Before I start I’d like to point out that if when you go looking for criticisms to make about a whole country and you’re reduced to bitching about how comfortable the seats are, that’s actually quite a compliment because it means you can’t find anything more serious.

This isn’t something that struck me suddenly, it was just the gradual realization that every single place I’ve been here (that I can recall) has had seats that ranged from uncomfortable to downright painful.  This is also something that is so subjective that I immediately realize and readily admit that the problem may just be me.  The Colombians seem to cope just fine, then again they could just be used to it and were they to visit some place with much more comfortable seats they might realize there’s a problem…or I could just have a particularly sensitive tooshie.

Everything is hard, this is the principle problem.  I can name the few places that had some sort of seat with some degree of cushioning because there have been so few.  And sometimes even then the cushioned seats, though better, still seem uncomfortable to me in terms of cushioned furniture (the sofa in my apartment in Bogota is a great example, it’s shockingly uncomfortable for a sofa).  Plain, flat wood benches are far more popular in bars and even restaurants than they should be.

The customer service here is excellent (related note: always wait to be waited on)

It’s even better than it is in the U.S., and that’s saying something.  We are known for how good our customer service is in general, but it’s even better here.  Nowhere here are you not waited on.  I’ve never been to a bar, cafe, or restaurant where you have to go anywhere (i.e. up front to the register or an area designated for placing orders), a server or employee of some sort always comes to you and gets you whatever you need.  If you come here, don’t go up front to the register to order (the people running it frequently aren’t trained in taking orders, it’s not what they do, they deal with the waitstaff and the waitstaff deal with you), always look for some sort of employee and flag them down.  When you walk in somewhere (restaurant, bar, cafe, etc.) always wait to be seated.  If you just walk in and start wandering about you’ll likely be stopped (politely) by the nearest (confused) waiter who will ask you if they can help you with anything.  Walk in the door, stand there, and wait.  Yes, even cafes.  This may or may not be necessary in some bars, in those you can frequently just sit down anywhere (watch what others do, see if there appear to be any waiters near the door for the purpose of showing customers to a seat).  If you can just sit anywhere, someone will tell you that (happens occasionally).

I’ll expand on this more later with more examples, but right now I have a salsa class to get to.