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A Fun but Useless RTW Journal Watch me RTW in 2 days less than the maximum period I can leave NZ with my loan remaining interest free without spraining my ankle/losing all possessions/becoming a Hungarian farmer's wife. NZ - TX - Chile - Bolivia - Colombia etc

Goodbye Chile!

CHILE | Monday, 8 August 2011 | Views [2550] | Comments [1]

Embracing my American ties on a Chilean 4th of July

My planned three weeks in Chile, split up by time in Bolivia ended up being a solid month and a half thanks to my ankle´s decision to stop working. While I hadn´t planned to have so much time in Chile, and was kind of utterly miserable when Bolivia didn´t work out, I got to see so much (Patagonia and Easter Island ain´t bad) and got to experience life in a Chilean home and meet lots of Chileans. It was kind of like a mini exchange. In no particular order, here are things I will and won´t miss about Chile;

Things I´ll Miss:

1. Yali

Yali was Katie´s housemom and she welcomed me into her house so kindly. She sat through countless dinners worth of me stammering in Spanish, took me to parties, always gave me a big hug when I walked through the door and made me feel like I had a home in Chile. She was awesome.

2. Pisco sours

Peru might have invented them, but Chile has perfected them. While piscola is suitable only for getting drunk on a dancefloor, pisco sours are citrusy, refreshing and one of the nicest alcoholic drinks ever. I miss them a lot.

3. Onces

Chileans don´t really tend to eat dinner. Instead, they have onces. Onces is bread, guacamole, ham, cheese, sauce and whatever else you want, and it´s so good. Yali´s dinner table and her onces were awesome, and it never gets old.

4. Chilean slang

Ahhh Chilean slang. Utterly useless in Colombia, but so good to know as a way to impress Chileans and let them know that I was actually keen on learning Spanish. Si po weon, cachai? Tu kaka es keke. etc etc etc.

Things I Won´t Miss:

1. Stray dogs

Followed home by a good 4 or 5 stray dogs, whimpering when we had to shut them out

Chile has a massive amount of stray dogs, and I really, really hated it. Not your average mutts, these were purebreed and cute dogs who needed a home, and it was always upsetting to go out and see tens upon tens running around, looking for some love and food. In the end, I started carrying food and managed to secretly give some to a few, which made me feel a little better but doesn´t solve the issue.

2. Chilean speaking habits

Despite loving Chilean slang, I did NOT love the way Chileans speak. If New Zealand English is the lazy, terrible, awful degradation of the Queen´s English, Chilean is equivalent to New Zealand English. Chileans leave off half the word, slur their words and talk so fast that poor me and my basic Spanish sometimes got so frustrated I was tempted to bang my head against a wall.

3. The cold

I left New Zealand winter, gleeful at the prospects of Texan summer and long warm days sunbathing and swimming. Returning to Southern Hemisphere winter in Chile was a rude awakening. Just like New Zealand, lots of houses in Chile don´t have insulation and I spent many a time falling asleep to the sound of chattering teeth, dressed in half the clothes I´d brought with me. Colombia´s balmy heat has been a nice change.

4. My walking boot

Oh my ankle, you and I have had some dramatic times. Spraining my ankle so bad that I tore a couple ligaments my very first week in South America was NOT how the plan was supposed to go, but when life throws you lemons, make lemonade. As much as I hated the walking boot and how much of a dick it made me look like, at least it was the starter for some good conversations and helped my ankle heal. Leaving it in Santiago was a great feeling.

One last note: One of my very first blogs about Chile mentioned that for my first week, I went around telling people that the heat wave in Santiago made me sexually excited, rather than what I was going for, which was saying I was hot. In that time, I´ve made these other notable fuck ups with the Spanish language;

-discovered only days ago that after 2 months in South America, anytime I thought I was telling someone I was really hungry (Yo tengo mucho hambre), I was actually boasting about how men I had had (Yo tengo mucho hombres)

-when trying to tell people about how I went horseriding in Easter Island (montar a caballo) instead telling them that I had mounted gentlemen in Easter Island (montar a caballero)

-Commented on how much I enjoyed pico de gallo, the name by which I know salsa. In Chile, pico de gallo is slang for ¨guy´s pensises¨

Clearly, South America makes me a sexually aggressive, rather crude young lady.

On the plane home from Easter Island, the day before I left Chile for good, I turned to Katie, having realised my time in Chile seemed to be a string of sprained ankles, deathly coughs and falling off horse accidents. Katie reframed it in the best way ever ' ¨Yeah but you sprained your ankle in Valpraiso, caught your deathly cough in Patagonia and fell off a horse in Easter Island.¨ Well said Katie, and thank you Chile for all the experiences you gave me!

Tags: chile, leaving, on the road again, pisco sours





  Helsi Aug 12, 2011 9:18 AM



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