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The good, the bad + the Chilean

CHILE | Wednesday, 31 January 2007 | Views [12690] | Comments [6]

Well - we've now had 2 whole weeks here in Chile and have had quite an experience in our travels. There are so many things we have seen, heard, tried and photographed that its difficult to come up with a round up of our experiences (on our last night), but here goes.....


- Chileans are usually not the tallest people in the world which is a lovely change for a shortie like me! I'm 5 foot on a good day and I love that feeling of being the same height as my amigos (its a new feeling for me).

- The people we have met - travellers from all over the globe, and local people with the kindest hearts. Special mentions to Shara at Hostal de Sammy for helping us understand how to buy food and water and our new Aussie mate Linda from Newy (kind of), family at Casa Carrasco in Valparaiso for taking us in like we were staying with grandparents, all at Casa Maria in La Serena and our new mates Liz, Adrian, Brenda, Andrew + Jason.

- The music - everywhere we go there are beats and rhythms kicking along.

- The wine. Its even better than you think (vino tinto or blanco).

- Great culinary experiences at Colour Cafe + Como Agua Para Chocolate.

- Chileans love sweet treats as much as i do. There are patisseries on every corner selling a variety of cakes, biscuits and anything you can think of for next to nothing. The best stuff is called "manjar" sweet condensed milk caramel - its used in everything and they even have it on toast. Better book my dentist appointments now...

- The metro system here is amazing! 50 cents to any stop, whirlwind speed and easy to navigate. Aye carumba!

- Afternoon siestas. A nanna nap between 1 - 4pm every day and no one looks at you in a funny way when you start yawning at midday. My body clock is now well and truly adjusted.

- The highlight venues of our trip - Valparaiso's colourful houses on the hills and street art, Santiago's amazing history, the Mamalluca Obervatory in the mountains of Vincuna.


- Long, uncomfortable bus rides. People that snore should be put on their own bus. Seriously. Also the airport queues that lead to no-where. hmmmmm

- The lack of decent coffee here. Their version of decent is Nescafe in a cup with some warm water. As a result i switched to drinking tea, buts its not much better! The situation is much the same with black beer. Thank god for the red wine - it is amazing.

- The relaxed approach to safety in general. We regularly see tyres come off taxis in the street due to bodgy mechanic work. No one blinks - its just part of everyday life.

- A handy tip - "Coke Light" is not the same as diet coke. I really cant compare it to anything palatable. Just stick to fanta.


- Carbohydrates everywhere. A typical brekky is bread, fruit and jam or cheese. Anytime you order anything here you get bread with it. The other day for lunch i was served bread, rice and potato on the side! Carb-o-licious

- Brands of food including - "Bimbo" bread, "Pap" fizzy drink and Ping Dong (i dont really know what that was and im happy not knowing)

- You will find a pharmacy on every corner here. I dont know if people are really ill all the time or if every pharmacy stocks a different medicine. Anyway, its very convenient if you need bandaids.

Nevertheless, we gringas have had a blast here and will always remember Chile for the culture shock, the good times, the fabulous red wine and the amazing spirit of the locals. Bring on Argentina! Ole!



Tags: culture



What a wonderful wrap-up of your time in Chile.
Sounds like you had a blast... Goodbye Samba City..
Hello to the soccer mad country...Boca and River
and Independiente..Here come the Aussie girls.
Wish we could be there with you... Mama xoxoxox

  mama of newytown Feb 1, 2007 5:21 PM


i think the lack of multi skilling for servies is a second and third world thing. in india we would spend a whole morning exchanging money at a bank and whatch across the counter as our precious cheques and passport trailed from one desk to another. Pretty soon i found the black market man i said goodbue to that scenario.

Your travel journal is amazing. My poor friends and family went months without hearing from me during my travels. Only had snail mail in those days and the indian postal workers did not always heed my warnings written on envelopes "steeling is bad for your karma".

I look forward to many more days of updates.
Love you my very much missed friend. Doanie

  Dionne Feb 1, 2007 7:37 PM


Would just like to add Japan to Doanie`s list. Maybe this is generally true in the rest of East Asia too, I am not sure. Many supermarkets here have one person run your stuff through and another bag your stuff. I am not surprised that the Japanese flag is red and white-the white must stand for the white rice that is eaten every day, and the red for the copious amounts of red tape that you have to wade through.
After a couple of years here I learnt how to ask the right question to get the answer I wanted,eg: I am going on a short trip this month and asked the travel agent if there was a way to book the tickets, and if needed, to cancel them later without any charge. Knowing the right question got me exactly what I wanted-she told me how to go about it. I find in Japan that people don`t like to say that they don`t know something. Peolpe generally prefer to say that "It`s not possible." If I`m not convinced, I ask for "the person in charge"-they DO know what is and isn`t possible. I`ve also found that if I ask,"Well, I`d like to do X, so could you please tell me how to go about it so that it IS possible?" gets me the info I need to cut through the crap relatively quickly.
HOWEVER, Japan really is an interesting place to live and visit.

  Kathryn Feb 5, 2007 7:32 PM


what u say about so many people working in a little cake shop i dont think is like that, im chilean and here the restaurants and shops generally dont have many people to attend the public...

maybe in that cake shop was working just three people to attend i dont know maybe 10 to 15 people and for that one person take ur order and then go to attend other people.. so a different person that was attending other people send ur food... and that leave u the impression of that a lot of people work in little unnecessary things but im sure is not like that.

lol i could explain this in less words but my english sucks XD... im glad u liked chile.

  rod Sep 29, 2007 12:07 PM


Chilian people suck big time, the are very arrogant, judgmental, and when you then take a step back to see what the fuss is all about, you find they are nothing. Stay away from Chile - I would rather visit Argentina - More of a European culture, better educated

  Jason Aug 1, 2009 11:24 AM


Its a bad country for being a woman, seriously. they wont respect you.
food is really bad too.

  johnaess May 15, 2015 1:53 AM



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