At first blush, Barranquilla is a city very much like Miami. There’s all the usual hustle and bustle of people working, kids playing, and errands being run. But for a foreigner, many of those normal-looking life activities have underpinnings that are downright mysterious. Here’s just a few of the surprises that awaited us:
- Milk comes in little itty-bitty bags that you open by cutting off the corner. There’s no way to close them back. There’s also no way to stand them up in the fridge and thus avoid spilling them except by buying this special little plastic rectangle of a container that says “milk” on the outside. I avoided buying one of these at first, opting instead for a small pitcher with a lid. I was wrong. Trust the locals; the milk thingie is better.
- Barranquilla is WAY more walkable than Miami. It’s awesome.
- Those “no cell phone signs” in the bank mean NO CELL PHONES. Don’t even take it out. You so much as touch it and a security guard is going to come over immediately and tell you to put it away. Apparently this is because you could be texting your peeps outside saying the guy with the blue shirt just picked up a zillion dollars in cash. Which could be bad news for the guy in the blue shirt.
- Sizes, in my very limited shopping experience, seem to be a lot smaller. I bought PJ bottoms size large, and they were not too big at all.
I’m sure more surprises, large and small, are coming our way!