Archive for August, 2018

Colombian Fruit Salad

August 31, 2018

My Colombian girlfriend’s (Kary) birthday party was supposed to be arranged by Kary’s sister, her brother and I, but I decided to do the hard stuff by myself and give the siblings the easy stuff, therefore yielding less error. I decided to put myself in charge of the food, presents and cake. I then delegated the responsibility of decorations and soft drinks for Kary’s brother and sister.

I went shopping a week before the party to buy gifts. I walked around the mall looking at clothes, but decided I didn’t really know her sizes too well. By a miracle, I walked past a Blackberry accessory stand and thought to myself, “Why not just get everything in one place and not worry about clothing sizes?”
I thought about getting her a screen protector but they were charging $15USD just for an invisible little piece of plastic that covered the screen. I wanted to get something that would at least be visible and have a little more bang for the buck. After consulting many products, I decided to buy her a Blackberry skin case, a USB cable with charge adapter and a Bluetooth head set. All the products put together cost a total of $80USD.
The only question mark was the fact that I didn’t know the exact model of her phone, so I asked for the protector case which went to the most popular model of Blackberry. The day before her birthday was stressful. Kary wanted me to spend the day helping her run errands around town. Because it was going to be a surprise party, I couldn’t tell her was that I actually wanted to spend the day before her party buying the food and the birthday cake for the party. Instead of saying that, I had to make an excuse of why I couldn’t go with her.
“I want to spend a few hours grocery shopping, taking money out of the bank and buying some things.”
This excuse worked, and she decided to do her errands alone. After she left, I went down to the bakery and bought a 3 leches cake (wet vanilla cake that tastes like sweet milk), some candles and food for the party. Not really having any idea of how to cook anything, I just decided to get basic stuff like cream cheese, tortillas and ham and put the stuff together at the apartment. I also wanted one other dish, so I bought some fruit for a fruit salad. For the fruit salad, I enlisted the help of a neighbor, Don Alberto. I went to his apartment with all the ingredients I had purchased.
leches cake (wet vanilla cake that tastes like sweet milk), some candles and food for the party. Not really having any idea of how to cook anything, I just decided to get basic stuff like cream cheese, tortillas and ham and put the stuff together at the apartment. I also wanted one other dish, so I bought some fruit for a fruit salad. For the fruit salad, I enlisted the help of a neighbor, Don Alberto. I went to his apartment with all the ingredients I had purchased.
We consulted a website in Spanish that suggested three oranges, a mango….
….Please view/share the book “48,000,000 Colombians Can’t Be Wrong,” by Brian Ward on Amazon.
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Colombian Visa

August 30, 2018

With only a few days left on my tourist visa, I scrambled to get the process started on renewing it for another 3 months. The first thing I did was to go to Davivienda Bank to deposit the $71,000 pesos ($37USD) into the account of the Administrative Department of Security (DAS for short, DAS is one of the agencies in Colombia in charge of keeping track of how long foreign people stay in Colombia).
After waiting in line at the bank for an hour and filling out 5 separate deposit slips, I finally made my way to the front of the line. Upon arriving to the front of the line, I was told that I needed to go to a different bank to make the deposit and was given a slip with the address of the other bank which was a few blocks from DAS. Instead of going to the other bank, I decided to call it a day and go back home for lunch.
It was at that point that I decided to review the DAS website which explained the visa renewal process to make sure I had been given the right instructions.

The first time you apply for an extension you need to present the following documents at the DAS office:

1) Completed tourist visa extension form (download here)
2) Photocopy of the photo page of your passport
3) Photocopy of your entry stamp into Colombia
4) A 3 x 4 cm photo with a white background
5) Receipt of payment of visa extension fee, $71,000 Colombian pesos ($37USD)
6) Your passport
You can make your payment at any branch of Davivienda or Bancafe (banks).

I guessed that the last bit of information was a little out of date.
I decided to download the application, take the photos and photocopy my passport. These were the things that required the least money and…..

Please view/share the book “48,000,000 Colombians Can’t Be Wrong,” by Brian Ward on Amazon.