Bogotá: Gringo Tuesdays Language Exchange
Address: Club La Villa, Carrera 14a #83 – 56, Bogotá, Colombia
Open: 6pm – 3am
Cost: 15 000 pesos cover after 10pm
Every Tuesday evening, crowds form outside one particular bar in Bogota’s Zona Rosa, the otherwise deserted upmarket nightlife district. An evening at Club La Villa’s Gringo Tuesdays starts innocently enough, with backpackers and a small expat crowd mingling politely with Colombian students and older businessmen. Everyone’s there to practise their English or Spanish, and it’s so popular you’ll have to be early to snag a seat. A two-for-the-price-of-one deal on beer lubricates conversation nicely and by 10pm the tables have disappeared and music is blaring. There’s also a 15 000 peso cover charge for latecomers, but selfless research methods have found that pretending you’re from “Hostal Sue” will not only get you in for free, but will let you skip the queue as well. The men in suits disappear with the tables and are replaced by Gringo Hunters, a Colombian species that congregate wherever foreigners can be found. The Gringo Hunter is generally a female who will suck in the hapless gringo with her dark eyes and the short, tight dress clinging to her Latin curves. Often, she’s just looking for the rep that comes with taking your pasty arse home, but in extremely rare cases she might just be intent on dosing you with scopolamine – a drug that literally makes you lose your free will – and taking off with everything you own. Anywhere else in the world the advice would be “if it seems too good to be true, it is”, but Colombia is one of those places where dance floor dreams do come true. As for you gringas (lady backpackers), just be aware that any guapo who wants to teach you some salsa moves is definitely after more than a dance partner for the evening but hey, that’s what it’s all about. That and practising your Spanish, I suppose.