Internet is booming in Colombia!

imagesLatin America must be one of the higher growth markets for “the internet” at the moment. Colombia has currently about 12million users and this number is growing with about 30-40% !!!!! a year. Actually I think we (as in my Colombian people and me 😉 ) are one of the bigger “communities” in what must be the most popular site worldwide of the moment; Facebook which I see as a great accomplishment for our third world country 😉

With a fast growing amount of users, Colombias internet economy is also growing fast. I read last week that payments through the internet grew by about 50% from last year so it seems that also business over the internet is going to be a very normal thing here soon. Slowly people are getting more confidence and we are seeing better (Colombian) made and more secure pages arriving to the market. Especially the younger crowd (more than elsewhere in the world) is leading this developments and is putting its time and effort in developing sites, ideas and business without any big investors backing them up for the moment, but they should soon wake up and smell the coffee.

watch-reloj-tokyo-flash-pimp-p2_a_MEDFor me these developments are great as I live without the internet would be a little boring; the more internet the better! 😉  Without internet I could not know how to write “guevón” (popular word among Colombians that is kind of offensive except when used with friends), how my friend in Holland is doing with his new baby, when there will be another family meeting or I would not have the cool watch that I found at, a Colombian webstore that sells some crazy watches.

Hopefully this development of the internet will continue for a long time as it is not only good for the economy (ie. it has created big opportunities for outsourcing in LA) but also the general education level of the Colombians must be rising fast with the increasing access to global news and resource information.

My refrigerator is sending me an email that we are out of tomatoes so got to order some from Carulla and make luch…


Caraluna – Bacilos (Music)

With a group of Ecuadorians, a Colombian singer forms the group Bacilos that has might some very nice songs, always reminding me of my first trip to Latin America, Guatemala.

My big brother was traveling at the time from Mexico to the South of South America, but somehow a girl made him stop in Guatemala and interrupt his 6 month trip after only being on the road for two weeks!!!

Of course my parents wanted to see what was going on after my brother stayed in Guatemala the whole year and we made a trip together to visit. Driving around the country with his girl behind the wheel and in control of the radio, we heard the full CD of Bacilos maybe 200 times and this was one of the songs:

An interesting time and great memories. Last March we went again, but this time to see them get married ;). Little late bro! I beat you to it!

Alejandro Sanz – Corazon Partio (Musica)

Alejandro is still Spanish and also this song I like a lot. The title translates to “Broken Heart”. Great song that we are hearing a lot on the radioin Colombia these days eventhough it is already a little older…

CHICAS LINDAS! (Pretty ladies)

By far Colombia has the most beautiful women in the world.

taliana vargas Miss Colombia

Even though Venezuela won the Miss Universe last time it is clear that Colombia should have won as Colombianas are a special treat. Before meeting any, my now brother in law (Guatemalan) told me that the Colombianas were something to look out for. He and his friends could not stop talking about them and not knowing any I could just nod my head in agreement. Little did I know that about a year later I would be studying in Barcelona in the mix of a very international crowd including; COLOMBIANAS. As happened with many nationalities, the Colombians found each other fast in the university and through the Colombians in my class I got introduced to my current wife. I had never met anyone like her. A graceful and fun girl, strong of character, difficult to figure out and with the most beautiful emerald green eyes that got me locked into her from day one. We only got together after a few months of game play, but when we finally did we got married within a year and this was now almost 4 years ago. Blond haired, green eyed babies will follow soon…;)

sofia-vergara-5Colombianas (and the same I think goes for many other Latinas) take really good care of their appearance and they dress always as if there is a party that they might have to go to at some point of the day. I don’t think they even sell sweatpants for women here!! Walking on the streets or in the malls you will find that there are many exotic women walking around that will easily make your head spin and especially Medellin is known for harvesting beauty on a regular basis. The obsession with beauty actually seems to be somewhat extreme for outsiders as the amounts of beauty pageants is astounding. I think there are at least 300 Misses a year crowned, anywhere from Miss “Corn” to Miss “little village in the middle of the jungle” and plastic surgery is an amazingly booming business.

Anyway, I love the Colombian women and especially mine. Lindis, if you read this, please do not get mad for writing about other pretty women hehe. No need to be jealous ok? haha

On behalf of the male population of this country: Colombianas, please always stay feminine and keep dressing the way you do, we will be watching 😉

To finish off some examples to show you what I mean;

Taliana Vargas(1)

Valerie Dominguez2

Valerie Dominguez

Paola Turbay

Maria Victoria Montoya (La Toya)

Carolina Gomez

Carolina Castro2

Andre Serna2


If you want to see more: (famous Colombian site with many pinups)


telmex-idiotsOut of pure frustration with this nonsense company, I need to warn everyone about Telmex, a provider of telephone, tv and internet in Colombia. If you are thinking of getting any of these service, please I beg you, do not use Telmex.Really, I will pay you for not taking a contract with them. Together we can get them out of the country…pretty please?

Telemex´s owner, Mr. Slim, is one the richest people in the world, but you really must wonder why? I have never seen such an incompetent company and I have had some crazy experiences already before with Chinese!

First of all, the service was amazingly bad. Internet went out every other day because (according to their help desk) there was a line broken, they were doing updates, someone farted, anyway, it did not work. Besides that, they changed their tv system to a digital one, which also took out the option of changing channels to their original English version. So now you are stuck watching Lost in Spanish, which really is not the same.

etb-friendsSo we decided to cancel the account and move to ETB. Luckily we had complaint many times and they had to accept our cancellation because of bad service (this is a new law in Colombia). But than the problems started.

The technician that was supposed to come (which is a department outsourced by Telmex), never showed up. So we kept calling and calling and finally they told us to go to their customer service office and hand in the decoder etc and pay a little fine. After paying I think about 6USD in fine, they gave us a letter that said that everything was in paz y salvo (basically we had followed all our obligations and were done, no more invoices, nothing).

So, so far not that bad, but than we received the next month another invoice from them. After again calling and again being sent to their office, they immediately realized they made a mistake and canceled the invoice. But they still did not completely close our account. So every month we are receiving a new invoice and people start calling us that we did not pay yet. Turns out that still that lazy technician from the beginning has to come and shut down the line (whatever that may mean). Each time we call Telmex, they say they will call us within72hours, but nobody every calls. So we are stuck in the machine that is called help desk and are already waiting for 2 months for someone to call. No other solutions are available according to their employees…

Tomorrow we are going to their office again and I will not leave before the solve this issue, but lets see, I might be there until the next year. My god what a shitty company and how unfortunate that companies have still so much power over consumers. Time to go into politics and straighten things out for good!!

So Mr. Slim if you read this, please be noted that your whole Colombia operation sucks gigantically and if you really want to put a decent company here,  send me an email. I will reply you within 72 hours hahahhahaha

Reggaeton – Music

As I mentioned in my last post, Spanish (speaking) people are very into Reggaeton, which to me basically is the Latins version of HipHop. Besides maybe one or two songs, in Europe I had never heard of this music, but now in Colombia I am of course hearing it a lot more around me.

By far the biggest star in this kind of music must be Daddy Yankee. He seems to have made at least the most commercially successful tracks like “Gasolina”:

and now I heard “Llamado de Emergencia” the whole weekend and it also seems to be a big one:

Sorry but the original video has an amazingly boring start, so I skipped to this one that starts right away.

In case you are now wondering how you dance to Reggaeton, check out the somewhat explicit instruction video:

It will not be my favorite kind of music anywhere soon, but once in a while it can be nice to go partying on.

Santa Marta – Little Cartagena???

Receiving the news that friends are going to get married is always nice and when they decided to get married on the beach, it called for immediate purchase of tickets and booking of hotel to be sure we could participate in the party…


After months of looking out to this nice break from work and life in the city, finally we put on our masks and took place in the Avianca plane that was going to leave us right at the beach (not exaggerating, the landing strip really is right next to a beach, far from the city though). As we were not exactly sure where the wedding was going to take place and we did not find anyone that really knew a lot about Santa Marta, we made a gamble and booked hotel Betoma in Rodadero (the specially developed tourist neighborhood of Santa Marta). The hotel was ok, nothing special. We decided that all we needed was a clean bed and a cold shower in the morning as the rest of the time would be spend with (new) friends and hanging on the beaches.

For 90.000COP (40USD) you really just get a clean room, very basic but with a good bed and from a corner even a view of the beach. The Rodadero seemed an alive area with many small restaurants and close access to the beach from anyone of the hotels around.

After meeting the couples friends from Spain (they used to live there) and a pretty intense party at a beach bar overlooking the sea, we had made new friends for life and left the next day with them for Parque Tayrona. The Madrilenos kind of stole the show though. Some of them had not slept at all, just got into the bus as 8 in the morning, made us stop at the first liquor store and buy 3 liters of Rum and another one of Aguardiente (Firewater) and forced the driver to play nothing more than Reggaeton (sort of a latin version of Hiphop). The whole way to the park our bus was shaking as people were literally dancing in the aisle and even the Colombians were stunned by this much partying.

santa-marta-playa-7-olasInside the park we made a stop at the Playa Siete Olas (Seven Waves Beach), which was a really nice sight. After consuming some more rum while counting the waves we headed on to the final destination: Playa Christal or also known as Playa de la Muerta (Death beach). The beach was really great, the weather perfect, nice cool water and great food served by the few small restaurants there. After a few hours of burning, we went back to Santa Marta for the next party.

In the next few days we visited some other beaches and the historic center passed by in one of these trips. From the bus it seemed nice but we did not have time to stop unfortunately so I can not really give my opinion about it. If you do decide to go, Taganga is a nice little fishers town to visit. There is a beach only a boat ride away and again some nice seafood for lunch.


Santa Marta by itself is nice, but not as nice as Cartagena. It has potential but seems to miss a strong mayor that makes especially Rodadero a little safer late at night. We had the pleasure of meeting some messed up drunk young kids and on another occasion a semi-crazy dude that told us he was going to attack us at 4 in the morning in front of our hotel and the overall feeling at night there was not the greatest. Santa Marta used to be in or at least very close to a dangerous area in Colombia. Now things have changed, but really there should be some investment from the government, more police on the streets and to the Samarios (inhabitants of Santa Marta) I would like to say: DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND START PICKING UP THE GARBAGE THAT YOU HAVE LEFT BEHIND EVERYWHERE!!! MAN THAT CITY IS REALLY PILED UP WITH PLASTIC CRAP!!

santa-marta-playa-christal-2-parque-tayronaSo all in all, Santa Marta was a super trip, but more because of all the nice foreigners (Bogotanians and Spanish) than because of Santa Marta. Side note: strange that in a beach town, people are so grumpy and not really happy to see people spending money in the low season……

Btw, almost forgot, my good friend Carlos Vives is from Santa Marta.

Ah and he got robbed there walking on the beach, if I should believe the taxi driver.

But they also found his stuff back somehow…