I’ve lived in Medellin for over 8 years now. In that time I’ve read tons of blog posts, news articles, Facebook posts, etc about why people love living in Medellin. These lists always consist of the same shit. The cost of living, the weather, nature, the people (for many men, the women), blah, blah, blah.
Don’t get me wrong, all those reasons are valid, I’m just tired of it. I’m assuming that if you’re reading this blog post, you’ve read other articles and/or blog posts about Medellin, and you too already know about all the reasons why Medellin is great.
In an attempt to not be a fucking bore and give you deeper insight into my love affair with Medellin here are 5 reasons why I love Medellin.
1. My cleaning lady
Doña Eva is a black lady that lives in Comuna 13 that became my cleaning lady a few years ago. When I was on a tight budget she would only come once every 2 weeks. Nowadays, she comes every day, Monday through Friday.
I haven’t washed clothes, made my bed, or cleaned my bathroom in 2 years. Furthermore, she comes to the office 3 times a week. A domestic worker like Doña Eva usually makes $30,000 to $40,000 pesos a day. My business is fortunate enough to be making enough to have her on as a full-time, salaried employee with benefits.
My dad taught me, that time is money. Having Doña Eva is a game changer. It saves me a lot of time (having grown up in Colombian household, I’m used to having to clean everything, all the time), and it has changed Doña Eva’s life too. She’ll be part of my life for a very long time, if not, forever.
2. There’s a solution for everything
Paisas have a saying, “Un paisa no se vara.” That means that a paisa never breaks down. Meaning that no matter what, there’s always an answer or a solution for any problem.
A few weeks ago we had a computer at the office go down. I took it to a place where I usually go for all things computer in the Monterey mall. Fixing the problem was going to take weeks. The owner of the shop told me that it was going to take a week to fix. I told him that I needed it asap.
Sensing my frustration (and not wanting to lose the client) he offered me his own computer to take to the office in the meantime.
He got the computer fixed in 2 days.
If I need to move, I’ve got Don Pedro el Cubano and his truck (feel free to hit him up if you need to move something).
If I need to send something or pick something up, Wilder and his delivery crew’s got me (Cell/whatsapp: 3014904052, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
No matter what the issue is, it seems that there’s “a guy for that” here in Medellin.
3. Men are men, women are women
I sat here and tried to think of the least chauvinistic way to write this. Regardless, I’m sure someone will get offended, so here it goes.
Coming from Southern California, where sometimes men are afraid of women, and women have to put up walls and don’t want to appear weak; a place where men will pay thousands of dollars to take a course on how to pick up women; a place where you can go to the grocery store and see women in pajamas and flip-flops, it’s nice to be in Medellin, where most people look in the mirror before they leave the house.
I’ve had paisa friends (female) ask if my gringo friends were gay after a night out. After laughing and asking why, they’ve replied, “because they’re so shy” or “because they didn’t even ask me to dance once.”
I’m not the greatest looking guy, but I have confidence and do not fear rejection; therefore, meeting people and making a good impression has been easy for me (as stated in my Dating in Medellin blog post) and it’s something I love about the culture.
4. I’m brown
As a Latino in California, I always had to look over my shoulder. I grew up fearing the police. Getting pulled over for speeding or running a stop sign involved more than 2 police cars and a thorough search of my car. Many will say, you don’t have to concede to a search without probable cause. Well, being brown in the U.S. is probable cause. Even in the age of dash-cams, body-cams, and progressive ideologies, racism and racial profiling still exists.
In Medellin everyone is brown!
I feel truly free to do whatever the fuck I want. I’m not some deviant that wants to commit crimes. I’m talking about little things like having a beer with friends at the basketball court on a Saturday without the cops bugging us. Crossing an empty street without having to use the crosswalk. Having a street party without a permit. Going to the nicest restaurant in the city without people glaring.
5. My friends
One of the hardest things for an expat and/or digital nomad to do is to establish long-lasting relationships in a place.
As a quasi-expat, I relate more to foreigners than to locals. I express my self better in English than in Spanish. So making English-speaking friends is very important for me.
If you’ve traveled anywhere, and have run into expats, you know that many expats are douchebags. Many think they know it all, and often times complain about everything. It’s pretty annoying.
Over the course of 8 years I’ve made some really awesome connections. Many of my friends are expats, most of them entrepreneurs, that love to travel and volunteer.
It’s really great to be able to pick up the phone and make plans for lunch or a couple drinks at a local bar any day, and have a good conversation.
When I think about Medellin, I don’t think about the nice weather, the beautiful women, or the low cost of living. I first think about my friends, and how comfortable I feel around them. I feel blessed to be part of their lives.
Of course there are more than 5 reasons why I love Medellin. The ones listed above are what I consider to be my most important reasons.
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I love to get insight from readers, feel free to leave comments and/or questions below.
About the writer – Andrew Macia
Hello, my name is Andrew Macia and the Medellin Buzz is my blog. I moved to Medellin in 2010 and fell in love with the city. I taught advanced level English for four years and then started a digital marketing company.
I love Colombia, and Medellin is my home. I like to write and I want to give back to the community. This is the best way I know how. I hope you enjoy my blog!
About the Medellin Buzz
I started the Medellin Buzz as a resource for my English as a foreign language students a few years ago. A site where they could read about their city in English, that wasn’t boring. It slowly turned into a personal blog and hub for information for people discovering Medellin. I check comments frequently, so feel free to leave your comment and/or questions below.
Glad you like my city as much as I do, I know how you feel as I’m also an expat paisa in Auckland New Zealand.I’d love to come back and meet you personally. Cheers
“Doña Eva is a black lady that lives in Comuna 13 ” what does this have to do with anything or her cleaning?
It’s like one of your clients in usa saying “Andrew Macia is a brown guy from 3rd world Colombia doing my SEO”
Yes, it has a lot to do with my feelings towards how racist Colombian culture is. So it means a lot to me. After talking to Dona Eva about me writing about her on my blog she told me that she felt very flattered and that it’s not every day that someone writes about a black person living in a “barrio popular” in a positive way.
Furthermore, I’m very proud of being brown, and my clients all know that we are in Medellin (I don’t say we’re a U.S. company), they proudly show us off (they’ve got our team pictures) at their offices across the U.S. the same way we’ve got Dona Eva’s picture on our wall at the office. She didn’t want me to put her picture on the blog because she’s shy, otherwise I would have.