that she had come across a puppy and/or kitten and railed at the devolution of 25 years that she seemed to have suffered, judging by the stoopid sounds I was hearing. So, I followed her down, nose held high, face of scorn, then promptly turned to mush when I came across these little guys…

More pics here

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Colombian economics

by Alex on Oct.10, 2010, under Blog

Economies of scale, supply and demand – I used to consider these laws reasonably universal. I do remember years ago in Chepstow Market shaking my head at a sign declaring something like ‘t-shirts: 1-£2, 3-£6, 5-£10′. It gets much better than that here…

economies-of-scale-1

A box of 100 tea bags – $15,100 pesos, 2 boxes of 50 tea bags $14,320 pesos. Although counter-intuitive, it’s perfectly usual here to find larger quantities of stuff costing more per unit that smaller quantities, always worth checking the prices carefully.

I little while ago we were outside a Crystal Castles gig looking for tickets. We knew there were plenty of tickets on the door and with the number of ticket touts around, you’d imagine you’d have been able to find a bargain. Imagine again:

Me: Hello mate, how much for a ticket
Tout: $110,000
Me: They are only $90,000 on the door
Tout: There are no tickets left on the door
Clearly I did not believe this but checked anyway
Me: I’ve just asked, they do have tickets on the door, for $90,000
Tout: OK then, $100,000
Me: Why would I pay you 100 when I can pay 90 on the door, you need to sell them for less than they cost on the door
Tout: 100
I walk away, familiarly bemused

One day on bed street – a street with about 30 bed shops selling pretty much the same stuff:

Me: Hello mate, I have a price of 420,000 pesos for that bed and I’m going in to every shop looking for the best price I can get, can you do better than 420,000?
Shop bloke: I can do it for 450,000
Me: Ok, well I’ll keep looking to see if anyone can beat 420,000
Shop bloke: 430,000 if you buy it now
Me: I’ve just told you that I can get it for 420,000, why would I pay you more for the same thing…

This does tie in nicely with many sales experiences one suffers here, my best so far being when I went shopping for a shower head, not knowing the word for shower head:

Me: Hi there, I’m looking for the shower thing that goes at the end of the tube that comes out of the wall in the shower. I DO NOT need an electric one, we have gas heating so we have hot water coming out of the tube. I just need the plastic thing that spreads the ALREADY HOT WATER out
Shop bloke: Here you go (handing over an electric shower head)
Me: I just told you that I do not need an electric one. We have hot water, I just need the thing that goes at the end of the tube
The shop bloke then comes back with what looks like a wooden pear with electric windings around it supplied by a long electric cable. I guessed it was a heating element that you could throw into a large pot of water
Me trying not to go mental: What is that, that’s got nothing to do with a shower AND it’s clearly an electical appliance. What has that got to do with what I asked you for?
Shop bloke looks utterly bewildered and a little hurt
I walk away, familiarly bemused

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Since when have angels had permission to come down from heaven?

by Alex on Sep.18, 2010, under Blog

Of the many cultural differences between here (Colombia) and the country in which I grew up, one of the most blatant and in-your-face is the way that men and women interact. It is, interesting to say the least.

I recently followed a link sent to me by a friend and clicked the ‘login via Facebook’ option and lo, without warning, I had a profile on Badoo.com which appears to me to a hook up site very thinly veiled as some kind of social networking thing.

Flicking through public comments on profile photographs on Badoo one notices a theme. I’m not going to express my opinion though I do wonder how the authors possibly think they are going to be taken seriously. Check these out:

Hey, since when have angels had permission to come down from heaven? Don’t tell me that you’ve escaped. Well, if that is what’s happened I’d love to cut your wings so that you can’t go back and be able to look upon the beauty that you are, precious princess

An exquisite woman is not she who has most men at her feet but she who has one man that makes her really happy
A beautiful woman is not the youngest nor the slimmest, neither her with the smoothest skin nor the fairest hair, rather she who with just a smile and good counsel can bring cheer to your life
A rich woman is not her with many titles or academic honours, it is she who would sacrifice her dream for the happiness of others
An exquisite woman is not the most passionate, but she who shakes with joy on making love with the man she loves
An interesting woman is not she who feels flattered for being admired for her beauty and elegance, it is she of solid character who can say no
And a man, an exquisite man is he who values this kind of woman

Meeting people via this medium is a lottery, there are people of all types, for all types of people. The key lies in sincerity, respect and chemistry. Your profile caught my attention and if you’d like to get in touch it would be interesting to know a bit about you. I love your look and demeanour – the irony with this is that the guy has left the same comment on loads of girls’ pictures

In the beginning we were one, unknown, splendour without gaze, love without value. Then two through many reincarnations, we lost the footprints of the other without looking for each other, without finding each other. Like curious, frightened children wandering the world without destination painfully conquering fears and at last, suddenly, light is born. Aeons bear fruit, conscience lights the path brining us back together, to the one, to the same

Precious, you are the most beautiful woman in the world. I’d love to talk to you, my MSN is … sending you lots of kisses xxxxxxxxxx The sun hides itself, out-shined by the beauty of your heart

Not sure about you, but I think I’m going to chuck…

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Taxis

by Alex on Jul.12, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

Taxis are cheap and plentiful in Bogotá, outside of peak times or heavy rain you rarely have to wait long on the street to catch a passing cab. Although I have never had a scary experience, aside from the maniacal driving, there are those who recommend pre-booking taxis. Some taxi numbers are:

  • 211 11 11
  • 311 11 11
  • 411 11 11
  • and my favourite, if only for the number, 222 22 22 (sadly their answer phone does not quote De la Soul lyrics)
  • To call a landline from a mobile/cell in Colombia prefix the landline number with 03 followed by the region code. For Bogotá prefix with 031

    Pre-booked taxis usually arrive within 5 minutes of booking. You need to give a booking code (clave) to the driver – this is the last two digits of the phone number from which you made your booking. Make sure that the driver resets the meter so that it reads 25 units at the start of your journey.

    Taximeters are supposed to advance one unit every 100 metres or 30 seconds if stationary. The driver should have on display a tariff chart, at the end of your journey use the chart to convert the number of units to a cost then add the following where applicable:

    Airport surcharge – 3,200 COP
    Night surcharge (for travel including the hours 20:00 – 05:00) – 1,600 COP
    Sunday surcharge – 1,600 COP
    Public holiday surcharge – 1,600 COP
    Pre-booking surcharge – 600 COP

    Taking a taxi from the airport – on exiting the main terminal (El Dorado) from an international flight, turn right out of the doors and right again at the corner of the building to find the taxi kiosk; for domestic flights, there is a kiosk to the left as you leave the building, there is a similar set up at the second terminal (Puente Aéreo). On giving your destination address to the attendant you’ll be presented with a ticket stating your destination and the cost of your journey including surcharges thus avoiding any ‘discussion’ over cost of fare with the driver. It costs less than 20,000 COP to get to most places that you’d want to go in the city. If you want to avoid the queue or potentially save a few thousand pesos you can often get a cab in front of the airport building. If so, ensure that the meter is reset when you start your journey (meters start at 25 units).

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    Usaquen

    by Alex on Jul.12, 2010, under What to do in Bogotá

    Carreras 6 and 6a and Calles 118 and 119 (Parque de Usaquen)

    An upmarket part of town with a villagey feel. Plenty of good restaurants and a craft market

    Find Usaquen on the map here

    Please leave feedback in the comments section below

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