Living "English Speaking" in Santiago

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……

Mi, amor hablamos en Espanol?

About the Smog in Santiago

I have lived in Chile for over a year now and if you remember back my biggest fear was the smog.

Here are my words on this topic from May 2009:

As Smog was one of my main concerns about living in Santiago I will be reporting about it throughout the winter

Since I do receive a fair bit of traffic from people searching for Smog combined with Santiago I wanted to give my impression: The smog in Santiago was not a big problem for me!! Yes it is easy to produce pictures that look awful and disgusting (usually from the top of Cerro Saint Cristobal) but if you are down there on the street in Las Condes then it is not that bad or at least it does not feel it for me. I cannot tell you about the center of Santiago because I did not go there this winter.

In May I started a poll.  Here is the result of the Poll:

The question was: What about the smog in Santiago


There is one important point to bear in mind: Continue reading “About the Smog in Santiago”

From Facebook – discovering Chileans as a pregnant woman

What is on Facebook is private. For this reason no names are shown. Compare the above message with other Cities:


Well, in London it isn’t so easy. I only get offered a seat on the train if I stare at people sitting in the ‘seat for pregnant ladies’. On the bus I don’t get offered a seat at all and sometimes even get pushed aside by people racing for a seat.

York (UK):

You’d be surprised! Since being pregnant, I feel like a rock star wherever I go…Albeit a waddling one 😉


My wife has been pregnant in Paris, going to work with the bus and subway. By and large, people were douche bags.

Been pregnant anywhere else…? How were the people in the bus, metro….?

Como se dice?

a very short post just to say all is good. I have not been very active but as my tag line says: Don’t expect regular updates 😉

For my non Spanish speaking readers. The headline “como se dice” means: “How do you say?” Reason for the post. I have started taking Spanish classes again and it feels great to be able to manage life situations better and better without having to rely on mi amor. As I mentioned before I start work at 5.30 am and I rely heavily on my Internet for work. The other day the internet was not working and I did not want to wake Liz at this terrible time. I tried and dialed the number of tech support of VTR. The guy on the other end was very friendly and professional. He spoke slowly and clearly and we were able to solve the problem. I was very proud. On another note. I am gaining fame here in Chile as you can see from the poster below:

Posters of me all over Chile
Posters of me all over Chile
Continue reading “Como se dice?”

Biking – skating on Sundays (roads are closed)

I have not done much sport lately because I never really found good paths for roller blading (inline skating) here in Santiago.

Today I found out about that there are streets closed for cars in La Reina just for cyclists every sunday. The even better news is that this will be extended to La Florida, Lo Prado, Providencia, and Santiago. I will let you know once I have done it. I will be back in Chile beginning of June. More info on the CicloRecreoVía here. 

There is more info on the Spanish version on the site including a map. Looks like Las Condes also closes a street on Sundays.

Something I am looking forward to

Valle Nevado – Skiing in Chile

I am scared about the smog in Santiago… yes (!) But as Liz mentioned there is a possibility to escape every weekend. The sea side is very near and has very clear and fresh air and today I investigated the ski resorts. I am originally from the Tyrolean region which is known to be one of the best places to ski in the world. I used to live within a 1 to 2 hour distance to resorts like Ischgl, St. Anton, Serfaus and Kitzbuehel so you can imagine I was not expecting much from Skiing in Santiago. However with the winter approaching very fast I wanted to do some research about the skiing options. Valle Nevado is situated 40 km from where we live in Santiago and from what I saw from the website it looks like a great place!!! It is said to be the best place to ski in South America. Have a look at the trail map below. The highest point for skiing is about 3,470 meters. The Heli skiing option on 4520 meters will make my Austrian friends really jealous. See below a trail map and a random picture I found on Flickr of Valle Nevado

Foto by: Leon Calquin

Dear Winter, now I am looking forward to you and I am no longer scared 😉

Smog in Santiago

Foto Credit C.hileno (found via Image Search)

One of my biggest concern about living in Santiago is the Smog. The six months I spent here in summer were amazing and while there was some smog in summer it was not at all bad. I know, I know the hard time will be the winter and that is what I am a little scared off. I have been asking lots of people. How is it really like? And I got very mixed answers. Mexicans (from the Capital) and real Santigans did not see it as a huge issue. Even one expat from Belgium said it was not bad but ALL the other Expats were heavily complaining and that is what I am a little scared of. What is your experience? Do you suffer from the winter smog?

Vote in the sidebar

BTW Here is a brilliant Article about the Santiago Smog Santiago struggles with Smog

As Smog was one of my main concerns about living in Santiago I will be reporting about it throughout the winter (btw I am not here for the next 4 weeks 😉 so the report will start afterwards)

update: Nov 2009

Here is my “Santiago Smog experience” after the 1st winter