I had promised the story of Hundele (which means perrito in German).
Well Liz my wife always wanted a dog and I always said no, won’t work. We travel too much – we can’t and should not take on this responsibility. But after moving in our new lovely house I started to like the idea and would have liked to have a Golden Retriever. But who knows if we would have ever gotten a dog.
One day – I think it was the 19th of April I left my house for a late lunch break. I walked about 1,5 kilometers and on the way back I noticed something standing behind me. I turned round and saw a cute little Puppy German Shepherded mix. I did not touch the dog but said “Hallo Hundele” – Hello little dog which was enough for him to follow me. I noticed that the dog is following me so I turned round with him to see if I could find out where he comes from…… I could not.
Hundele followed me home. At home I was not 100% sure what to do but though, well lets give him some food and if he wants let him stay the knight. Tomorrow we will look for his real parents.
That is the first picture I sent to my wife from my phone on the day we found the dog:
The next day I printed posters to put on the trees near our home and set out to put them up with the really shy puppy who would not let us touch him (!) I was able to put a leash on him which my wife purchased the knight before. I asked her for it as I needed a way to handle this “guest”. I managed to get the leash on him but he would not walk. There was absolutely no chance he would walk. Hmmmmm. Well I could not (or did not want to) leave him inside the house and from the garden he could escape. So what did I do…? I carried him. He was so scared, so shy, so vulnerable. I talked to him, in English, in German and in Spanish – but one thing was consistent. I always called him “Hundele” which is why we kept the name.
I told my wife that this is not our dog and for sure someone will find him. Please don’t get attached to him. We went to the nearby Vet and asked him if someone had asked for a poor little German Shepherded. They searched their Computer since they have different branches in the zone but said – negative…. We asked for a quick check and the Vet told us that he really hopes we do not find the parents. (ouch..) He said I can see this dog has a better home with you. He is extremely shy and very dirty (mainly inside his ears).
After nobody replied to the notices at the vet, the posters in the streets, a call to Las Condes Security (which someone told us to do if you find a dog) and a few post in the world wide web we started to realize that Hundele was the new part of our family and we were extremely happy for this.
Since we knew he would one day be a big dog and we did not know anything of his past we wanted to train him and called a dog trainer. Hundele had six lessons in his first six weeks with us and I spent a lot of time with him – since I work from home and fell in love with him.
He is now a really good dog – see here a video we made of part of our training.
He is now part of our family. At first I said it was a garden dog only and he has no right to enter the house…. Guess what he is allowed to do now… Yes, you are right… he sleeps on top of our bed in the evenings and the mornings, not @ night though… :)
Here are some of my favourite pictures of him:
Last week I went to Flannery’s an Irish Pub in Santiago to celebrate a friends Stag night. I had way too many beers but a great time. By the way if anyone from Flannery’s is reading this. An Irish Pub needs to serve Guiness – not just advertise it.
I had one AHA Moment there – it seems there are tons and tons of foreigners here that choose not to learn or speak Spanish but live in Santiago for years, even start families with kids. Now that got me thinking. Is it plain ignorant? I definitely don’t like it.
Saying this ;) I am struggling myself… I have been here now since October 2008 and my best friends still prefer speaking English to me. Until about a week ago – when I met all these "non integrators" I was happy about that. The problem I have is that I work from home – in English and German, my wife is near native in English and I always preferred speaking English with her. Now since my eye opening evening we are starting to speak Spanish en nuestra Casa. It will take time to get used to but gut Ding braucht Weile.
Things have also changed. After living here one year I still got compliments for my good Spanish – but it has not improved since and now it’s been 18 months my Spanish certainly should be better and when people ask how long I have been living here I hardly receive any more compliments……
On Friday I asked Liz to marry me. Liz was under the impression that we were going out for a romantic dinner. I had told her that I wanted to have a belated Valentines dinner with her.
We went to Restaurant Zully in the Center. I had asked for a romantic and isolated table as I wanted to propose to my girlfriend. I remembered that they had so many different rooms in Zully and I was sure there was somewhere quiet to for us. I was right. They placed us in the wine cellar which has very romantic tables. We were seated in a nice bay and from where we sat no other guests saw us and vice versa. The ambient was perfect. We ordered cocktails to begin with and after we said cheers and sipped a little I got up and gave her the box which I had carefully hidden in my camera bag and asked her if she wanted to marry me. She said no no no no I can’t believe it… Of course I want….! She did not expect me to propose but was ultra happy. Seeing how happy she was I noticed the tears coming down my cheeks. The moment could not have been better.
Liz opened the box (see pic below) and after she looked at the ring and told me a hundred times how beautiful it was she gave it back to me and I put it on her finger. The ring fit perfectly no adjustments needed.
The rest of the evening was wonderful. Zully is definitely the place to go for a romantic evening. The food is good (4 out of 5) and the ambient and service is amazing (6 out of 5) ;) This mix makes it Liz’s favourite restaurant in Santiago.
Kyle a professional writer / photographer from the US asked a bunch of us to share what motivated us to come to Chile. You will find all the responses linked on this article: “What draws us or drives us from Chile”
So here is my story. Sometime in 2007 I was serious about starting to learn Spanish. I did not speak one word. I always liked the girls from España and thought once I speak the language I will be more successful with them as there were a few hot girls from Spain in Cambridge. Obviously this was not the only reason ;) for learning Spanish. I looked at some programs in Spain but they seemed rather expensive and also the accommodation did not seem to suit me. Therefore I chose Chile. Here is my original innocent blog entry when I booked the vacation to Chile. “Hablas Espanol”
I had a good time in Chile and through a coincidence I met Liz, a Mexican who was living and working in Chile (at the time she thought only for a year or two). We had an amazing time but were under no illusion that it can work out since there were 11,649 km between us. We said good bye beginning of December of 2007 with tears in our eyes After that we spoke every day by phone. Rebtel kept the costs of these 1 hour phone calls to a bear minimum and we knew we would be in the States at the exact same time for a conference in January the following year. She would be in Las Vegas and me in Orlando. So we decided to meet up in Miami after our conferences and spend 4 days there. It was amazing… It went on.. Liz came to Cambridge in April, I met her parents in July in Mexico. We thought a lot about different possibilities and in July I told her that I will come to Chile. Read here about my first day in Chile
When will I leave? I do not know. Liz and I are both hoping to go to Spain for three months as my work is flexible and she might be able to swap positions with someone in Spain. It would be great for me since I would be in the correct time zone to speak with my clients and it would mean I no longer need to start work at 5.30 am. But mainly I would be close to my parents and family. However on the long term I see my future here in Chile. We are able to afford a good life here in Chile. Once we have children we will be able to afford a nanny, private school and all the luxury that goes with it. We could not afford this in England. In Austria (the country where you don’t need private school) Liz would not feel comfortable since she does not speak the language and she would have difficulty finding a great job. So here are many more years to come in Chile.. Now go check out the other bloggers stories here.
I know there are not many of you reading anymore. Sorry for the lack of updates. I have a lot of things I want to write but I am not sure they are right for the audience. But not writing at all means that I probably have lost most of my audience anyway. In future I will write what is on my mind. Be it my new Home Theatre, which I am currently building and would like to report on to Money Saving tips for expats. Think about telcos AND skype ripping you off or transferring money to your country of origin having to pay heavy fees. If you dont like my content and you are friend or family I am open to suggestions. Also if one of the Chilean Expats wants to help to define my theme I am willing to listen.
The last month in a wrap up: I have been extremely busy in January. Have been in the US on a Tech Conference at the end of January which was a great experience. January was also the most successful month I had in regards to sales at the company I work. I am a little bit nervous regarding the “crisis” but who is not at this point. However after the tech conference and receiving good feedback from our clients regarding our software I am full of energy again and more optimistic.
In January I have also seen the parents friends and family of Liz which I really enjoyed.
Currently I am starting work at 5.30 am every day starting to call and email my clients in Europe and finishing in the evening sometimes at 4 but more often then not at 6 to 7 when Liz comes home from work. I am not as effective as I could be but I am enjoying my job so it is fine. However it leaves very little time or joy to be on my computer for a blog post.
Oh yeah / another cool thing :) For all the UK readers. You can now reach me on my Cambridge Land Line phone number: +44 1223 906032 which I have finally set up (that is also something I will be reporting on)
.. and yes I am still in Chile ;)