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.
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…
…. 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…..
The headline says it all. If you are a little tech interested you might have followed the discussion in the US where Verizon and Google have formed a contract framework giving power to the big wireless networks potentially allowing content creators to pay for preferential treatment. An example could be Google saying they will pay more to have faster service for YouTube or in the extreme case Verizon can say we will have an exclusive contract with a Hollywood studio but the movie is only distributed on “Verizonnet” (not the internet).
Obviously (and thankfully) there is a huge outcry asking if this is the end of the free and open internet. I oversimplified it as Google & Verizon came out with a joint press conference in which they claimed they wanted to protect the internet as it is but want the mobile web non regulated. For better and more in depth analysis go and read multiple stories here: http://techme.me/=uVd
So what does that have to do with Chile?
Chile is the first country in the world which tells the Internet Service Providers (VTR, Telefonica etc….) that they have to treat every internet site the same. If you as a customer pay for 50GB it is not up to your Internet Service Provider to tell you what you can and cannot watch and which service will be faster or slower. Bravo Chile…. Way to go…. & Dear US & Rest of the world – Don’t let the “Do no evil company” and Verizon get away with pretending to be the all goods and do no harms & let the mobile internet be as open as the good old internet is….
Source covering Chiles Law (in Spanish)
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:
Being from the Austrian Mountains I LOVE skiing. When seeing ski pics in Summer (in Chile) I do sometimes get a little jealous even though summer is nicer anyway.
Today is the first time for me to ski in 2010 and the first time in Colorado. There are no waiting times probably as the prices are so extreme (30.000 CLP)
Since nobody in Chile uses winter tires for their cars every car has to put chains. They rent them for 10.000 CLP and put them on for another 5k CLP.
So skiing for sure is freaking expensive compared to the GDP but also in EUR terms compared to the mother of all ski resorts (Austria)
Here are some pics shot from my mobile. I might edit the post once at home to add more detail.
Me on the chairlift from where I am blogging this: