Bogota · Colombia · Plaza de Mercado Paloquemao · South America · Teaching English · Travel

Plaza de Mercado Paloquemao

This morning I woke up panicked about my telephone. I need to change it from the U.S. T-mobile to Claro here in Colombia. My friends and I have done some research and Claro seems to have the best deal for phone service without a month to month plan.

It has been a major headache for me to get my phone switched over and I don’t want to be without coverage for any length of time. It is amazing how dependent I am on my phone!!!

My husband is going to be coming down soon, so I think I will wait until he is here. I just cannot – don’t want to- face this whole thing without him!!!


I tried to relax for a little and maybe sleep some more, but finally gave up on that and decided to go to Plaza de Mercado Paloquemao. This is a huge market where one can buy anything from raw meat to fruit, spices, flowers, vegetables, and more! I had been wanting to visit this market ever since I came here.

I have been wanting to find jalapenos, harissa paste, garlic, cumin, fennel seed and turmeric. From what I have read, this is the place to find anything food related that one cannot find in the grocery store.

I decided to walk for part of the way. I have been trying to do the ’10,000 steps a day’ since I got here as there are very few people that run on the street – and those I have only seen in the north of the city. They sidewalks are in terrible dis-repair and very crowed with people and the streets are VERY dangerous!! I had thought about biking to my work on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but have seen too many cyclists pushed off the roads by buses! People here in Bogota do not move for anyone or anything. They are very rude according to Western standards. I have been run into numerous times and there is not ‘perdon, con permiso’ or acknowledgement that I am there. I have been pushed out of the way to get on to buses or into taxis.

The one day that one is very free to exercise publicly is on Sunday here. The city closes down a lot of the roads for use for cyclists, roller-bladers, runners, etc., It is amazing! Families and people come out en masse to enjoy the streets. There are people walking, biking, roller-blading, running and just hanging out. It is an effort to reduce pollution, and encourage exercise and it works! The streets are full. There are bike clinics on the side of the roads, there are fruit vendors and city officials all along the roads directing traffic for cars who want to cross. It is like a festival of sorts and promotes a sense of well-being and community.

On the way to Paloquemao I passed a pet store with adorable kittens in a plastic box for sale. I wanted to take them all home with me. The treatment of animals and acceptable social norms are very different here. I have since seen kittens in hanging bird cages for sale as well.

I walked for about 2 miles and then got on a bus as the people I asked for directions from were astounded I was walking and encouraged me to get on a bus. When I got on the bus and asked people when I should get off for the market, they informed me we were about 5 stops away! I could have walked it!

I found everything I was looking for at the market. It was bustling still, even though I got there in the afternoon. It is open until 4:30 pm, and it opens at 3am!!! I think it is probably good that I waited until the afternoon. There were all kinds of things there – I found everything on my list and more! They even have pet food stalls. There were still quite a few people there when I was there – but I have seen photos of the hoards of people who get up early to go. I am sure there is more choice there for the people who show up early.

I ended up having two very heavy bags, so took an uber home. I am so thrilled that uber exists – thank you for your service, uber!


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