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Author Archives: Tom Germain - Page 5

Coca isn’t Cocaine

Cocaine comes from the coca leaf, but coca isn’t cocaine, and it doesn’t have the toxic properties associated with the illegal drug. The leaf has always been used for its energy-giving properties by natives from the Andean region. Matter of......
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The Cost of Giving Yourself a Good Living

To give you a rough idea of what things cost for two people living in a large Colombian city, let’s make a list. To arrive at figures in US dollars, divide by 2000, which has been the median exchange rate of late,. For Euros, divide by 2800. Note......
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Adventures in Renting

The good news is that apartment and house rentals in Colombia are inexpensive in relation to what you would pay in the US, Canada or the UK. A large 3-4 bedroom townhouse in a good area of Medellìn, for example, would rent for a bit over a million pes......
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Arepas Everywhere!

Just as the Mexicans have their tortillas, the Colombians have their arepas, corn flour cakes that come in a million different varieties. They eat them for breakfast, lunch, supper, and snacks. They can merely accompany a meal or be the meal. There&#82......
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Taxis, Buses and Subways

Taxi cabs in Colombian cities are dirt cheap and your best and safest way to get from point A to point B. A mere 10,000 pesos (5 USD on this date) will get you across 10 km (6 miles) of bustling city streets. The minimum fare is typically is...
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Road Rage? Naw, Normal Insanity!

Nowadays, traffic accidents in Colombia kill more people than acts of violence. Board a bus or a taxi, or (shudder) attempt to drive your own vehicle in Colombian roads and you’ll soon feel as if you’re watching the action unfurl on a racin......
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Colombia, Then and Now

Colombia was one of the most dangerous countries on earth. Colombia is still one of the most dangerous places on earth. Not so long ago, armed rebel groups such as the FARC and the ELN, as well as the paramilitary factions meant to counter them, terror......
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