Colombia – Buying “tintos” and “minutes”

I love buying little things on the street, and in Colombia it seems that you can buy anything you need, anytime and at a reasonable price. Two of the most interesting things on offer are tintos (black coffee) and minutos (minutes).

Selling tintos

Hawkers sell tintos from their trolleys or even carry the stuff on their backs, like this guy. Whenever you feel like having a coffee, you just have to look down the street and… there he is! Someone is selling tintos on the road.

Selling “minutes”

Minutes peddlers are even more obvious. Some of them wear a jacket with the prices on it. They let people use their mobile phones for a fixed price per minute, sometimes depending on the carrier you’re calling to.  They have several mobile phones hanging or tied somewhere, so when they’re busy it can be quite a row, with 5 or more simultaneous conversations.

Minutes for 150 COP

As you can see, the standard price is 200 COP. However, some minute sellers, like this guy, compete fiercely offering prices as low as 150 COP.


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