Tag: Expat life

Our House Hunting Experience in Bogotá, Colombia

By Michael February 2017 My wife decided it was again time to look at homes in Bogotá. Such is not always an easy task. There aren’t that many of them. The city has the 9th worst population density in the world. When comparing the quantity of apartments to houses the latter is a definite minority. […]

Chayote – Healthy or Will it Mummify You?

September 2016 By Michael For years I passed by the green wrinkled and furrowed looking plant at our local fruit and vegetable market. That is not unusual as there are many plants in Colombia I am still trying to learn. The sign in front of this particular one said, guatila. It was only because of […]

Photo of the Week – Little Girl / Big Dog

September 2016 – There is just something cute about little girls playing with large dogs. The animals seem to know the gentleness of the child and respond in kind. This is Valentina, the 5 year-old daughter of our housekeeper, playing with our dog, Corzo. Despite the dog’s well-earned reputation of aggressive protection of the property Valentina […]

Chicalá Brightens the Landscape Around Bogotá

With bunches of bright yellow bell type flowers the chicalá trees are easily spotted around Bogotá. Visitors find them in town squares, lining the medians of streets, surrounding parking lots and bringing color to the surrounding hills. Considered a shrub the trees can grow to about 7 meters (20 feet) or more. Known by other […]

Mangostino is Another of Colombia’s Over 150 Fruits

Twice a year the mangostino shows up in Bogotá. While some stores carry the hard skinned purple fruit we see more of it being sold by vendors on the street. Like many other of Colombia’s produce it has medicinal properties. The mangostino acts as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. In addition it is good for blood […]

The Dahlia Imperialis is Colombia’s 20 Foot Flower

July 2016 We believe the best way to present this unique and interesting flower is in the video below.

El Pórtico Restaurant Near Bogotá is a Must for Visitors

July 2016 Michael: El Pórtico has it all, ambiance, great Colombian style food, a playground for the kids, a coffee shop and a church. All these features contributes to a dual personality. Depending upon the time of day it can be a restaurant for the family or a romantic dinner. But this Bogotá area establishment […]

The Life of a Colombian Curuba is from Flower to Healthy Drink

Curuba flower and stamen

Colombia is home to the largest variety of curuba. Also know as the banana passion fruit it is loaded with antioxidants especially proanthocyanidins and catechin. It contains vitamin A and vitamin C as well as high amounts of phosphorous, niacin, calcium and iron. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the Bogotá area they found the […]

2016 – Our Favorite Coffee Shops in Chia/Cajica Display Different Specialties

June 2016 To be a great coffee shop takes more than just good coffee. There must be service, ambiance and accompaniments. The shop must demonstrate consistency in those areas as well as an attitude of continual improvement in meeting the needs of the customer. Previously we covered our favorite coffee shops in Bogotá. Readers may […]

Photo of the week – Chinche bug

Graciela: This bug caught my eye while outside the house. It looks like someone painted it. Michael: Neither my wife nor I knew what kind it is. I put a photo on Facebook asking for help in identification. A relative sent me an Email with a link. It is called a Chinche del Colores. They […]

Sauco Cured our Cough – Another South American Natural Medicine

Sauco flower natural medicine

May 2016 Michael: I picked the white flower as instructed and brought it to my wife. Then gave her a strange look as she immersed it into hot water to make a tea. A virus had both of us feeling horrible. The constant cough and hacking made things worse. The idea of using natural remedies […]

Interviews With Expats and Travelers About Life Abroad

by Michael Can you really retire early in another country or constantly travel and have a better overall life? You may have heard or read the stories of those who quit the rat race, escaped the corporate cubicle and now enjoy life. For most people the logic makes no sense unless you have a ton […]

Eating Ants in Colombia – Hormigas Culonas a Big Ass Delicacy or Gross

Michael: The medical examiner told the detective that the stomach contents of the deceased contained hormigas culonas. That mention on the TV show “CSI Miami” was my first hearing of eating ants in Colombia. It happened before my move to the South American country. Of course I wondered about the accuracy of such an assertion. […]

Colombian Picada at a No-Name Restaurant

By Michael March 2016 The above photo is the lunch my wife and I had on Sunday. Here in Colombia they call it a picada. Basically a little bit of everything and everyone picks what they want to eat. The dish shown contains platano, papa criolla (special potato grown only in Colombia), arepa, chicharrón, longaniza […]

Photo of the week: Horses and carts in Cajicá, Colombia

March 2016 These three photos were taken in one day as we walked the streets around our house. The country feeling is part of what I like since we made the decision to leave Bogotá. Do not believe that we live out in the middle of nowhere though. Two large malls, Fontanar and Centro Chia […]

Juan Valdez Café in Bazaar Mall – Ambiance, Service & Pets

March 2016 Graciela: My husband and I have always been a fan of Juan Valdez coffee shops. In terms of product quality each one always delivers. And every one we have visited offers free Wi-Fi. What makes the difference between the company’s stores is ambiance and service. In those areas the Bazaar Mall shop is ahead […]

Colombian Papa Rellena – A meal in your hand & a recipe worth trying

March 2016 Michael: Calle 53 just East of the Avenida Caracas is a part of Bogotá I always enjoy wandering, looking and tasting. This is the area where Bogotanos go for art and craft supplies as well as lessons. My wife and her sister shop the many craft stores which line both sides of the […]

St. Honoré – an Appropriately Named Coffee Shop In Chia, Colombia

St. Honoré coffee shop Chia, Colombia

March 2016 Michael: The name caught my attention. When my wife saw it she said, “Good name for a coffee shop that sells breads and pastries.” With years of marriage she has learned to read my often involuntary inquisitive look. “He is the patron saint of bakers, she added.” Before moving to Colombia patron saints were […]

Trattoria de La Plaza – Where Bogotanos Experience Italian Cuisine

Colombia restaurant Expat Bogotá

**Michael: “What I love is it is in a neighborhood no one would expect to find it,” said the person who invited us. I then asked Georgio how he found the place. “I like to look for these places that have a speakeasy feel to them.” The restaurant seems out of place in an area dominated […]

Our Furniture Purchasing Experience in Bogotá, Colombia

February 2016 Michael: When a husband hears, “We need new living room and dining room furniture,” there exists limited options. But once the words have exited the wife’s mouth your best response is “Si mi amor”(Yes, my love) and try for the best deal you can get. Graciela: Sometimes I believe men really do not […]