HermesPan wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:10 pm
Thank you all for your contributions to this newcomer butting in.
Changing the subject to why Chile over any other place in the world
, including my hometown...
It sounds like Chile is suitable if you like the 'great outdoors' (I am a small city man). I live in British Columbia and I can see the wilds within an hour and a half's bus ride. Yawn. The main reason I intend to leave here are, in ascending priority...
1. Medical system
: Health care-wise, Canada is excellent for two things if you are a resident or a citizen - cancer and car accidents. That's how I put emergency medicine. But with 'free' or close to free medical insurance in all the provinces, except if your blood is gushing out of your head, the system is 'take a number'. Wait 3-6 months to see a specialist. I am not exaggerating. I am used to paying my way in cash at private hospitals in Penang and Bangkok. They don't exist here. But unlike say USA, you don't lose your life savings after two weeks in hospital. And at my age I can't afford private medical insurance, which anyway is illegal here except as top-up.
: After decades in tropical and semi-tropical climes I am looking for Mediterranean climate. Chile has that in a few places. Even BC has something similar in the Okanagan, but with cold winters. 'I don't do snow'.
: I am of Northern European ancestry and raised in a secular family as a cultural Christian. Although I didn't know it at the time, I was a practicing Hindu for decades and now relate to secular Buddhism. Yet, even in Theravada Asia, I am tired of being a total outsider. I have lived in countries ruled by Islamic governments (Malaysia, Bangladesh) and I didn't like what I saw. So, I don't like the potential voting block growing - many immigrants from Syria, Iraq and in my neighbourhood, Iran. On the individual level I have no issue with Arabs (except the pushy old ladies who often lack good manners) and I actually find Persians much more friendly than the second largest minority in my city, Koreans who keep to themselves. But I am concerned about what will happen if the Muslim percentage reaches over 8%. I suspect that in my suburban city the Muslim population is already 15-20%. It is hard to get honest statistics on say, what percentage of public housing is being used by refugees. In my city tax-payers pay for a 'women only swim' that was started by Muslim Iranian immigrants. No males permitted on the property, all windows blocked out. I did a Freedom of Information request and learned the details. I have it on record presenting my findings to City Hall. No change in sight. Yes, BC is a province of immigrants, Chinese in the 19th century, Punjabis in who knows when, my father from Norway. I have no problems with this, in moderation and if they more or less adapt. But, I question whether Muslims, even secular Muslims will. And we are not talking Ahmadis from India or Ismailis from east Africa, but people coming from war zones. I have Muslim friends in Singapore and Malaysia but I really get pissed off when the government starts to get involved in religion. Actually, so do they! Will the social fabric of Canada change in 10-15 years due to large families? I am not going to hang around to find out.
: too private to mention on a family-friendly forum
: Vancouver area (GVRD) is the second most expensive place in Canada to rent or buy, after Toronto vicinity. Sure, I can move to Montreal where rents nose-dive, or even rural New Brunswick and open my cans of cat food (just kidding) there. But I don't like spending 120% of my quasi-disability income on rent or 100% of my retirement cheques when that starts. The only reason I moved back here after working in cheap Southeast Asia is because of a family responsibility that went on for more years than I care to remember (hint: dementia of the aged). There are food hacks (e.g. I garden) but how much I spend on where to sleep is a huge problem
. And it isn't just me. This apartment block of strata titles where I rent a room in a bachelor's unit for 60% of market rate will soon be sold. What it will be replaced with is a luxury high-rise. There is a huge influx of Chinese money (Hong Kong and PRC, not so much Taiwan and Singapore). They buy a place for their daughter going to university here, or even leave it empty. Thus, there is a huge housing crisis for the working class and pensioners here. Basically, I can no longer afford my own country due to laziness and poor financial planning. Even my customer from Hong Kong who moved here 30 years ago says enough is enough 'We don't need any more Chinese in Vancouver!" In Canada you basically buy your citizenship. There is no sense of cultural integrity (there is though in Quebec). But do I want to learn French?
So, this gives quite a lot more info than your previous posts, so it's much appreciated. Let me share my opinion on a few points:
Health Care: the Chilean system is expensive for those working here, but it's actually quite cheap for those that get paid from abroad. I pay about USD $300 for a quite comprehensive plan, and I get pretty good service. Doctor visits can be scheduled online for a bunch of clinics, and three only specialist that I had to wait to see had a 2-week waiting time due to him being the top dog. Not too bad.
Climate: Chile in very long North to South, so there's an option for everyone. The Central region has a Mediterranean climate, although the wetter South is also very popular. The point is that there's an option for everyone.
Demographics: Chileans don't care, for the most part. The Muslim population isn't too large, if that's something that you're worried about. As far as I know, most Chileans are Christian, although they aren't too dedicated to the cause.
Expensive: Chile is the most expensive South American country by quite a large margin. Still, it's quite doable if you have foreign income. USD$1,500 per month per person is a reasonable estimate for living costs for a comfortable life. You won't be partying all day, but you'll certainly won't be starving as well. You might be able to do it for less, especially if you're used to a non-expensive lifestyle, but I wouldn't estimate it being possible to go below $1,000 per adult. I mean, it's possible, but I don't think it's worth it. This has been discussed on detail on this forum before, so the search function is your friend.
"""Other""": rumor says Chilean women don't take the initiative during "other" activities, although I can't really say from personal experience. There's a post from ExpatBob about the topic, if you want to read more.