Odd Things You Haven’t Seen In South America
Columbia – Cheese Chocolate
In Colombian hot chocolate is made a bit different. The hot chocolate is then poured over cubes of fresh cheese – queso fresco to be specific – and served immediately with a spoon on the side so you can scoop the cheese out. Yum!
Coffee After Dinner… For Kids
Colombia – It’s actually a normal occurrence for children to drink coffee after meals. Coffee con leche (coffee with milk) is an after dinner treat for little ones, whilst strong black coffee is the norm for adults. Any American child would be “bouncing off the walls” if they ever managed to drink some coffee. But this goes to show that culture is a lot different in Latin America.
Time Runs Backwards In Bolivia
Bolivia – A beautiful clock on the National Congress building in the main square of La Paz isn’t all that it appears to be. It may look like an ordinary clock, but it has a twist. This particular clock in this city in Bolivia actually runs backward. The reason behind this is a very good one… It is not to help the citizens to tell the time, but it runs this way in order to remind citizens to think differently.
In La Paz, Bolivia people dressed as zebras help pedestrians cross the road. This isn’t a joke. Zebras are taking to the streets in La Paz, Bolivia, where they can be. They’re all local volunteers dressed in full-body zebra costumes. … gesture comically at drivers, and help pedestrians safely get across the street. One resident is quoted as saying, “They save so many people, I love them!”
Cholitas Fashion – Bolivia
“Cholitas” are Bolivian women with indigenous heritage known for their colorful attire, round top hats and ornate earrings. Recently there has been a movement to climb mountains while wearing this attire.
24/7 Cold Icecream
Argentina – You can have ice cream delivered at any time of the day or night. Argentina, the “Italy of South America,” is crazy about ice cream. So crazy, in fact, that ice cream deliveries are a staple of almost every dinner party. You can get ice-cream delivered from ice cream parlors at any time of the night or day, and the liter buckets go down a treat after a meat feast.
No Snow Days In Argentina
Argentina – if it rains, absolutely everything gets canceled. In a normally sunny country, even a few drops and people start to act like its the end of times. School, meetings, yoga classes, you name it. Rain is your get-out-of-jail-free card. Like when the rest of the world gets snow days, Argentia gets rainy days.
Bull Soup In Bolivia
“Caldo de cardán” is a Bolivian soup prepared with bull’s private parts as the key ingredient. The soup needs to be cooked for a very long time over low flames. But the results are supposed to be delicious, and it is considered by all locals to be the best hangover cure that there is in existence. Can’t make this stuff up.
No Change? Get Out.
Argentina – You will get kicked out of a taxi for not having change… If shopkeepers are fairly lenient regarding the change, the opposite is true for taxi drivers. Most Taxi’s won’t even give you change for a 100, Don’t try your luck with a 200 or 500 peso bill, or you will most likely be made to exit the cab immediately.
The Women Aren’t What You Think
Sign – This is a sign you probably won’t see anywhere else in the world. This black, white, and red sign has the text on it that says, “Be careful, dangerous women ahead.” This is way better than the English version which has taken Instagram by storm recently with girls posing next to “dangerous curves” signs. This doesn’t beat around the bush, just straight to the point.
The Bathroom Journey
Brazil – while you may think to throw toilet paper in the toilet sounds simple, the system in Brazil is not set to flush the toilet paper so people throw it to the trash after wiping. A recent traveler wrote, “My relatives tell me I need to throw it in trash can, others seem to have no idea. I’ve already seen some things I can’t un-see in some trash cans here, haha!”
Showering Differently in Brazil
Brazil – Don’t be offended if a native Brazilian resident asks you if want a shower the moment you enter their house, it is no indication that you smell. Taking 2, 3 or more showers during the summer is not uncommon. So if you’re visiting Brazil and your host offers you a shower, they’re just being considerate of your comfort. At the same time, a good shower after a hot sweaty day won’t hurt your ability to make new friends.
Uruguay – Blood Brownies
“Morcilla dulce”, this Uruguayan treat sounds a lot like a cake anyone would make. It’s got brown sugar, raisins and a pinch nutmeg, but instead of making a fruit loaf, in Uruguay they then add one surprising ingredient. The secret ingredient to this nice cake is… adding blood to the mix. This makes a sweet sausagy cake that’s the perfect thing to hit the spot when you can’t decide if you want dessert or BBQ.
Carnaval de Oruro, Bolivia
A party like none other, Oruro Carnival is a sought after attraction, drawing up to 400,000 people every year! While the festival is celebrated throughout the country, Oruro is without a doubt the most awesome. If you’re ever lucky enough to be in the country of Bolivia at this time of year, Oruro Carnival is one fiesta not to be missed!
Colombia- Don’t Sit On A Bus
In Columbia don’t sit down on a Bus right away. On a bus there, when a seat in a bus gets free, Colombians are likely to first uncomfortably lean on the back of the seat before taking a seat. That’s in order to let the seat “cool down” before they sit! Just another funny and unusual thing in Medellín. Supposedly the person who just vacated the seat left their body heat. When the body heat is gone, the germs are gone too. Maes sense.
Fur Babies In Columbia
Colombians Treat Dogs Like children. Many people all over the world do this but it’s especially prevalent in Columbia. You’ll always see a grandma talking to her little dog in a baby pitched voice and dressing in clothing. Colombians adore their little furry friends. There’s also a really high tolerance for dogs every public place. When you have a dog you won’t have a problem entering most restaurants and most stores with it.
Stuck In The Middle With Equator
Did you know that Equador is named after the Equator that traverses the country? As highlighted on this here sign, Ecuador is pinpointed as the exact middle of the globe. Tourists and locals alike can stand at the exact location of zero degrees latitude, zero minutes and zero seconds.
Bolivia – One Glass Rule
In Bolivia, it is illegal for women to have more than one glass of wine in a bar or restaurant. Bolivia apparently still has a law that prohibits only married women (single women can sip to their heart’s content.) But for those women who are legally married, having more than one glass of wine in a restaurant or bar is off the table, in fact, is sufficient enough grounds for a divorce.
The USA has Victoria’s Angels, and Bolivia didn’t want to miss out on all the fun so they invented Las Magnificas- like a Bolivian version of the Victoria Secret Fashion Show. Just like the American counterpart, there are various outfits, swimsuits, and other general entertainment to be had, but only in the best Bolivian style of course.
Milk and Yoghurt in Bags
It’s cheaper that way. And though Americans are all-in on cardboard milk cartons, or the occasional plastic jugs, throughout South America milk is sold in plastic bags. America is, in fact, somewhat anomalous for selling its milk in upright containers rather than in plastic bags. Next time you’re in South America make sure you enjoy the pleasure of ripping off that plastic corner with your teeth.
An increasing revolution has changed the rules of the game. It may sound funny (or scary, depending on how you look at it,) but we can’t deny that this is hands down the quickest way to get around a busy city. Residents of Columbia have the option of hailing an Uber- OR taking the faster option which is to wave down a Taxi Bike which will get you where you need to go lickity-split.
Chile The Largest Pool In The World
Ever wanted to swim in the ocean AND a pool but wanted to swim in both at the same time? Well now you can. In San Alfonso del Mar, Chile, you will find the largest swimming pool in the world. It is on a private resort in Algarrobo, Chile, about 62 mi west of Santiago. At the time they finished building it, it was in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest swimming pool in the whole world by area.
Uruguay – More Sheep Than Humans
Uruguay is known for being dependent on its vast sheep population. Its world-renowned wool industry exports over two billion in wool and wool related products a year. Uruguay has a sheep population approaching eight million. According to the most recent census data, the country only has 3.4 million humans.
Venezuelan – Most World Titles
With 23 victorious wins, Venezuela has a hot reputation for having won more titles than any other country in the history of pageantry. Venezuela is also the first and only country to win all the four international pageants multiple times. They won Miss World : 1981, 1984, 1991, 1995, and 2011. They won Miss Universe 1979, 1981, 1986, 1996, 2008, 2009, and 2013.
Argentina – your rent will increase 30 percent a year. It is written into almost all rental contracts that rent will be increased by 15% every six months, meaning a total annual increase of 30%. A Standard rental contract is two years long, and rent usually increase substantially with the renewal of a new contract. Bummer.