Specialized – Buying a bycicle–The Chilean Way

Nice to be back Guiño
So my wife asks me what I want for Christmas. All I can think of is the bike I want to buy myself for a better and faster comute to work. I want the Sirrus Elite Carbon so since we don’t really separate much between my money and her money we decided it was a great idea.


We headed out to the top Specialized Concept Store and see the bike on display. Only problem is  the size doesn’t fit me. So I ask for one of the same models in L – listed as being sold in Chile. The nice sales person tells me that it is not available at the moment. Nowhere in Chile. So I ask when it will be available again. He says he didn’t know. I start pushing him. Well can I order it, he says no. So I say come on give me more info. He says call me in 2 weeks. We get more bikes in 2 weeks. I ask will it be available. “Puede ser que si, puede ser que no”. I say o.k. so if not – then what. Then he says there is another shipment in  3 months. I ask will this model be included? “Puede ser que si, puede ser que no”. “ He really CAN’T help me. He says that is the way Specialized operates. I just don’t believe it and call 2 more Specialized stores. Same story. Incredible. Because I really want this bike we visit this store after getting pretty much the same answer by phone. I just made the experience if you just use phone or email you don’t really exist. There are 3 employees there as I tell them I really want to buy the Sirrus Carbon in my size (.L) They say it is not available but at the end they take down my data. This was on December 20th. Not expecting a call back.

Next, I tweet the following to Specialized Global:


No response. Specialized REALLY does not want to sell bikes. Anyway I don’t give up right there. I find out the phone number of Specialized Chile. Goes straight to Voicemail (tried like 20 times in 4 days) so I decide to write to them. (21st of December) – still no answer on the 29th.


48 hours later I send an email to Specialized LATAM.

This was the 23rd of December. I know about Christmas and all that but they had 2 1/2 working days since the reminder and 5 1/2 days since the original mail to respond. I guess it is probably best to stay far far away from them which is sad as I really like the Sirrus.
Next up I will explain more about my comute to work Guiño It’s 16km each way and a altitude difference of 300 Meters.

Little Girl, I am sorry I failed you!

All I would like to avoid is something like this happening to a little girl in my neighbourhood.
Kelly Voigt after dog attack 4-22-99


But let’s get things started from the beginning. On my daily bike commute I had to stop for a red light. I saw a dog,  greeted him, said hi, how are you? He looked friendly enough. The lights turned green, the dog followed me. Did not think much of it but then happp, she bit me and bit me hard.

dog bite









The guards from the MUNICIPALIDAD that were near where it happened knew who the dog belongs to. “It’s from the guards of the condominio they said”. Right away I made a statement to Seguridad Ciudadana and they knew the dog.

After that I went to hospital, got 2 shots of vaccination and have to follow a strict plan for Rabies Vaccination. I must have a total of 6 shots 😦
To state it mildly I am furious. Also because that dog should not have run around without a leash. Officially the dog has no owner, or does she?

the dog and his house







This is where she lives. Se has a house, has clothes and has food, but no owner?
I wanted to “save the next girl” from being bitten which is why I decided to go to the police. They were everything BUT helpful. The officer did not want to open a case. If I don’t know the owner the dog has no owner. I told him – look at this photo does it look like he has no owner? I said he belongs to the Condominio (housing comunity) – has the guards give him food. No, that is not good enough according to the cop. The police man told me – nobody purchased this dog. Long story short I left but not without asking two other officers for help. The same, sorry we can’t help. The dog has no owners.

On the way out I saw the following:

Stray Dog at Police Station








*Street dog inside the gate of the police station.


Was that the reason nobody wants to help me? I believe it is – that is the Chilean attitude towards dogs. Please don’t kill street dogs. Please feed them give them housing let them shit but don’t worry you have no responsibilities. I asked the female police officer about that dog and she said what they all say: “No hace nada” – He does nothing. Exactly the words that the guards used about the dog that bit me.

I am still trying – I want to do something and have contacted two lawyers. One already told me – don’t do anything – The dog has no owner. Lets see what the other one tells me. But most probably it is I am sorry little girl that I failed you.

PS: The first picture is a random picture from the internet. That is available to use. I don’t think the dog that bit me has the power to do that type of damage but a dog that bit before is likely to bite again. Also she looked very friendly and a kid is likely to stroke her. You never know when they lose it and bite. Here is more info about the girl in the photo.


Paula Gourmet Parque Auracano

Just a quick post from my mobile. We have been at feria Paula Gourmet next to Parque Auraco on Saturday. Awesome… We wanted to go back Sunday to buy some delicates food & wine but were held back by the rain.

Saturday my wife browsed the stands a little while I sat in the grass & sun trying different types of wine. That’s life.

Yesterday (Sunday) we were lazy, went out to eat Peruvian food at Museo Peruano in Vitacura which I like a lot. The prices are very reasonable, food is great and on top of that you get 20 – 25 % (depending on how you pay) discount if you are with El Mercurio.

Friday we had a nice evening with our friends welcoming back Victor.

Now is Monday and I am back to work 😉 Oh and the rain…? I always said from beginning of November to End of April it never rains in Santiago. That’s because this is only my third November. It started pouring down on Sunday Morning and it has not stopped since. Not even for 1 Minute…. Hope nothing happens with land slides or floodings in Santiago.

Here are the photos from Paula Gourmet. All taken from my mobile.

Totally off topic but made me laugh

The following has nothing to do with comments I received on my blog.. I just thought it is a funny story so wanted to share it…

< Rant >
You know, comments like these remind me of a story, about a Father and his Son, taking their donkey to the market. When the Father rode the donkey, the people chastised him for making his ‘little kid’ walk. When the Son rode, they criticized him for making his ‘old man’ walk. When neither rode, people call them ‘idiots’ for not using the donkey. When both used it, people called them out for burdening the ‘poor beast’ too much. Finally they both carried the donkey on their shoulders, but when they were crossing the bridge, the donkey panicked and slipped, and fell to the river below.

Moral of the story: Some people just like to yap, they don’t actually have genuine advice to give, nor do they actually know of your situation. They just perceive things from their POV and give judgment, as if that will fit all.
< /Rant >


Unfriendly Chileans – Rude Chileans – Nasty Chileans…. silly Chileans…?

The title says it all. That is what I read a lot on Expat Blogs about Chile. I always wondered what is wrong with me why do I not see it, perhaps I am lucky? After living in Santiago for 2 years I might still see through pink lenses but I guess I might just see it differently. Chileans in my eyes are pleasant and friendly whilst often shy at first. My wife (who is an expat from Mexico) never complained about Chilenos apart from their unclear pronunciation and being highly organised and “correct” which of course can also be a very good thing So yesterday i asked her. “What do you think of Chilenos”.. She said lots of stuff but not much negative – shy, organised, less self-esteem than people from other nations but generally nice people. So I asked: “rude, nasty….”

The answer was what I had expected and what had been exactly my observations which got me thinking more.

Now the Expat blogs I read are mostly from Norte Americanos or Brits and yes in those countries strangers are constantly asking how you are doing even if the people are not at all interested in hearing the answer and often don’t even wait for the response. In the States a lot worse than in Britain but I remember too well when I was going through a rough time living in Cambridge and every day when I walked in to a shop at before 7 in the morning being asked “how are you” in a very bright happy and positive voice. There are moments I don’t want to hear that. I just want to buy my sandwich and be done with it. Often I thought if she really cared…… – anyway… Different cultures… 🙂 – so I stuck to  a fine thanks…


Also the Brits invented the queues and my friends and me where often joking that Brits only come to places where there is a long queue and that without the queue there would be no experience 😉 Night Clubs made artificial queues even if completely empty inside… The missing queues often a complaint about Chile…


So the real question is: Are Chileans unfriendly & nasty or only the way Americans and British feel about them?

The following poll is meant only for “non US and non British expats” and I would be interested to see the results… Please please if you are from the US or UK don’t take part in the poll – but feel free to leave a comment.

ps: sorry for generalising 😉 I know Brits are very different then US Americans – both cultures generally nice, friendly & helpful – oh and I miss the driving in Britain – OMG – amazing even in rush hour in London…

You are not worthy to sit at my table

…. or I am not worthy to sit at your table.

One thing that was and is hard for me to understand is the HUGE mental barrier between the “upper” and “lower” class in Chile. Even though in Europe me and Liz would probably be middle to lower middle class for sure we are considered upper class here in Chile.

I grew up in Austria in a little & beautiful village with 2000 inhabitants. For me it was normal that when someone comes to do work in the house that they would be offered lunch and we would usually all sit around the table with the workers and have a great conversation. My parents  (who had a small business) even invited the tax inspector to have lunch with us as they were going over the tax records to check if they are able to find some irregularities.

When Liz and me moved in to our new house here in Chile there was a carpenter we relied heavily on. He put in the wooden floor in the entire house and broke one wall to make a big living room out of a previously tiny room which was parted from the hallway by a wall. On their last day Liz and me were already living in the house and we served them lunch at our table. We had an awesome conversation and got to understand part of their lives. Franzisco, the main guy is very young but has been a self employed carpenter since the age of 14 (!?) and his coworkers were his dad and his younger brother who is about to join the army. I did not feel any awkwardness but remember my Nana asking me if they are going to sit at our table. She was surprised. She was also invited to join us but politely declined.

Since it never rains in Santiago and Liz and I travel a lot for work and also for leisure we need an automatic watering system else the garden will never be green. In summer you need to water daily else the grass will burn. So we had the automatic system put in by workers. They worked here almost a week. The first day I invited them for lunch and they refused. They were very happy to accept the lunch but said they do not want to eat with us. They said it was much better to have it outside so they can get back to work faster. It was really cold outside. Liz had warned me that the workers will not feel comfortable with me inviting them to our table. That is the norm in Chile. I discovered it multiple times and also discussed it with friends. Workers will not want to sit at your table. They don’t feel comfortable.

My Nanny (the housekeeper).

We have here 2 times per week and pay her significantly more then the average Nannies are paid here in Santiago. This is probably because I am foreign and not used to the concept of being served and wanting to be a good “employer”. In the UK I was living in shared accommodation and we sometimes hired a cleaner but she would take per 2 hours what my Nanny here in Chile gains in 7 hours of work. Needless to say that the housekeepers in the UK are more efficient with their time than the Nannies in Chile 😉

I love cooking and hate cleaning… Nannies here in Chile often cook for their “bosses” but I never asked mine to cook for me since I prefer she uses her time to wash and iron and clean the house. I actually cook for my Nanny 🙂 which I believe she must find hilarious and probably is part of her evening conversation with friends and family. Despite the fact that I cook for her and I knew she ate I never knew where she was eating until on Friday I discovered it. I was shocked. She was eating in the laundry room. See the picture for details:

Not only is it not very comfortable there but being winter it is also very cold in this room so I asked her to please eat at the lunch table. Since I was leaving she did and she thanked me (?!.) Again I spoke to Chilean friends and they told me her behavior is very normal. That is how it is in Chile. Before posting I asked my wife to quickly check what I am writing… She doesn’t think it is because they believe they are not worth it… I do. What is your opinion? Does your Nanny eat with you? At your table or after you – I would be happy to hear your thoughts…..