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Re: What will surprise me?

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 8:16 pm
by El Chupacabra
You might actually be surprised that there are a lot of Italians in Chile. Practically most of Vina Del Mar is of Italian decent and speak Italian. Also a lot in Santiago and I met quite a few in La Serena. Not sure about down south, I have never met an Italian down south, I always seem to meet a lot of Germans and South Africans.

Also, the best pizza that will compare to Italia will be found at Tiramisu in Las Condes. They actually import the 00 flour, ingredients and even the water to make the pizza. Best Italian coffee in Chile is Musetti and I have even seen Lavazza around. The biggest problem you will run into is the baristas don't know how to prepare a good coffee. Also, a cappuccino in Chile is not the same as a cappuccino in Italia. Some of the true Italians will prepare it right, but the Chileans won't - You will see.

Re: What will surprise me?

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 9:13 pm
by Ruff
Enzo wrote:
nwdiver wrote:Compared to where you have lived, pretty boring food, getting much better but has a long way to go....... I notice every time I get back to Vancouver everything I take for granted that I've missed......

Hmmm... I would have thought that at least the access to international cuisine will be greater in Santiago than the other places I have lived. Of course, it's hard to beat local Italian food in Italy.
Peruvian food is easy o find and it can be exquisite. Thankfully the service is also infinitely better when dealing with non-chileans.

Re: What will surprise me?

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 9:57 pm
by El Chupacabra
Ruff wrote:
Enzo wrote:
nwdiver wrote:Compared to where you have lived, pretty boring food, getting much better but has a long way to go....... I notice every time I get back to Vancouver everything I take for granted that I've missed......

Hmmm... I would have thought that at least the access to international cuisine will be greater in Santiago than the other places I have lived. Of course, it's hard to beat local Italian food in Italy.
Peruvian food is easy o find and it can be exquisite. Thankfully the service is also infinitely better when dealing with non-chileans.
Agreed, Peruvian food is awesome!

Re: What will surprise me?

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 10:08 pm
by thisisreallycomplicated
The food is one of my favorite things about Chile. It's easy to find fresh fruits and vegetables, and it's not too expensive. So it really depends on what you're looking for.

Re: What will surprise me?

Posted: Fri May 26, 2017 10:34 am
by El Chupacabra
opps..double post

Re: What will surprise me?

Posted: Sun May 28, 2017 9:52 am
by Britkid
If you've lived in all those countries you may not get many major shocks.

I don't agree about the bureaucracy being worse than other countries, although bank accounts and driving test aren't ideal that is for sure.

Look out for quite poor public health care and education given the standard of wealth of the country, graffiti, dogs, litter as some of the bad points of Chile. I've not got anything against dogs particularly, but there are a lot here, and it's annoying to be constantly snapped at when you go out for a walk/jog/cycle/drive.

Re: What will surprise me?

Posted: Sun May 28, 2017 1:39 pm
by MichaelM
Space Cat wrote:Your experience may also vary depending on the region. I'm in a bus from Villa Alemana to Santiago now, we were visiting friends.

It looks like many people here can't take their damn trash to a trash can. It's filthy and dusty, almost another country vibe compared to the South.
PERU is dirty, if you ask me. I know this is a bit of a digression, but I've lived in Arequipa, Zorritos, and now Cajamarca. On a collectivo, say, rolling down the Panamericana Highway, with bright green rice fields on either side of the road and snowwhite egrets in the fields (sigh), someone will lean across, politely excuse themselves, and toss their trash out the window. THIS I do not understand--even after years of living here. I mean, it's their HOME, and their country.

In my very brief 3-4 stays in Santiago, I thought it was quite pleasant and that there was a distinct lack of trash and garbage. :-) At least in the central portion where I've stayed. There is a smoking epidemic, though--at least in my Peru-biased opinion. In Peru, almost NO ONE smokes. I'd take a guess at 1 in 1,000. 'Maybe less. (We also have about 10,000 stray dogs in Cajamarca. Sooooo, you can just imagine. I love the dogs, but ...)

Like you, I'm moving to Santiago, in August, to live. I'm excited. And all of the comments here are much appreciated!! It's a good thread for folks like us.

Re: What will surprise me?

Posted: Sun May 28, 2017 6:11 pm
by Space Cat
Britkid wrote:I don't agree about the bureaucracy being worse than other countries, although bank accounts and driving test aren't ideal that is for sure.
A lot of feedback on the forum is from Northern Americans, so it's useful to keep in mind its relativity to life experiences in the US or Canada.

When we were moving to Chile, I read so many complaints on the service in restaurants here but I've never encountered anything remotely "bad" in more than 2 years of lunches in different places 1-2 times a week and occasional evening dinners. A couple of cafes have really slow kitchens but that's it.

Then I travelled to the US and was reminded how the service there is borderline annoying for me. US waiters just can't leave us in peace - they add water after every sip from my glass and ask too many questions. Chilean restaurant service is perfect for my taste – they come to give me a menu and take my order, then bring food, and return only when I'm leaving.

Re: What will surprise me?

Posted: Sun May 28, 2017 6:48 pm
by Donnybrook
A lot of feedback on the forum is from Northern Americans, so it's useful to keep in mind its relativity to life experiences in the US or Canada.
That is because people from the USA do not have to jump through any of the hoops that a foreigner applying for residence does, so they think the USA is bureaucracy free. It is anything but. It takes years, costs a lot of money and there are medical examinations not included in the fee. The process expires after one year, no one has ever done it in a year, so you pay all over again (nearly US$400) , get another medical etc. You never know where your application is in the process either. Although some, even many, things regarding businesses may be easier, getting residence is certainly not. It is a bureaucratic nightmare.

Re: What will surprise me?

Posted: Sun May 28, 2017 9:48 pm
by Enzo
Donnybrook wrote: That is because people from the USA do not have to jump through any of the hoops that a foreigner applying for residence does, so they think the USA is bureaucracy free.
Applying for residency is a paperwork nightmare anywhere. I think why North Americans feel the bureaucracy in other countries so bad is because it also creeps into the private sector with the same type of attitude... which is, "the customer is always wrong."

For example, I have really good private insurance where I live, but it operates like a government bureaucracy. Before I go to the doctor, I have to have a special form, from my employer, with a special employer seal. Then I go to the doctor where I have to pay the whole amount up front. Then I take that receipt of payment and the special form that the doctor and nurse filled out back to the HR department at my work and then I wait to be reimbursed the correct percentage.

This is private insurance, mind you. In the States, I would show my card at the doctor and DONE. The uncovered amount would come out of my paycheck.

Re: What will surprise me?

Posted: Mon May 29, 2017 10:25 am
by Britkid
MichaelM wrote:
Space Cat wrote:Your experience may also vary depending on the region. I'm in a bus from Villa Alemana to Santiago now, we were visiting friends.

It looks like many people here can't take their damn trash to a trash can. It's filthy and dusty, almost another country vibe compared to the South.
PERU is dirty, if you ask me. I know this is a bit of a digression, but I've lived in Arequipa, Zorritos, and now Cajamarca. On a collectivo, say, rolling down the Panamericana Highway, with bright green rice fields on either side of the road and snowwhite egrets in the fields (sigh), someone will lean across, politely excuse themselves, and toss their trash out the window. THIS I do not understand--even after years of living here. I mean, it's their HOME, and their country.

In my very brief 3-4 stays in Santiago, I thought it was quite pleasant and that there was a distinct lack of trash and garbage. :-) At least in the central portion where I've stayed. There is a smoking epidemic, though--at least in my Peru-biased opinion. In Peru, almost NO ONE smokes. I'd take a guess at 1 in 1,000. 'Maybe less. (We also have about 10,000 stray dogs in Cajamarca. Sooooo, you can just imagine. I love the dogs, but ...)

Like you, I'm moving to Santiago, in August, to live. I'm excited. And all of the comments here are much appreciated!! It's a good thread for folks like us.
This calls to mind an experience of mine travelling in Peru some years ago. A bus full of Peruvians, me and my brother, and a small number of people from the US. And the Peruvians just throwing the trash out the window, even glass bottles to smash on the floor. The people from the US looked really really shocked, almost visibly upset by this. Some towns in places like Bolivia and maybe Peru seemed clean (ish) in the centre and then you see a rubbish tip on the edge of town, not some organized recycling centre but just rubbish piling up on bare land on the edge of town.

Thinking about Chile there is definately litter on the floor. Also, when I go hiking in the mountains whenever I come to a really nice obvious picnic place like somewhere with a table by a stream I tend to instinctively avoid it since these places always have litter unless they are about four or more hours walk from a road. I'd rather just sit on a rock somewhere later to avoid seeing the rubbish. And this is true in most natural places in central Chile. Hoewver, I wouldn't say CHile has a litter problem that's worse than other countries in general.

I think it's helpful to pick up some litter that's not yours from time to time.

Re: What will surprise me?

Posted: Mon May 29, 2017 12:24 pm
by papageno
On my first visit to Chile, I was impressed by how clean the roadside was (between Osorno and Puyehue),-- that is, until I pulled over at a turn-out and looked inside the treeline. Trash everywhere! But nothing like what I saw in Baltimore, along the tracks.