Before I moved to Bogota, I used to cook for myself a few nights a week, and then microwave ‘healthy’ ready-meals on the nights when I couldn’t be bothered to cook. Ready meals (beyond pizza and lasagne) have not arrived in Colombia yet, so it wasn’t long before I started plunging into the virtual abyss of domicilios.
Un domicilio is a take-away (or ‘take-out’ for my lovely north American readers!). I first heard this word when I was teaching elementary level English and we got to the topic of food. Inevitably, we started with “What’s.. your.. favourite.. food?” (imagine me with wide eyes, manic smile and rubbing my belly as I indulged in a bit of elementary-level improvisation to illustrate what I was saying). This was followed by “What.. do.. you.. like.. to..cook?” (imagine me conjuring up a frying-pan and the pouring of imaginary extra virgin olive oil). One 18-year-old male student replied “I don’t cook”. “Oh..” I said. “So.. does.. your.. mum.. cook?” Cue a scoff and a big grin from the student: “Noooo!! Every day domicilio!!” followed by a few telephone gestures to explain what a domicilio was.
Ordering food online
This episode took place just a few months after I had arrived in Colombia, and before I had ‘unlearned’ how to cook. Shortly after, I discovered Domicilios Bogota*, the easiest way to order food in Bogota (*not an affiliate link, though it ought to be, considering the amount of business I have given them over the last two and half years). This website has a whole range of cuisines; it’s basically a version of just-eat.co.uk, where you order your takeaway online and get it delivered. But it’s more affordable over here and has a more diverse choice of food.
As I started teaching more evening classes, getting home late and losing the will to cook, Domicilios Bogota became my vice and saviour of my time. My favourite takeaways are sushi from Hanashi Sushi and pizza from Pizza Pizza. To find out which places will deliver to your area, enter your address in the top bar of the page and the results will be filtered for you. Two and a half years and 5kg/10lbs later, I am trying to cut down on domicilios and learn to cook again, especially as I now work from home – I have no excuse!
So yes. I did get into some unwise eating habits here, and I apologise now for introducing you to these. But you know, there will be those days where you can’t be bothered to cook anything, you just want to crash, watch a film and eat cheap and amazing sushi. And on those days, Domilicios Bogota will be there for you.