Sooooo many travellers are heading to Colombia, its getting insane. If you are a pretentious traveller, I am not, you will probably complain about the amount of gringos but to me it’ a good thing. It means more people I can communicate with!
I have girls messaging me asking me for tips and tricks, was it safe, where’d you stay? etc. etc. All that is fine and dandy but what I really think would have saved me was knowing a bit more espanol. I’m not the next Rosetta Stone, but what I can give to you is a few simple phrases that you will want to know for your trip to Colombia.
Basically a chill/laid back way to say your welcome, or with pleasure. I was always used to De Nada for your welcome, so it took me a while to get this one. You’ll hear it all the time, it’s quite sweet.
It took us a while to understand how paying for your meals works. Unlike most western places, you won’t be brought the bill automatically after your meal. So it’s super important to ask for it politely otherwise you may be waiting forever. Colombians are rarely on a strict time clock, so you shouldn’t be either. The cheque please.
I loved this phrase because it reminded me a lil’ of home. It somewhat translates to “sorry”. Not like the sorry I broke your heart and you are left in shambles but the oops, sorry I bumped you! So Canadian!
Would you like the red or white? I’m more of a red girl myself, especially if it’s from Argentina. YUM. Literally translates to Wine Red or Wine White. You’ll hear me saying “Dos vino tinto for favour y pronto!”
Chances are if you go to Colombia, or Medellin more specifically you will go on the super famous FREE Real City Walking Tour. I went 2x, and so I heard the story of Dar Papaya 2x. Basically it means if you offer a papaya, someone will take it. Huh? Ya I know. Don’t offer your belongings, or a chance for you to get taken advantage of. Keep care of your stuff, don’t walk alone etc. etc. It’s like a cute way to warn people to be safe in a not so safe world. I tend to go for the more direct “ Watch your shit, people are shady AF”. Dar Papaya everyone.
My coffee order. In case anyone cared… if you follow my Instagram you’ll know I take my coffee seriously. Colombia and coffee seem to go hand in hand.. but many times that wasn’t the case. I learned that a basic brewed black coffee with milk was my safest bet.
There you have it! My 6 phrases that are literally burned into my mind forever. I can get you coffee and wine with pleasure, and then lightly apologize when I forget your papaya! All before taking care of the bill. Ciao!
By Liz from The Tongue In Chic