The Colombian Lunch and Tap Water Theories

This is a typical set lunch in Colombia. To the right is a soup called Mute Santandereano, a kind of kitchen sink soup as it has just about everything in it.
Above is yucca (Am I right in that yucca has minimal nutritional value?) rice, beans, salad, plantains, chicken and a drink, all for 5500 pesos, which is a little less than US$3.00. There might be a gringo surcharge, but I doubt it. I had a similar lunch in Bucaramanga for 3500 pesos, but this was better tasting. I ate in the market, which is always good policy and an epicenter for me anywhere I go. The market is usually my favorite part of town.

It is odd that there are a zillion places to have a fixed lunch like this and nearly impossible to find a fixed dinner. The similarities between Brazil and Colombia never cease.

That drink is a fruit juice, lulo, as I recall, which is squeezed fruit mixed with some water. In this case I could see that the tap had a filter, but in other cases you take a leap of faith.

There are a couple schools of thought about water. I am deluded into thinking that I won’t get sick again since I got sick once and now am familiar with the local bacteria, not that I outright drink tap water now. Along this line, some people think that upon entering the country you should purposely drink the water, get sick, then you are fine the rest of the time. Some say to drink a tiny bit, a little more incrementally every day, and that will give you a sound foundation. Colombia is a special case because in the big cities the water is not only potable but excellent, and not everyone agrees on whether you can drink the water in a place like San Gil.

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