10 most irritating things about South America.

Looking at accounts of famous bloggers and travellers, photographers and just tourists, you see their lives as very carefree and unclouded. But everything is not that simple. We don’t see another flip side of the coin. All are human beings and have, I’m sure, a lot of problems. And in this post, I’d like to show you something really irritating about living in South America based on my personal experience. Most of the statements are true for all the countries I’ve been to there.

1. The first thing that shocked me, when I just arrived in Colombia was that here you can’t flush your toilet paper into the toilet. The canalization system is just not that good to provide you this option. You always have to have this wonderful basket next to the w.c. pan. Sucks! The most simple thing and already a disappointment.

2. You can never feel safe on the streets. And that’s good. Thus you won’t get in trouble. But after two years of living here, I already forgot the feeling of safety. Couldn’t even imagine how it is. Weird…

3. Being a girl, I notice it a lot and still can’t get used to it: you can’t wear jewellery on the street. Especially expensive one. Especially if you’re a “gringo” (= stranger). I really missed all my pretty rings and necklaces, bracelets and accessories. But here you first of all should think about staying safe.

4. Too many homeless people. Especially in Bogota, the capital of Colombia. It is an absolute leader of Latin America in street inhabitants. Just look at the statistics.

indigentes sleeping cut
The streets of La Candelaria

5. It is so dirty here!!! Even in the worst neighbourhood of the smallest city in Russia, it is much cleaner than in a usual place here. Sure, in fancy neighbourhoods everything is nice and pretty, but in normal ones… my poor white shoes 😦 Can’t wear them anymore. And I just killed my favourite sports shoes of violet colour. Now they’re grey and can’t be cleaned.

6. You can’t throw away rubbish in an apartment building (generally). You, even not having your own house, must carry your (again) wonderful basket and throw the stuff in a special place outside the building. People! Let the cleanliness be easier!

7. Latins are always late!

— Hey man, let’s meet at 2 p.m.?

— Sure, mate!

And you’re waiting for them for at least 40 minutes… And you know what, it influences you too. After weeks of this treatment, at 2 p.m. you already think: ah, perfect, I have half an hour to be ready! Gosh, I’ve never been as unpunctual as I am here. In most cases, it doesn’t relate to business, luckily.

8. Only Colombian food (obviously in Colombia): it’s so difficult to find my favourite food from my country. For me, it is 1) a good sour cream, 2) buckwheat (that no one has an idea what it can be, but it is actually a kind of cereals), 3) cottage cheese (the same story as poor buckwheat. It’s not a cheese, but another milk product), etc. Mostly you can find Colombian traditional food, Colombia’s street food and something common like pizza or pasta. For sure there are fancy restaurants that can offer you a greater variety of cuisines, but they are way more expensive.

9. Latins don’t drink tea. I mean normal hot tea. Especially in Rio de Janeiro: if you offer someone a cup of tea, they’ll expect an ice tea for sure. By the way, there are many more things you should be aware of when going to Brazil: don’t forget to have a look here.

10. Latins drink ice water! Generally, it’s related to Colombians, Venezuelans and Brazilians. Doesn’t matter how hot or cold it is, your drink must be from the fridge and with ice cubes to make it better! Brrrr, too cold for my throat!

Think about what’s written here and try to imagine, how it fits your needs and habits. Then decide if you’re ready to experience South America or not 🙂

To see a great stuff about South America, check out my YouTube channel with my documentary adventures.

And the main thing: I still LOVE South America! It’s my second (third?) home ❤



10 most irritating things about South America.: 10 комментариев

  1. I really hope that nobody gets to read this post. It’s a rant from someone who thinks her culture country is way better than anyone else’s. I’m from Colombia, the Caribbean and Bogotá is definitely not my favorite place on Earth, but I don’t think it deserves so much hate from you. Part of living abroad is to experience something different not complaining about not getting exactly what you got in your country.


    1. Well, hello! Thanks for the comment, BUT:
      1. Who told you I hate Colombia? To use such a strong word, please, look through my posts. Or at least watch my video: https://youtu.be/vsd4SZIrUBM
      2. Why don’t you defend other countries of this post? It’s not only about Colombia, just for a note.
      3. I’d never hide anything unpleasant neither about my country, nor about places I’ve been to. Otherwise, why to travel?
      4. You’re right, it’s a part of experience and it is worth to be mentioned.

      Нравится 1 человек

  2. Same here in Argentina. However I don’t understand point 6. Don’t you have collection bins on the streets? It is pretty common in Europe and it is done also here. In Austria, though, we had a place inside the building so there was no garbage to be collected outside. The pick-up guys had a key to access this trash room from the street. Here it would be a safety hazard.


      1. You are right, however I think it is a matter of building safety. I have seen in Europe some buildings with large trash collector bins in the back and the truck accessed the back of the property through a secondary key of the gate. I think in Argentina the fear of robberies and in general giving access to the building to random people would be a real concern. Lately there have been reports of scams/robberies by trash collector personnel, as they can go door to door unnoticed and if their big truck is temporarily parked in front of somewhere nobody would consider it as strange, but it would shed the burglars from the view.


  3. Veeeery narrow overlook over south America.
    I live in Rio se Janeiro and :
    1- I feel safe on the streets I go around and live
    2- my building DO HAVE rubbish system and I take it to a only 3 steps out of my apartment in a wall door and deposit there. Same system in most «civilized» cities. In some buildings you even have this inside your own apartment.
    3- homeless people is a problem but in 99% are people who DO have homes but spent time working a out or have mental/drinking problems and run away from home. They do have many of them in NY, Saint Petersburg (RU) and the only reason you see «so many» is because in South America the weather (mostly hot and humid) don’t KILL people frozen like in Ukraine or oh..guess where? NEW YORK…
    4- Brazil produces on of the finest coffees in the world, so having a hot tea, though I enjoy it, will be more of a habit ib the south..If it irritates you, LEARN HOW TO APPRECIATE OTHER CULTURES’!
    5- the reason we drink cold is basically because ia too hot moat of the time so is just to try to relief of the heat…again HABITS
    6- I’ve been to Moscow, Saint Petes, and other 300 different cities around the world. Arabatskya though nice is street was the way to reach the side streets and go to hostels ans not even were too dark and felt UNSAFE but also were dirty AND people from hostel had to pick there trash and go downstairs to put in bigger cans so it would be collect…well well…
    7- right now I have TWO Cottage cheeses in my fridge and could tell you another 5 brands all from Brazil.. You should look harder for it and learn the differences of cheese so you would understand that climate and races of cow besides other habits along, make people develope different types of cheese according to their taste.
    8- We do flush paper toilet through the toilet but some prefer not as it make easier to local water treatment to clean the water…only smaller cities actually have this restriction as there is in ANY GREEK ISLAND, and guess where there were signs on bathroom requesting people to throw tp on the bin? Yeeeeah…in Saint Petes! (and I see no problem with that at all)
    Basically you spent all that time in one city and hop to another what? Half dozen ones around South America and decided to list the things «irritate» you, mostly by either not be the exact SAME as you have back home?
    Don’t travel At all if it’s not to REALLY LEARN, ADAPT AND RESPECT to other cultures.
    Stay home, have so hot tea in 10 month winter country eating your cottage cheese not being able to step a foot out but being able to throw your rubbish the way you think is «sanitary» while the few homeless people die freezing outside..



    1. Wow, such a strong negative flow. Thanks for such a close attention to my post.
      1. I didn’t feel safe everywhere I’ve been to there. Maybe we walk on different streets, don’t you think?
      7. Great, could you please tell me the brands? I’d like to note for the future. And… I was asking everyone I knew from Brazil about these products I mentioned and no one could say they had anything like that. So would you call these Brazilians… pathetic or how? It wasn’t just me trying to find cottage cheese, for you to know.
      About other points I don’t even want to comment, just read the post CAREFULLY (if you like caps lock) again. Everything is there.
      Are you sure you’ve been to St.Pe? If you would have, you wouldn’t say it’s a 10-month winter country. Isn’t it narrow?
      Well, you’re asking me to be respectful, so could you please show me a note of respect in your comment? Huh.
      For me, respect isn’t concealing things I don’t like / don’t agree with or feel funny about.
      I’d still like to know about the cottage cheese you have in Rio.


Добавить комментарий

Заполните поля или щелкните по значку, чтобы оставить свой комментарий:

Логотип WordPress.com

Для комментария используется ваша учётная запись WordPress.com. Выход /  Изменить )

Google photo

Для комментария используется ваша учётная запись Google. Выход /  Изменить )

Фотография Twitter

Для комментария используется ваша учётная запись Twitter. Выход /  Изменить )

Фотография Facebook

Для комментария используется ваша учётная запись Facebook. Выход /  Изменить )

Connecting to %s