Bogotá quarantine, Day 1: Keep sane and entertained

By bogotapost March 20, 2020

As the capital enters its mock quarantine, we’ve got some Colombia-related ideas of things to get you through the day.

Bolero Falaz from Aterciopelados is a classic for Colombian indie lovers and could be a welcome distraction during the quarantine in Bogotá.
Bolero Falaz from Aterciopelados is a classic for Colombian indie lovers and could be a welcome distraction during the quarantine in Bogotá. Photo: Aterciopelados

Some people in Bogotá have been isolating for a while now. Especially those in the mandatory 14-day self-isolation for anyone arriving in the country. 

But after the panic buying and running around in fear of what isolation might bring, this morning’s calm might come as a relief. If you don’t work from home, you can lie in, make yourself a leisurely coffee (assuming you remembered to buy some) and idle away a bit of time on social media.

Read all our coverage on the coronavirus in Colombia

By 10am you might be starting to get restless. Maybe you’ll last till noon. Or maybe you’re an introvert who sees quarantine as a gift sent from the gods of some secluded Amazon tribe. 

Of course, there’s no shortage of TV and other international offerings online to keep us entertained. From the Met Opera to the very first facebook play. But since we’re all about Colombia, we thought we’d pull together a day by day guide to keep you as sane and entertained as possible.

Listen to some Colombian music

Let’s start off with something a bit different. Colombia is rightly famous for its many tropical genres, and we’ll get to those in good time at the weekend proper. Instead, we’re going to start off with some leftfield indie. We’ve selected a trio of Bogotano bands who you’ll easily be able to see live once (if) life returns to normal. These are only starting ideas – see where the suggested songs take you!

First up, El Terrible Tarantismo. They’re gypsy-punk genre destroyers in the mould of Gogol Bordello and cut their teeth busking. Rockafella is a rare English-language track. Next up, Monsieur Periné. It’s a little twee, but a single day into quarantine and soft-indie delicacies are perfect. Bailar Contigo was an absolute smash and you’ll still hear it around the city. Finally, a classic for every Colombian indie fan, but not always well-known outside Latin America, Bolero Falaz. It was the breakout song for Aterciopelados, easily the capital’s biggest indie band and far the most creative. They’ve won awards by the ton, and constantly reinvent themselves, but this mid-90’s tune is their classic sound.

Visit a gallery virtually

It’s not only international galleries that are doing online tours. Bogotá’s Museo de Arte Contemporáneo has got in on the act with eight exhibitions online. If you’re already missing the Bogotá’s graffiti, ‘Hybrid Identities’ has some striking visual work while ‘Abstracción en Colombia’ takes you on a tour of the museum’s permanent collection. If you’re feeling reflective, the videos, text and images in ‘No Repetition’ are all about conflict in Latin America.

The Museo de Memoria allows you to do an actual 3D tour of the museum, moving around each room as if you were actually there. It’s not super intuitive, but worth a quick stop. Medellín’s Museo Casa de Memoría is easier to use and more informative once you get the hang of moving around. 

Catch up on your reading

If you’ve got a kindle, you have access to a host of books — some are even free. Amazon also has free online kindle readers, so you can download books to your computer or phone. But if you’re a real-pages-or-nothing type of a reader and you don’t have a pile of books you’ve been meaning to read, the English-language Bookworm say they will be delivering through Rappi.

We’re steering clear of recommending One Hundred Years of Solitude and other classics. Though now is a perfect time to catch up on your Gabo. Our recommendation for today is The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez. This widely acclaimed noir thriller takes on the Colombian cocaine industry and the people it touches. Let it take you into the streets through words not footsteps.

Watch one of Colombia’s best football matches in history

Missing football already? Some of us definitely do. Luckily some of Colombia’s best ever matches are on YouTube, and the full 90 minutes as well. Colombia’s emblematic 5-0 victory over Argentina in the World Cup ‘94 qualifiers is a classic, Manager Maturana’s team with ‘El Pibe’ Valderrama, ‘Tino’ Asprilla and Freddy Rincón was possibly the best Colombia has ever had and against the South American giants that quality came to a climax with a historical 5-0 victory. 

Live online ranchero

The young Colombian ranchero musician, Juandas – who calls himself a ‘ranchera optimista’ – will be performing live tonight at 8pm on instagram. If a bit of optimistic guitar playing is what you’re missing in your quarantine, look no further.

We’ll be back with more ways to keep yourself entertained tomorrow. Don’t forget that even if you’re quarantined, you’re not alone. You’re in a city full of people doing exactly the same things as you. And it’s a great time to call or video chat with friends — whether here in the city or anywhere else in the world.