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 A look at Colombia
by Michael

Am I exposing myself to problems with new phone?- Well I finally upgraded my phone. And for the third time I chose a Huawei brand. Had good luck with their phones in the past. But could I be exposing myself too much in purchasing one? The brand is very popular here in Colombia. In 2014 Samsung had 35% of the smartphone market with the Chinese manufacturer far back at 13.5%. Now in 2018 the South Korean giant has fallen below 30% and Huawei is closing in on them. Worldwide Huawei sells more phones than Apple. The USA is one of the few countries where the Chinese company's sales are well below other brands. According to Mariella Moon in her writing for Engadget, The United States is warning other countries to stay away from Huawei. The concern is security issues. In fact U.S. government employees cannot use the Chinese phones. It is possible there is something behind the U.S. logic in addition to the 2012 government report. In 2012 an American, Dr. Shane Todd, died of mysterious circumstances in Singapore while working on a project tied to Huawei. He told his parents earlier that the project may have endangered U.S. security. Can't think of anything I have to hide, but perhaps my next phone will be a different brand. Then again who is to say whether the Apple and Samsung phones are not used by U.S. intelligence agencies? 

Roger Waters in Bogota - Yes, the lead singer of Pink Floyd came to this South American city for a concert. While not the original intent, his concert supported striking students. While the singer took a shot at Colombia's president saying that Duque's proposal for student loans means "a lifetime of slavery." Then the crowd took off after previous president Alvaro Uribe by chanting, “Uribe, paramilitary, the people are fed up!” Over all everyone agreed the music was great.

Venezuelans upping their begging - In the past month several refugees from the neighboring country rang our doorbell and asked for money. Walking down the street it is now not unusual to encounter two or three young able-bodied Venezuelans sitting on the sidewalk accosting passersby for money. And residents of Bogota tell me the beggars on the public transportation are getting worse every day. The Colombian government has received over $68 million from world agencies to help with the influx of the over 1 million who have left their country. Many citizens we speak with believe much of it goes for corruption. Here is a link to a Japan Times article about one part of the immigrant problem in Colombia.

Complaints of bad coffee in Bogota - We received messages from American visitors to Colombia stating the coffee they received tasted bad. A few years back I wrote the blog A Truly Great Cup of Coffee. So, I find their comments incredible. Reading closely where they purchased their coffee I believe to have figured out the problem. There are two possibilities. My concept of Colombian coffee being so good is based upon always ordering what they call tinto. However when my wife and I visit known brand name coffee shops at the airport and in the gringolandia parts of Bogota they do not always serve me tinto. When I ask for the drink they look at my gringo face and make me an Americano. This drives me crazy. The taste of an Americano is no where near that of a good tinto. The other part is if you get your coffee at Tostao. These coffee places are relatively new in Bogota and seem to be everywhere. While they advertise Colombian coffee, there seems to be some problem in making the final product. When I speak with Bogotanos who give patronage to the place they tell me how good the breads or something else is. Never has anyone mentioned the coffee being good. So to avoid telling me the terrible coffee you received when visiting Colombia go to something like a Juan Valdez coffee shop outside the normally visited gringo areas and ask for "tinto traditional." And for goodness sakes do not ruin the coffee by adding anything to it.

Hackers are coming at us - In the last few months I have notice a very large increase in failed attempts to login to our blogsite. These often come at hours we are sleeping. Every name is tried including my name, my wife's name and both of our names together. Interesting is that other Colombian bloggers have reported the same happening with their sites. Whoever is doing this is very savvy and seemingly bouncing their IP address. (It helps that I come from a background of computer security consulting) This is not just some amateur playing with their computer. Bottom line reader, if one day you notice something out of character on our blog site drop us an Email. While I doubt someone will break our passwords, there is always the possibility. And the sooner we know it the sooner we can put a stop to it. In the meantime I am diligently working on tracing who is responsible.

Thank you for reading. We appreciate your support. Wishing you an excellent day.

Copyright © 2018 Michael and Graciela's Colombia, All rights reserved.


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