Where Should I Start?

Introduce yourself, discover who else is here, and get news and information about the forum. Most of all, tell us what Chile means for you.

Moderator: eeuunikkeiexpat

User avatar
41southchile
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 783
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:39 pm
Location: Lakes Region

Re: Where Should I Start?

Post by 41southchile » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:23 am

Sr. El Puelche wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:20 pm
The next three months or so, half in Santiago and the other half in La Serena. Santiago, a modern city and La Serena p provincial town———certainly not backwards but a much different vive and speed. In Santiago, things escalated with issues every day including power outages as the FMLR attacked power stations. Candles, matches and food stocked away was the regular norm during this time.

There is no doubt Pinochet was executing people. At the time people knew this but no pro-pinochet supporters brought it up. The day of the coup was one thing were those executed were given to families to bury——as I said before there were maybe 30 or so in La Serena and similar numbers in all other towns and cities. Santiago was different with something of around 13,000 or 15,000 were held there——many did not make it out. I can’t say its fair——but that is the reality of it———What I do want to impart is that Chile’s economy was being built back up from the ashes by Pinochet———if you minded your business, nothing was going to happen to you on the part of the government. My family suffered greatly under Allende and the communists made it hard for them, essentially starving them——so you see this is the difference. Now many can be upset in regard to what the media was allowed to report and what was shown on television and I get it. Por La Razon o la Fureza Chile would have fallen into civil war if Pinochet had not had the hardest of hands in leading the country. Strong words and my opinion but there it is.

. Apart from that——nothing——except for the road crews digging trench, by hand, on each side of the Pan American highway——a meter wide and a meter deep. Maybe for drainage or tech lines to be later installed, I don’t know. Pinochet had put forth a program much like American President Roosevelt did with work programs. Men were paid and fed but camped out across the country on work projects. I met the colonel in charge of the Fourth Region at party not soon after I arrived in La Serena so I posed the question, “Why not just buy a tractor and get it done?”——his response, “Yes, I could buy a tractor or two at $100k US dollars each, but I’d rather have my men making a living."


####
I've heard the civil war claims too, many a time from my German desended neighbors , the UP was heading that way with civil war not that far off they reckon, wasn't there so can't comment, but that's what they all say.

As for the guys digging ditches instead of using tractors, that is still a practice that goes on today, " job creation " with gangs of men cutting grass along the highways here in the South funded by the muni, saw them all at it last week, in a job that a tractor could have done in a few hours.
Comuna Loncotoro Lakes Region Chile

Ripsigg
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 726
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:55 pm

Re: Where Should I Start?

Post by Ripsigg » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:45 pm

eeuunikkeiexpat wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:47 pm
You no longer show up on the registration list, but here is the list as it current stands from the beginning of the forum, kudos to Magnyz, Juanito, Eric, and Vicki Lansen for sticking around:
Screen Shot 2019-08-27 at 8.40.41 PM.jpg
On an account that I lost access to, I am also on that screesnhot you posted. Anyways wlecome back Puelche even though I don't really remember you.

Sr. El Puelche
Rank: Chile Forum Full Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:24 am

Re: Where Should I Start?

Post by Sr. El Puelche » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:11 pm

The drive north is dry and nothing but a few towns, if you can call them that, you pass thru. The Pan American was mostly in view of the ocean so mostly it was far off fishing caletas with lonely roads down to the sea. Los Vilos, Pichidangui, Tongoy and that was pretty much it. At a Ligua, the bread sellers numbering several dozen with their large baskets drapped in white clothes sold their goods.

Every 100 kilometers or so a road block. A red and white painted streel bar across the road where traffic, both north and south, were pulled to the side for an inspection by Carabineros. Drivers and passengers were asked for identification and travel plans and notes were taken. Buses had a passenger manifest list taken off by the driver to be inspected. Manifests were fully documented as passengers bought tickets at the point of purchase with everything written down-----passport number or RUT with your name. Buses would routinely stop for passengers in route which were usually locals traveling just a small part of the route and sometimes through roadblocks. Carabineros came on board to check them while organically checking the documents of others. Politely, some were taken off the bus. Once cleared, the iron bar went up for vehicles, buses and trucks to pass on their way.

SIDE NOTE----Chile has always always had IVA in place to charge wholesalers, retailers and consumers tax on goods bought and sold. IVA is Chile's tax base. Apart from property tax, the government does not procure from the general populace in any other way----except a tax on income for high earning professionals like doctors and lawyers etc... A big function of Carabineros is to check for goods traveling from one point to another without paying taxes---mostly this would be agriculture-------so a truck could have 25 crates of tomatoes on the bill of lading officially and another 6 on the truck load off the bill of lading and therefore not taxed. Typically a consumer is issued a bolleta to record the sale for SII or Chilean Internal Revenue Service. A factura is used for wholesale to a retailer and again recorded for SII----In those days a business was required to submit and pay taxes every month and God help you if you did't. Transferring purchased goods or goods from one local to another required a Giro de Despacho or bill of lading. Now in the US this simply something in a delivery and the first thing you throw away-----In Chile, if you look at a bolleta, factura or guia de despacho, it has a carbon impression along with slightly raised lettering put there by Sii, Businesses have their paperwork printed and must take it to Sii in the correct numbered sequence to be stamped. The economics of it is that from original destination for the product there is a 20% IVA charged-----So if a wholesaler sells a product at 200 while purchasing it at 100 pesos, they are responsible for the 20 pesos of IVA on that product. The retailer sells it at 300 pesos so they are set to pay the same 20 pesos again in IVA and where the consumer pays 30 pesos in IVA----paid on their behalf to the state. This is where the Chilean makes their money. Carabineros are the main control of this on the road and so not just to control people moving about Chile the road block was also to control the proper payment of taxes and punish those who did not comply----tax them and fine them.

The road was a simple two lane affair where you could pull of or turn around anywhere----obviously not the toll road of today. Sometimes lonely truck stops would appear or the lonely house just off the road and the caletas I mentioned before. Mostly trucks and buses and a few cars. There were parts of the road where scraggily bus high bushes closed off the road except for a truck width in the middle-----not much traffic on the road. When I got to Chile there was just the beginning of new cars beginning to emerge-----mostly small fiats, renaults, volkswagons and few if any new pick-up trucks. Daihatsu and Suzuki had a small van coming in and was popular-----any vehicle was expensive------Doctors and other professionals that could afford a car drove Citroenettas in the years before this.

In the late afternoon our bus came over the final hill to Coquimbo and La Herradurra below. A dusty drab port town, Coquimbo had a very large iron ore export dock as we as dozens of fishing boats both in steel and wood. Astilleros for ship repair were very busy not only servicing local boats and ships but also any ship plying the seas from the coast to as far away as Eater Island. Grimy but busy and attached somewhat to La Serena just a few miles up the coast nestled at the center of a large wide mouthed bite alongside the Elqui River.

La Serena, founded in 1545, was the first settlement made by the Spanish-----relieved to find a significant water source in the Elqui River and at least some vegetation with a nice bay, the Spanish began to build along the bluff just south of the river. If you happen to troll through La Serena's old town you will see the stone corner pillars still there holding up the low Adobe buildings and homes they built. La Serena expanded south from there. There is a palm tree there in that quarter that has an arrow stuck through it high up from where the Indians tried to fight off the Spanish----Can't remember where exactly but its near the girl's school, Sagrado Corazon.

Thinking I was in La Serena as I arrived, I thought I was in trouble before asking. We continued down the Pan American the few kilometers through what looked like a swampy area------and nothing on the beach but farms. The Spanish architecture came into view in stone and all the adobe buildings. The bus pulled off to the terminal, set just off the road and before the city center with my sister waiting to pick me up. It was mid summer in the late afternoon and it was very quiet. La Serena, I was told, was a big tourist spot for summer in the north. Beaches and provincial night life but this was still very sleepy. I certainly did not realize the adventures I would have here, nor what what I would learn, but I was about too.

####

Sr. El Puelche
Rank: Chile Forum Full Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:24 am

Re: Where Should I Start?

Post by Sr. El Puelche » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:45 pm

A 5 peso note folded in thirds-----its unusual as most people place bills in wallets or purses will fold bills in half----a bill in thirds is different and could prove deadly.

When I was in Santiago, i perused through shops, went to the public pool, explored Santa Lucia and even went to the Agriculture fair. I also have always had an interest in currency and stamps to a lesser degree. So i sought out filatelia shops all over Santiago. Got some great buys and decided to collect a full range of bills from not only Chile but as well other Latin American countries and countries beyond. I liked the artwork and the history behind it all.

Valparaiso and Vina had very well stocked shops as a result of Valparaiso and its maritime commerce. Feria Persas are good too as you find unusual items and often the seller was not aware of the value and you could pick up bills on the quick----or not.

I bought a used English book, I think it was "Toilers of the Sea." When I opened it I sound a 2 Ruble Russian bill from 1898 in perfect condition tucked inside and I was the first one to find it since it was hidden away by who knows. During the days before the Panama Canal Valpo was the first stop after ships rounded the horn. Many, traumatized by the trip called it quits in Valpo, sold everything and made their way to Buenos Aires, very well done with any dreams they might have had along the Pacific Ocean.

After a nice purchase of currency on my round about rounds to shops, I shared my bills with a friend over coffee at a cafe. He suddenly became very solemn and conspirational. He pulled from my new purchases a single 5 escudo bill and looked it over folding it, along the lines already there, in thirds.
"You see how this bill is folded in thirds, do you know what it means?"
Well no, of course I didn't.
"During the UP (Unidad Popular) communists would identify themselves with other communists using this bill and it was a code." He said, "Sometimes as a way of proof but it also allowed the buyer to show they were communist whereby the shop keeper would give a discount or allow the buyer a chance to purchase rationed goods or contraband with no one else knowing, see the bill is red which just adds to it all."

The other significance was that on the day of the coup and for many days after, anyone stopped by Carabineros or military would search their wallets and purses searching for the red 5 peso escudo bill folded in thirds to identify whom they really had and I am sure at least detain them if not worse.

The Escudo had long given way to the peso by this time but it would have been valuable to know this detail at the roadblocks I mentioned before.

####

Sr. El Puelche
Rank: Chile Forum Full Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:24 am

Re: Where Should I Start?

Post by Sr. El Puelche » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:36 pm

This will be scrambled eggs——just going to relate stories as I remember them and not in order necessarily for that summer.

La Serena, as I siad, was a big tourist destination for Chileans and Argentines——the international road directly behind La Serena, a dirt road to be clear, had served Argentines for years before the coup, as a closer distance to the beach then their own beaches driving in from Northern Argentina——still many came from central Argentina areas like Mendoza to the coast but mostly central. Immediately in the days after the coup, the Chilean Army dynamited all of these smaller passes——before that with the pass open, Chileans or Argentines would register with police on either side their intention to cross the border from what ever town was closest to the border but often from 100 kilometers away on the Argie side and Vicuna being the closest on the Chilean side (During summer months with so many travelers, Carabineros would set up a temporary customs maybe 12 or 15 kilometers from the pass) Chileans of mid to upper class came to La Serena for the less crowded beaches of the central coast. Many in Santiago had summer houses or family in La Serena so it made sense. Still La Serena was pretty light in regard to what I was accustomed to in regard to summer tourist towns.

Either staying in hosterias, second homes or with friends——Chileans wanted their month to be fun and free of the rigors of Santiago life. Many middle class Chileans chose to just camp out on the beach——not in La Serena but leading into it. Not much beach north of La Serena so south of it. “Campings,” although available, were not really built up like they were starting after 1987 or so. Middle class Chileans would pull out mattress and put it on top of the car and then with the dining room table upside down on the mattress or mattresses, they would place the dining chairs on the inside of the legs in corral fashion with everything they would need protected——so bedding, pillows, dinnerware, clothes as well as everything they would need to cook with——and then wrapped all up in a tarp and roped to the car——rope over the goods and through the car with and with the door closed, securing it all——and it was off to the beach. Either alone or in small groups you would see impromptu camp sites along the beach——No Chilean would go without a good meal and at their dining room table sitting in their chairs. Kids would play on the beach, Dad would watch over it all as mom cooked the next meal——the protective tarp became the tent off some poles and attached to the car. This was Chilean camping with nearly all the comforts of home.

I went to the beach nearly every day——Typically Chileans on vacation don’t arrive to the beach until around 3 pm or so——after lunch. Chileans didn’t eat dinner until 10 pm normally anyway at home and maybe if they are going out not arriving anywhere to eat until 11pm. Many restaurants in La Serena did not open until 10 pm and that was mostly when employees were arriving to go to work. With dinner done and home by mid-night, older teens were leaving after that to go to a disco or party usually arriving around 1am and staying until at least 2am if not later. Most any Chilean on vacation was not up in the am until after 9 am. A groggy, lazy simple breakfast and then maybe a nap and lunch around 1pm brought them barely ready to go to the beach until 3 pm. Leaving around 5 to 6pm brought them home for once and family time at the cabana or hosteria.

I arrived to La Serena on a Saturday and went home to sleep after a long bus ride. My sister took me downtown on Sunday for groceries and other errands——the down town was pretty busy with people everywhere after church——I checked out the plaza de armas as well as the feria for fresh fruit etc. We came back for lunch and wanting to see more of the city, I took a collectivo downtown——I could not believe that hours before, where the city was crowded and full of people, it was absolutely deserted with a fusty dogs and thats it——my first lesson in the the firm tradition of the provincial “Siesta.” Strictly adhered too, I went downtown in the evening to go to the movies and people were back and everywhere strolling the street en masse.

In those days workers arrived to work around 8:30 to 9 am———worked until 12:30 and went home for lunch and siesta only arriving back to work between 3 and 4 and then working until about 8:30——so four rush hours a day——rush hour in La Serena was not much by most city standards across the world but with a lot of small one way streets, it was crowded. I cannot say how serious a siesta was during this time——everyone observed it and it was solid.

I mostly went to the beach everyday. The water was cold certainly but offset by the heat, it was nice. I met a lot of people my age and so spent the evenings, after dinner, at parties or in a group at a disco. Chilean youth parties at the time were completely different than anything I had experienced before in the US. Usually about 15 to 20 people and held in a home or in the patio of a cabana or hosteria or on the beach with a fogota. Usually no snacks really but always with wine and especially piscola, a mix of coca cola and pisco. No one was getting drunk and sipped their drinks talking and sharing. I was mostly with university students so it was about school, lost loves and hopes but rarely ever politics. Certainly there were little romances beginning and ending but really calm compared to an American party where rowdy drunkenness and crazy behavior was the norm. Most Chileans at the university level had experience with alcohol from an early age and everyone knew how to behave. Inevitably someone would pull out a guitar and take requests for songs——not ACDC, Metalica or anything else but nearly always folk songs——everyone would sing along and be a little melancholy or happy with the lyrics——Bob Dylan, Victor Jara and especially anything by Cat Stevens and his eternal Chilean favorite at the time “Cat’s in the Cradle.” as well as any mix of other Chilean songs, “Yo Vendo unos Ojos Negros.” etc….. Friends would pair off to go home sharing a collectivo or get dropped off——but not without stopping to get french fries off a street cart or empanadas——not hard to find a food cart in the city or in nieghborhoods. Younger children, having stayed home, would still be in the street riding their bikes or playing soccer and other games. Rolling in at 4am was pretty much standard and then it would start all over again the next day and night.


###

Sr. El Puelche
Rank: Chile Forum Full Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:24 am

Re: Where Should I Start?

Post by Sr. El Puelche » Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:22 am

Random Recollections———

I went to the cemetery to check it out——at the front of the cemetery are the oldest installations of graves and tombs——I can’t remember the oldest but it pretty close to the founding year of La Serena, the oldest settlement in Chile. Some famous names for sure from history and there they are. Now the cemetery was still functioning and so further on were the more economical internments—nichos——much like apartments tall and wide where, in niches with just enough room for a casket was laid out, the dead were placed. I walked down to see it for myself and came across the funeral procession of a humble 112 year old man long dead before he was dead. A cart with his coffin was followed by family and an almost New Orleans style band playing a slow and solomon dirge in brass and then friends following behind.

Now in Chile at the time you could buy a plot and it was yours but in the cheap seats it was just renting. Part of the way down to this man’s final resting place was a crew on a scaffold, with hats off, bowed to the family as they passed just barely stopping from their work high up as the pulled a tenant from his place for not paying the rent. A wheel barrow held his skull and rib cage I could see along with a mass of clothes and dried innards that looked like a pile of seaweed washed up on the beach. I thought about the juxtaposition of life and death and really greatly surprised at no one’s effort to hide or shield a long ago death from those coming here now to bury a newly dead loved one. The procession passed by the dead bones and gut with no reaction. I asked about where, in debt old bones would go to rest and it was shown to the ostuary——A low round bricked up domed structure over a deep dark cave hole to the side of the cemetary——simply dumped in over the bones of any one else that lay unclaimed or too poor to pay for an eternal place in the dirt or concrete condos of the dead.

Train service to the north of Santiago had been halted at some point in the late 1950’s. The south of Chile still enjoyed train service and still does to a point——when the state train concession purchases the right sized cars for the rail. Rail lines in Chile had been established by the British and differed from mainland Europe. I am talking about the width of the rails and therefore the cars that would need to fit——In the late 90’s Chile needed rolling stock to upgrade what they had——a team was sent to Europe to purchase used rolling passenger stock——Well, they went but did not measure correctly and so train cars arrived from Spain( mid 1990’a) and had to be modified as the rail trucks (wheels) did not fit correctly——a big news story as state trains modified the trucks but could not handle the weight of assigned passengers for the cars——the train had before gone as far as Puerto Montt but now only as far as Chillan and then buses beyond that operated by the trains. The joke in the newspapers at the time was “No Fatties” on the train.

Anyway. at the time in 1985, it had been since the late 50’s or early 60’s since the train had gone north out of Santiago. The La Serena train station was on the ocean side of the Pan American highway and north of the main road to El Faro——Camino de los Libertadores?——I think?——Anyway I noticed that while there was no train, the station was well kept and there were people there working. I drove up and parked and made my way across the platform. Turns out, that while there was no train and had not been any train for years, the station workers showed up every day for work as if there might be a train. Ticket sellers, porters and mechanics trolled around. I came to understand that the state train union was so strong that even though there was no train and never would be, these workers held their jobs until what would be their retirement. A complete train station with no train ever to come again, they showed up for work and were paid. A true ghost station.

I talked with the workers and eventually got to pass thru to the yards in the back. There were old cargo cars and a few passenger cars where mechanics meandered around oiling wheels on cars that would never leave the station. I entered a large maintenance shed where a lone blacksmith stood working in front of a large oven. There and he explained the reality of his life working on nothing and just waiting to retire. To pass the time he would take old steel train wheels from the scrap heap and pound them into chuzos (A steel pry bar used in construction). The wheels were hardened steel and of course, round——like a wheel. He would set his furnace every day and pound out the bars out to a chuzo-----and sell them for a few pesos on the sly to contractors. One bar on average would take him about 9 months to pound out but he had nothing else to do.


####

User avatar
fraggle092
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 1583
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:35 pm
Location: In Chile

Re: Where Should I Start?

Post by fraggle092 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:20 pm

Sr. El Puelche wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:22 am
The La Serena train station was on the ocean side of the Pan American highway and north of the main road to El Faro——Camino de los Libertadores?——I think?
Avda. Francisco de Aguirre.
The station had a brief resurrection in the early 90s as a hotel. It didn't last too long as the El Romeral iron ore trains that still use the line rock the building on its foundations, that whole area is still a marsh underneath. And the noisy Ruta5 runs right past the front door. Its now used as a municipal office.

A lot of the smaller negocios still maintain siesta hours. Closed from 1:30 to 4:00 or 4:30pm.
Après moi, le déluge

Sr. El Puelche
Rank: Chile Forum Full Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:24 am

Re: Where Should I Start?

Post by Sr. El Puelche » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:39 pm

Marsh yes from the pan american to the beach----

In the aftermath of WWII, Chile opened up immigration to anyone in Europe that wanted to come-----

My sastre in La Serena, an Italian guy, came with his family. He had a bad right hand blown off when playing with a grenade as a kid and only had three fingers-----His family said enough and emigrated to Chile. I am not sure if Chile paid the passage but there was a promise of land and it was delivered when they came----in Penuelas along where the hippodromo is (maybe not there now, no idea) and north. He was telling me they had a tractor and it was routine to have water up to your knees on the tractor as they plowed the fields----- eventually they brought in dirt over time to raise the level to make it barely farmable,I don't know what they would grow in that but I remember how upset his family was in regard to the "promised land" they received from the government. He had an apprentice ship in tailoring in Italy and soon apprenticed to a Chilean tailor and left farming behind with his brothers keeping it up before they all went into auto repair and a dryer day for their work shop.

####

Sr. El Puelche
Rank: Chile Forum Full Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:24 am

Re: Where Should I Start?

Post by Sr. El Puelche » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:34 pm

Chilean Maid…..

In La Serena we had a Chilean maid everyday and a gardner.

Señora Maria and Lucho.

Señora Maria was maybe 65 at the time but she knew her shit. She had never worked for a Chilean family and always foreigners. She was able to gain work as a maid with foreign families and she was damn good at her job. She had two last surnames, which in Chile means she was illegitimate. So, in Chile your first surname is of the father and the second is of the mother———example would be Agosto Pinochet Ugarte———Dad’s last name would be Pinochet and mom’s last name would be Ugarte——In the event of an illegitimate birth the baby carries the same name of the father two times so it would be Agosto Pinochet Pinochet if he/she were illegitimate——a telling sign when going for work or in school to be sure.

Her father had served in the Chilean army and fought in the War of the Pacific for which she received a pension for his service every month.

Señora Maria was solid——she had worked all her life in the homes of Europeans and Americans and while not discarding her Chilean culture, she knew the ways of a foreign household——no Chilean would eat pancakes nor ham and eggs for breakfast but Señora Maria knew this and if that what was up, then she brought it on. There was nothing like maple syrup or peanut butter but somehow she made it. She was fiercely loyal too——quelling any rumors and what not——no one came into the house without her knowing who they were and what they were up to.

She knew of my escapades across the city each day and night before I was even home———what I did, who I was with and how a true Chilean would interpret my actions, which she informed me of, and what I had to do to make it right or to just just sit tight and let it level out—— I was not that bad but in those days, there were things you did and did not do.

Señora Maria ironed everything——even underwear and socks to within an inch of their life———No one would leave our house, casual or formal, if clothes were not perfect———not an argument at all, it was just not done——at all, ever, no matter what.. I remember she would iron and starch my jeans with a tight crease down the leg front and back.

She would arrive at 7am every morning with bread and cheese or whatever else that the house needed and would not leave until 8 or 9 in the evening——every day except Sunday.

Breakfast was at 8, lunch was at 12:30 with Once at 5 and “dinner” at 8 so she would leave it all set up and for us to clear. No exceptions ever.

Put the clothes in the hamper and that afternoon everything was clean and ironed and in the drawer with out fail——never any issue with household accounts (with receipts) and always down to the peso exactly.

Lucho the gardner———He had 11 children and one leg shorter than the other. He came 5 days a week and always super sweet. Always did his job well and not like he had a lot to do, always kept busy. Mucho was never allowed in the house——ever. He was a melancholy type and tough. A couple times we had a bee or hornets nest lodged in the eaves of the house and in he would go, without any protection, to fight them off, bag and take them away.

In Chile, with domestic help at those times, the contract for them was breakfast (coffee or tea with bread or spread) and then lunch. Most domestic help took the work for the food over the wages. Once(Once meaning afternoon tea and cakes) and something to take home if not dinner-----it was often that one person out of a family ate well and brought home extras apart from their wage——not to mention any give aways in clothes or other goods they could use, sell or trade.

Yeah, well this could sound very imperialist if you want to look at it that way but it’s what is was——I never had a maid growing up——our family did not really need a maid or a gardner but it was decided it was a good thing to give people work and at least in our case, they became a part of our family.

In addition, it was wise to have someone at the home ALL the time. Burglary was a constant issue, especially as a foreigner. With some one home it was not an issue——crime in those days in Chile was very passive and not confrontational so you had to have someone in the house at all times to not be robbed.

We had a very large German Shepard at the time as well——many times thieves would poison the dog to gain entrance with a some tainted meat——our dogs were German trained and it helped keep anyone out but still you had to plan everyday for the inevitable incursion.

In the case of Señora Maria, I could practice my Spanish and ask intricate questions of culture and ways to behave——“you can do this and not do that.” Most of the time if I asked her a complex question in regard to culture and if it was a big one, she would just walk into the kitchen and not engage——so i knew the answer to my question. Often times if there was a misunderstanding in regard to our “American” behavior on the street, she would translate the issue on our terms to the locals and it would be understood from our point of view and the affront would be chalked up as an understanding of differences in cultures and all forgiven——Cannot say how she saved us so many times from critical issues——It was amazing to me how Chileans would understand this and it was all okay, but it was for her, Señora Maria and her standing in the community that would ---- Not to say that if i screwed up socially in some way, she would not dress me down on the do’s and don’ts of what I had done———quid pro quo.

####

Gloria
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 4550
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 12:30 pm
Location: Región de los Ríos

Re: Where Should I Start?

Post by Gloria » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:29 am

Bored.jpg
Bored.jpg (16.3 KiB) Viewed 175 times
I'm from the generation of common sense, wisdom and unfiltered answers. I sayeth as I seeth.

SCL
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 195
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:18 pm

Re: Where Should I Start?

Post by SCL » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:15 pm

Watch it, Miss Gloria... some people think this joker is a good writer...

[ I found the story about the folded peso bills that allowed you to identify a Commie to be superb....]

Gloria
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 4550
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 12:30 pm
Location: Región de los Ríos

Re: Where Should I Start?

Post by Gloria » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:58 am

It´s all an illusion...He´s as good as a writer as I´m building bridges in Valdivia!!
laugh.jpg
laugh.jpg (19.25 KiB) Viewed 72 times
I'm from the generation of common sense, wisdom and unfiltered answers. I sayeth as I seeth.

Post Reply