31 July 2013


I have a lot a international friends and a lot of friends who have studied or travelled abroad. I always ask them what is the one thing that is so different between US and where they went/are from. They always say, "everything." In many respects this is quite accurate. It's not that everything is so different that you can't live with it or that it's so 'weird' that it'll be in next week's episode of National Geographic's Taboo. In general, the way of going about life is simply different.  Neither bad nor good; simply different. 

Here, in chile, eating is different they have four meals a day. I'm still working on when they all happen. What I know so far is that desayuno (breakfast) is the first meal you eat when you wake up. Regardless of time. Almuerzo (lunch) is between 3-5pm usually and is the most important meal for Chileans. They then have what's called onces. Which is like tea time around 7-8 when one drinks hot tea or coffee and eats a small snack (usually some kind of bread - Chileans eat tons of bread). Finally we have cena (dinner) which can be anywhere between 9-11pm. Many families don't always eat this meal depending on their schedules. 

Another big difference is the dogs. There are many stray dogs wondering around the streets but they are not ill fed. In fact, I'd call many of them fat, which is a major contrast both with the US and other countries I'v visited. Many people break down cardboard boxes and put them on the street for the dogs to sleep on. 

The biggest difference for me so far has been the temperature. My first few days I laughed to myself at all of the Chileans wearing heavy jackets when it's only about 50 F outside.  Now I'm right there with them.  In general, this area of Chile doesn't have central heat or air because it doesn't get that hot or that cold here. So you wear heavy jackets and thick socks all the time.  Some mornings you wake up and can see your breath.  Quite a different experience.  

Here are some photos of some 'different' things in chile.

Light Switch and Power outlet

Propane is cheaper than electricity, so it is used to power heaters inside.  
Milk in a box!
Mayonnaise and Ketchup in Bags
Many houses have fences topped with spikes here.  

It's not uncommon at all to find streets and sidewalks with large potholes or missing covers.  


  1. The bag of ketchup seems so odd to me.

    1. I know, right?! And they like to put mayonnaise on everything potato related. The norm here is French fries and mayonnaise - not ketchup. Charlie