Definitive list of mistakes / don't do in Chile for gringos

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eeuunikkeiexpat
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Re: Definitive list of mistakes / don't do in Chile for grin

Post by eeuunikkeiexpat » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:19 am

Some of us live COMFORTABLY under $850 USD at the current CLP/USD exchange rate. It is a matter of choice and strategy more than anything. YMMV.
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Re: Definitive list of mistakes / don't do in Chile for grin

Post by Andres » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:39 am

eeuunikkeiexpat wrote:It is a matter of choice and strategy more than anything. YMMV.
I agree with that. My strategy (of starting out in a relationship, with kids and expecting to easily start a business) was flawed.
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Re: Definitive list of mistakes / don't do in Chile for grin

Post by Ripsigg » Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:08 am

eeuunikkeiexpat wrote:
and NEVER, NEVER, NEVER assume Chile is like the other countries of Latin/South America ...
I think that holds up for every country. Never assume the country you are in is like other countries in the region. I expect that you'll fill me on some details in person in July. :mrgreen:
eeuunikkeiexpat wrote:Some of us live COMFORTABLY under $850 USD at the current CLP/USD exchange rate. It is a matter of choice and strategy more than anything. YMMV.
I think this would be a good topic for another thread. I don't want to hijack this one, but I'd love to hear your strategies because I think it's possible in most countries to live on less than $1000 a month, if you really want to.

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Re: Definitive list of mistakes / don't do in Chile for grin

Post by cali_chile48 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:26 am

Don´t assume that "yes" means "yes"...especially if it is phrased like this, "yes, i can help", or "yes, I have the correct information for you" and ESPECIALLY if it is phrased like this " yes, i know someone who can help you". Chileans seem to have a phobia about saying "no". I think that they often genuinely want to be helpful, so they say "yes",,,and then they send the wrong way with contact information to someone who is even less capable (which is hard to imagine sometimes), all with the best of intentions, of course.

check, double check, triple check anything that is really important...stuff like visas, driver's licenses, business licenses, contracted labor, car repairs, work contracts, directions to a hospital, medical advice, what kind of cat food is best, where to find peanut butter...basically everything.

Two sayings apply in CAPITAL letters here in Chile.....

SEEING IS BELIEVING

and

FOOL ME ONCE, SHAME ON YOU. FOOL ME TWICE, SHAME ON ME

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Re: Definitive list of mistakes / don't do in Chile for grin

Post by Donnybrook » Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:14 am

Everything mentioned so far is pretty much standard for any South American country.

On the up side, although there is a lot of paperwork when you arrive, the system does actually work and you don't have to bribe anyone to make it do so.

Specifically for Chile, I would say be prepared for a more difficult time making local friends than in other places. It isn't that they are unfriendly, but they tend to cluster their world in clans: family, school friends, uni friends, partner's family etc. You won't slot easily into one of the groups. Most of my Chilean friends have just added us to one of their groups, usually family. But it can take time and an imaginative local to find room in their social life to fit you in. This problem is slightly less in Santiago - there are many Chileans living here who are originally from somewhere else - and slightly more difficult if you are living in a small community. EEUU has described the fast track: get a local partner! :)

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Re: Definitive list of mistakes / don't do in Chile for grin

Post by admin » Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:12 am

Really, if I broke down cost of living to the essentials vs. what we spend on the business, I would say we live at or around $1,000 a month for the two of us. Perhaps a little more, depending on the month. Almost all our other expenses are in some way business related, even if we use it for personal enjoyment (e.g. I don't really need multiple commercial cell phone plans, internet connections, servers, and so on).

Main thing that blows the personal budget is eating out, but from a business perspective we make a lot of connections and close a lot of deals by regularly getting out and about. It provides a valuable networking point for us. Also, if we avoided a lot of the imported or expensive products on the shopping list, we would could seriously cut our food bill down. So, it is possible, and might be tight depending on our needs.
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Re: Definitive list of mistakes / don't do in Chile for grin

Post by admin » Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:24 am

Donnybrook wrote:Everything mentioned so far is pretty much standard for any South American country.

On the up side, although there is a lot of paperwork when you arrive, the system does actually work and you don't have to bribe anyone to make it do so.

Specifically for Chile, I would say be prepared for a more difficult time making local friends than in other places. It isn't that they are unfriendly, but they tend to cluster their world in clans: family, school friends, uni friends, partner's family etc. You won't slot easily into one of the groups. Most of my Chilean friends have just added us to one of their groups, usually family. But it can take time and an imaginative local to find room in their social life to fit you in. This problem is slightly less in Santiago - there are many Chileans living here who are originally from somewhere else - and slightly more difficult if you are living in a small community. EEUU has described the fast track: get a local partner! :)
I don't find that so true. We have seen a lot of foreigners get pretty integrated in to smaller communities, pretty fast. Still Chileans everywhere are pretty good at leaving you alone if you do not initiate a friendship with them. Which, depending on your perspective, is kind of nice. There are certain chilean groups that I don't want to be too close to. For example, I really dislike the 9-5 professionals types with kids, and not much else going on in their life (ever). They can be mind-numbingly boring and impossible to force a conversation out of that does not have to do with their kids' school. I have had neighbours of that kind that have lived next to us for years in Chile, and had no problem avoiding them other than a friendly hello in passing. I didn't force it, and they didn't force it either. I know had I invited them say to dinner or a glass of wine, we would have then clearly crossed the line to possibly a friendship.
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Re: Definitive list of mistakes / don't do in Chile for grin

Post by momof3 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:45 am

1- Do not wait to be served. You will be abandoned to your fate.
2-Do not piss off the people who service your home i.e maestros, nanas, gardeners, security guards because some will happily feed intel to the wrong crowd in return.
3- The busses always win. Don't fight it.
4- Don't leave home without change for the WC.
5-Don't rush, nobody else will.
6- Don't accept a time frame. Demand a date and a time.
7-Don't assume a product will be on the shelf on your next visit, stockpile.
8-Don't tell them you are from Chicureo. You will get an additional cuico tax added to your gringo tax.
9-Don't be afraid to ask stupid gringo questions, ignorance is not bliss.
10-Don't be offended when you get stared at. Stare back.
We agree to disagree.

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Re: Definitive list of mistakes / don't do in Chile for grin

Post by eeuunikkeiexpat » Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:51 am

momof3 wrote:10-Don't be offended when you get stared at. Stare back.
:lol:
¡Qué pesao era el maldito gringo/chino/turco/negro!
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the other is to refuse to believe what is true.

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Re: Definitive list of mistakes / don't do in Chile for grin

Post by atacama78 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:51 am

Donnybrook wrote:Most of my Chilean friends have just added us to one of their groups, usually family.
And once truly added to a family, you are integrated fully. When I was in high school in 1977, a Chilean family "adopted" me. I think they were just curious about a gringo in their mist. It started with rides to school, eating onces at their house and later weekends at the beach with the extended family (with the aunts that all Chilean families have). Over the decades, they took the care to teach me about all things Chilean. Now, 35 years later, this relationship has become a central in my life. I am not related to a single one of them by blood or marriage. We just deeply care about and love each other. I return to Chile for 80th birthday parties for my Chilean parents and they are coming to Santa Fe, New Mexico the first of the year to spend a few weeks with my family. Our bond has endured two generations. My Chilean brother's and sister's children now know and love my daughter and we, their children. It is a love story across the continents and the ages.

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Re: Definitive list of mistakes / don't do in Chile for grin

Post by zer0nz » Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:53 am

Dont try to order water in mcdonalds, it confuses the monkeys!

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Re: Definitive list of mistakes / don't do in Chile for grin

Post by lotn » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:44 pm

atacama78 wrote:And once truly added to a family, you are integrated fully. When I was in high school in 1977, a Chilean family "adopted" me. I think they were just curious about a gringo in their mist. It started with rides to school, eating onces at their house and later weekends at the beach with the extended family (with the aunts that all Chilean families have). Over the decades, they took the care to teach me about all things Chilean. Now, 35 years later, this relationship has become a central in my life. I am not related to a single one of them by blood or marriage. We just deeply care about and love each other. I return to Chile for 80th birthday parties for my Chilean parents and they are coming to Santa Fe, New Mexico the first of the year to spend a few weeks with my family. Our bond has endured two generations. My Chilean brother's and sister's children now know and love my daughter and we, their children. It is a love story across the continents and the ages.
I had/have nearly exactly the same experience. I was "adopted" eight years ago when I was an eighteen year old vagabunda at a hostel in Buenos Aires by a girl my age from Santiago, who I think was just very intrigued by an American who spoke Spanish so well. Invited me to stay with her family when I made it over to Chile, which I did a month later, got to know her extended family, etc. Last year, seven years later, when I knew that I wanted to leave the U.S. I decided on Chile largely because of this prior connection made (though if Chileans ask me my general response is something about the "booming Chilean economy"), and whose support I believe is largely responsible for my success at "winging it" in Chile, which has not been easy, but it has been worth it. Naturally, I love them and appreciate them with all my heart.

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