Recycling, Colombian-Style

Barranquilla is a very modern city. Nonetheless, it’s still common to see horse-drawn carts on city streets. The guys with the carts (I have yet to see a woman with this job) are usually buying or selling something, which they announce via  megaphone — that way, you can hear it from your apartment and come down to meet them (think ice cream truck in the U.S.).

The odd thing is that they always announce what they’re buying/selling in this nearly unintelligible monotone with no pauses between words. The following 7-second video will show you what I mean. The only word I can understand in the string is “bateria”, which means the guy is buying, among other things, car batteries. This is one of the main ways that items get recycled in Colombia. Let me tell you, the cardboard boxes that we used to ship items from the U.S. to Colombia were gone from the street in no time, despite the fact that they were completely dilapidated.

If you can understand any other word besides “bateria” in this video, then by all means, comment and let the rest of us know!

During my short stint in Mexico City (el D.F.) years back, street vendors similarly used megaphones to announce their wares. There, the only one I could understand was the guy who sold refills for home propane tanks. “El gaaaaaaaaas. El gaaaaaaaaaaas.” At least I understand a little more now!

Advertisements

6 responses to “Recycling, Colombian-Style

  1. In England here we get a similar thing, but they have trucks now and say in a monotone voice, over and over.. “something unintelligible .. scrap iron” They have a megaphone too and collect any metal, not just iron..

  2. Oh, that’s interesting. Apparently the “unintelligible megaphone monotone” is fairly universal!

  3. Saw a picture but no video.

    Do you know that for every dollar you give to CBF’s Offering for Global Missions, 23 cents goes to Poverty and Transformational ministries? Want to learn more?
    Clarissa Strickland
    Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
    Mercer University ACC Bldg
    2930 Flowers Rd South
    Atlanta, Ga 30341
    770-220-1635

  4. Unfortunately, the video doesn’t embed in the email that is sent to email subscribers. You’ll have to click on the hyperlink to go to the website itself (www.courtenayclarisse.com) to see the video. It is a little confusing, because the video just looks like a photo in the email you receive.

  5. Couldn’t get the first word, but got Bateria y Chatara (scrap metal)…oh my, the best one is when they go about selling food, Tammmaaaleeeessss….maaassssamorrraaaaaa…coooccaaadddaaaasss. At least in Barranquilla, they don’t wake you up at 6 am with “Elllllll Peeeeriiiioooooddiiiicooooooooooo” just have to love it….lol

  6. Bocachicoooooooooo!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s