Last time I left Chile, I felt I had forgotten the tiny details that made Chile interesting and different from America. And having forgotten what exactly I wrote in 77 blogs entries, I figured I'd just risk overlapping.
1. Chileans feel that lanes are merely a suggestion. The dashed line doesn't have to be followed all that closely. They sometimes hang out right over the line, their wheels in two lanes. Anything goes in Chile.
2. Terms of endearment here are mean but accepted as cute. Chanchifante (my little pig elephant), guatoncita (big bellied woman), chanchita (little piglet), gordita (plumpy), negrita/blanquita (my little black girl or white girl), cosita (my little thing), gordifante (fat elephant). I don't know about you, I really don't want to be called a little piglet...even when it's said with lots of love.
3. My favorite Chilean/Spanish words:
Chan nan: pronounced Chaw Nawn! It means ta da!
cuatico: pronounced QUAteeko. Means freaky or strange.
te pasaste: pronounced very exaggeratedly tay pawSAWWWstay. Means you outdid yourself.
pucha: pronounced POOCHuh. It's the watered down version of chucha. It means darn or too bad.
chueca: pronounced chWEKuh. It means off-kilter, crooked. Like, I had a tooth that was chueca but then I got braces.
4. Farmer's markets and corner stores. They are everywhere! I loved them. It's the most convenient aspect of Chile. When you need food, you don't have to walk far to get it. I've almost stopped going to supermarkets completely. I've gotten so lazy and since having discovered how close fresh food really is, I've given up what I can't get at the farmer's markets and corner stores.
5. Reggaeton. You cannot escape it. The same beat over and over again. Very sexual lyrics. Very sexual dancing. BOOM bahdoombah. BOOM bahdoombah. BOOM bahdoombah. Se Va Sola by the Shamanes Crew, a group from Chile is really good reggaeton. You hardly noticed the same beat over and over again. In fact, check out all of the Shamanes Crew on Grooveshark. Really good stuff.
6. I have no idea if this song by Pitbull, called I Know You Want Me was big in the states, but it was big here.
7. I still think Chileans are the worse line cutters in the world. But, I have to admit, I have started to do the same. What? When in Rome, right?
8. Having a boyfriend with a truck has expose me to new details of Chile. For example, if you have enough cash in your car, you can get chores done simply waiting for the light to turn green. Thinking about replacing the wiper blades...never fear, wiper blade man is here! Want your window washed? Also very possible with every corner littered with teenagers offering to wash your window. And while that happens, you'll also be entertained by the magician performing slight-of-hand tricks and a flag girl twirling and swinging flags. Plus, once you park, you have the option of getting your whole car washed. Car washers come to you in Chile!
9. Peajes--toll booths. First, you have a FastTrak type system along the better freeways. It's a nice freeway because hardly anyone can afford to be on it. Then, once out of the city, you pay for each part of the highway you drive. It's not cheap. It costs about $6 to drive from Santiago to the coast in a car in peajes alone. Probably $7 including the FastTrak system. Then it's about $40 for gas. And considering how much Chileans make...it's expensive!
10. Crowded beaches. Everyone makes the exodus to the beaches during the summer, even Argentines. It's a colorful and sometimes overwhelming scene. There are only certain beaches that don't have strong tides, so everyone flocks to them with their children. If you're not interested in swimming, you can choose miles of empty sand.
11. Just like in the car, on the beach, you can get whatever you need. Do a little shopping and buy some earrings, buy food and drinks, and listen to the one-man drummer nearby. If you go, bring or rent or buy an umbrella and if you're white, spf 50 at least. The UV rays in Chile are gnarly.
I have to say this list is more for me than for my readers. I just don't want to forget them when I go....whenever that is...