“Royale With Cheese”, or It’s the Little Things
“They’ve got the same sh…” uh, stuff, “we do, it’s just a little different.” Ok, that’s all, if you don’t get the reference yet, I can’t help you, and you do need help. But that was one of Joel’s first observations on arriving in Chile, and one of mine when I’ve travelled internationally: the similarities of most places seem to far outweigh the differences. Although I suspect spending enough time here, the differences will become more obvious than when traveling as a tourist. Also some of these differences are probably less related to being in a foreign country versus being in a big city, as opposed to Peoria.
So what are some of the “little” things so far?
- Milk only comes in cartons, and only 1 liter, which is pretty small. So we’re going to try powdered, which Cecile insists will not be disgusting
- Much more smoking, though thankfully they recently banned smoking indoors in restaurants, etc. But on the street, it’s noticeable how many more people smoke.
- Honking your horn seems to be a form of communication, and not just of anger. I’ve seen people clearly honking to say hello, and I think the micros (small, privately run bus lines) use it to attract attention and see if anyone needs a pickup
- Speaking of micros, there are many different forms of public transportation, but no public buses. There are several private bus companies, and collectivos, which are like taxis that run on specific routes and will pick up people until they’re full.
- In addition to public transportation, more people walking and riding bikes, although this certainly may be more related to being in a big city and one that’s conducive to walking, at least in the central areas (you don’t want to be hiking up and down the hills on a regular basis).
- You tip the person who bags your stuff at the supermarket (although I’ve noticed not everyone does)
- Haven’t seen liquor stores, had to make a trip to the supermarket for wine
- The eating schedule, as already discussed. Even at Joel’s school, he starts at 8:00, and while there are breaks in the morning, lunch isn’t until 1:30.
- The dogs. I’m sure Cecile has written about this, but there are street dogs everywhere, Chile’s known for it. You leave them alone no matter how cute they are. The interesting thing is there isn’t much, uh, waste on the sidewalk. Probably because there are workers out every day sweeping and cleaning.
I’m sure there are many more, but that will do for now.
Apparently I Look Like a Local
On my walk to the supermarket today (there was more on the list than wine, but wine was the most important thing) I was stopped twice by people asking directions. Sadly my Spanish is still so poor that I’m unable to help, but people just give me a smile and a thumbs up.
Fine, be that way
By popular demand, I won’t tell you how gorgeous the weather has been the last two days.