I am currently living the high life,
higher than I ever have before. But by this I don't mean that I am
supremely wealthy, nor partying excessively, nor under the influence
of any intoxicants. What I mean is that I am living at a higher
elevation than I ever have before.
We are in Bogotá,
Colombia. Bogotá has an
elevation of 2,644 meters or 8,675 feet. And we are living on the
third floor. So you can see we are way up there!
took us awhile to realize that the reason we get so out of breath
when we walk about is because of altitude sickness. But even with the
lesser oxygen content, we love Bogotá. And there are many reasons.
about fruit as a reason. Colombia is a land of delicious fruits.
There are familiar fruits like bananas, but so much fresher and more
flavorful than at home. (Though not necessarily any better than
Kerala, India.) There are fruits we have enjoyed in other places, but
more plentiful here. As an example, passion fruit. Previously, Carver
figured out that granadilla and passion fruit are one and the same.
Except now we know that they are not. Passion fruit, called maracuyá
here, is the same genus as granadilla, but not the same species. But
both are readily available.
then there are a whole host of fruits we've never encountered:
Uchuvas (size and shape of cherry tomatoes but orange in color and
with a tart flavor), curuba (looks like a small finger sized
cucumber, but has more of a passion fruit interior with a kiwi mixed
with toothpaste flavor), tree tomato (also called tamarillo,
red/orange in color, but with a mix of tomato, spicy cilantro, and
mango flavor), small red plums (size of cherry tomatoes, round and
red, but super sweet and juicy), and guanabana (like a giant custard
apple, though we had never seen a custard apple until Vietnam).
|Four of the many new fruits|
while on the topic of fruit in Colombia, fruit salad is a major treat
here. They make it with thin slices of bananas, apples, papaya,
melon, peach, mango, strawberry, and more. Then it is drenched in a
cream, something like sweetened condensed milk. And they put shredded
cheese on the top. Oh, and if you're lucky, you get one of those
small red plums!
|In high school, I was in a musical in which one of the songs was called "Fruit Salad"|
can get your fruit at the local grocery store and there is lots of
selection. But if that's not enough for you, try out Paloquemao
Market! It is this large market in downtown Bogotá, with both indoor
and outdoor sections. You can find dozens of fruit stands in the
|You could get lost here! Luckily Carver didn't.|
can find dozens of vegetable stands in the vegetable section. Guess
what you can find in the meat and milk sections?
|Carnes (meats) and lacteos (dairy) together? That's not kosher!|
a hint. You can buy four different kinds of ham in one stand alone!
|Cerdo = pork; Cordero = lamb; Pollo = chicken; Ahumado = smoked; and Jamon = ham|
then there is the flower section. Thousands of flowers in hundreds of
colors and varieties everywhere. I am trying to imagine how they can
sell that many flowers. We did see plenty of people buying flowers,
but with the numbers they have, wouldn't every citizen of Bogotá
need to buy one to sell them all?
foods are the same but different here. For example, squeeze bags of
food are very popular. You can see jelly in this picture. But you
find your mayonnaise, sour cream, and a variety of yogurt drinks in
|Why dirty a knife when you can squeeze?|
the Tiger is advertising Zucaritas here, but that is pretty much a
translation of Frosties, which is the name for Frosted Flakes in many
parts of the world.
best of all, the mathematician in me loves the bread! See here, white
bread is pan blanco, but whole wheat bread is called pan integral.
And what good mathematician wouldn't want calculus with every
|The derivative of pan integral is just the pan. (Ha! Fundamental Theorem of Calculus joke!)|
tried two typical Colombian dishes, both of which we enjoyed. The
first was a soup called Ajiaco, sort of a thick, opaque soup made of
potato, garlic, chicken, and herbs. On the side you receive rice and
avocado. But the idea is that you cut up your avocado into chunks and
put them into the soup. Same with the rice, except you don't have to
cut that into chunks. It's rice.
|I do so like green soup and rice! Thank you, thank you, Sam from Colombia!|
other was bandeja paisa. It included several different items together
on one platter. There are a variety of seasoned meats included fried
pork, ground beef, and a hot dog like sausage. There are thick dark
beans. And there is rice. On the top is a piece of arepa, which is a
small, round, fried corn bread. It's also served with a fried egg, a
slice of avocado, and a fried plantain.
|If you had to have a national food, this would be a good choice|
also went through a mall and saw a few things I've never seen before.
know the men's room right?
next to it is another bathroom with smaller sinks (which were orange) and toilets that is
clearly labeled as the boy's room.
|Not so familiar|
not uncommon to see a McDonalds in a mall food court. But have you
ever been to a food court which didn't have a full McDonalds, but
only had a dessert section of McDonalds? All they sell are the
|Who needs entrees?|
We happened to be there on a Sunday morning. And there was a church service going on right outside the food court. Do you think it is weird to be praying while knowing behind you someone is buying McFlurries?
I was excited to see Mujer Maravilla just hanging out in the mall
too. Complete with her lazo de la verdad. And that's the truth!
|Mujer Maravilla! What more does anyone need to say?|
know! It's a lot to see and do. And being from much lower lands, we
do get winded sometimes. But that's no problem. You can just find
some artistic concrete benches on which to relax.
|Doesn't Syarra look comfy?|
sometimes you want to be low key, even when you're living on high!