After almost two months here, I’ve identified a few things I think the US should adopt from Colombia and vice versa. Here’s the first part of the list—things that the US should import to improve life there. The reverse post follows and I wrote a second list a few weeks later.
From Colombia to the US
Ciclovia: I stumbled onto Ciclovia my first day in Bogotá and continue to be amazed by it. Through a chance encounter with a woman from the States, I learned about CicLAvia, Los Angeles’ version (note how they changed the name to put LA in the middle). But it is only a few times a year. In Bogotá, Ciclovia is every Sunday and bank holiday (of which there are a gazillion). The culture around Ciclovia is amazing, and the streets are packed with cyclists, roller bladers, and walkers, who usually are with family members, significant others, or friends.
Fresh Juice: Colombians drink fresh juice all of the time. Restaurants regularly offer 5-10 types, many of which are fruits we don’t even have in the US. And the drinks are made from the juice of the fruit directly or fruit pulp. My favorite is guanabana, a fruit I first encountered during a vacation in Costa Rica a few years ago. Other greats are lulo (a citrus), maracuya (a passion fruit), and mora (a berry). One downside is that sugar, sometimes a lot of it, is added to the tarter and more acidic juices. Here are two other blog posts about the many fruits found in Colombia that are absent from, or rare in, the UK or US.
Pedestrian Overpasses: Some TransMilenio stops are in the middle of multi-lane, high traffic volume streets. Pedestrian overpasses that include both ramps and steps provide access to the stations. These bridges also span busy intersections without TransMilenio stations. Because they are so common, people here use them—they don’t run across multi-lane highways. Many of them are architecturally interesting or beautiful, but because I would need to be in a helicopter to get a good photo.