Cedula Hang Up, Meet the Contraseña!

If you are living here on a visa or will be soon you should be aware that the function of processing some paperwork has shifted from the old DAS organization to the Interior Ministry. The change is causing some delays. The issuance of your cedula or national ID card is one of these. I applied for mine the day I received my new visa in November and did not get my ID until this week. The specified waiting period is six weeks 🙂 What I received is a temporary ID, referred to as the Contraseña.  The cedula will be issued in June or July.

I will admit of having been worried and a bit frustrated. I can however understand that when a function passes from one bureaucracy to another processes can get bogged down. If you have waited, this is most likely why you are experiencing a delay.

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To Catch a Theif

I took my wife to a doctors appointment this morning at the downtown Clinica de Medellin. Just prior to entering the building we heard a lot of shouting coming from the Avianida Oriental about half a block up the street. People we saying, “Catch him.” “Stop him.” “Thief!”

For a short space of time the calls became louder and more frequent. Then they dropped off and changed to”That’s it.” “Way to go!” They caught him.

This was a petty street crime and not uncommon in any city. I have only seen a few similar situations here in Medellin in the nearly 4 years I have been living here. All of them were resolved by direct citizen intervention. All of the resulted in the police being called to handle the matter once the criminal was apprehended. This is a matter of civic pride.

It is good to live in a city where people care about street crime and are willing to get involved to stop it. I am very proud of Medellin and its crime stopping citizens.

Transition to the Wet Season: Staring the Wicked Witch in the Face Again

In late-September and early-October we are in the transition to the wet season. We have had a nice “mid-year summer” and sure won’t complain. Between now and December we are looking at increasing amounts of rain and a lot of cool, cloudy weather. The reappearance of la niña (the wicked witch) and its expected residence through the upcoming rains indicates they are likely to be heavier than “normal.” But then again what is normal after nearly 3 la niña episodes in a row. BTW the wicked witch brings excessive rains to Colombia and is not a welcomed guest in most quarters.

Cafam Pharmacy at the San Antonio Exito

Consider carefully prior to purchasing from these people. I bought a package of Colypan from them and it turned out to be the wrong size. Their return policy does not allow them to return cash so I ended up paying 70,000 pesos (approximately $US 39) for a prescription that should have been around 26,000 pesos (approximately $US 14.50).  If I went there more frequently I would have taken a credit but that would not serve my needs. I should mention that I did not see any notification of their return policy.

The clerk was polite and I have no problem with her. I have sent a communication to the Exito chain as the Contact function at Cafam’s web site is not functional.

Be warned. Also please let your friends and acquaintances know about this policy.