back to top
Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeAboutManila, Medellin: Too Many Gringos

Manila, Medellin: Too Many Gringos

Manila, Medellin is part of the Birthday Bash Trip Report.

Everyone wants to think they are special. Everyone wants to think they are living the nomadic life full of exploration and organic ingenuity. Then everyone meets someone and realizes that we are all the same. And that homogeneity makes us mad.

Enter Manila, Medellin the perfect town for tricking yourself into believing that you are a globetrotting explorer. I knew I was in Latin America light when I stepped into this neighborhood. To begin, speaking Spanish was not required at any of the shops or restaurants. Attempts to do so were welcomed with words in English. “One double espresso, one orange juice.”

Sitting in the Clemente coffee shop, I wondered where each patron was from, what they were doing there, and if they fancied themselves an exotic expat. Having traveled to 147 countries and territories (see Is Hawaii a Country?), I have learned that the worst thing I can do is underestimate another stranger. I would hate to live in a world where I believed there was no one as fascinating as TPOL.

I have also learned to tolerate oblivious people (see An American Douche in Tokyo Lounge). Those people act with disregard for others. On this particular day, I picked out an American couple working from the coffee shop. They had come with their little dog who barked non-stop. Instead of taking the dog out of there, they would pet the little bitch, and get back to work. A few seconds later, the dog would bark again. I grew increasingly annoyed and wondered if I should say something. I scanned the room and also saw the collective eye rolls of others. Ever the diplomat, I finished my coffee asked for la cuenta, paid, and left.

Unfortunately, this anecdote in Manila is far too common. The influx of gringos is the norm. I can’t blame them. It’s quaint. It’s safe. But why must those people be so annoying?

TPOL’s TIP: Clemente is located at Cl 11B #36B-13, Edificio C36 Local 2, El Poblado, Medellin Colombia

a building with plants on the side of it
Look both ways before clocking a gringo.


  1. Ouch. Made a mistake in coming here. The author (contributor?) of this blog gives off a very unique and unattractive vibe. Nothing in the writing suggests self-deprecation or a wink and a nod.

    • Finally an LOL! How am I the asshole in this situation? The dog owners are the ones that should be reprimanded. But somehow I need to be more civil on my own blog.

  2. Are Thomas, Mr Wellwisher, Gene and Gringo all really the same person and is really the owner of the little do who barked non-stop?

Leave a Reply