Arriving in Santiago in 8 days!

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wiscondinavian
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Arriving in Santiago in 8 days!

Post by wiscondinavian » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:31 am

My move is inching closer and closer and I can't wait to arrive to the Chilean summer, although this Wisconsin winter hasn't actually been that bad... I was just biking earlier today without problems! I just graduated from UW Madison (well... I walked at Commencement, but I still have a research paper due in 36 hours.) I'm moving to Santiago to be with my fiance. I've studied at La Catolica for a semester and spent another semester teaching English (and then spent another "summer" there this year.) I've also spent time teaching Spanish to children here in the States. I have yet to find a job, so I'll be arriving on a tourist visa and starting the real job search when I'm down there.

I feel like I've gotten a good understanding of the basics of how Chile works... like I can't really get anything besides a RUT Cuenta until I've had residency for a while... taxis will try to rip my gringa ass off... fruit is ridiculously cheap at ferias, especially where I buy in Maipu... The machismo isn't that bad, except for when I try to get into my fiance's soccer games... apparently bullets aren't that fast in Chile because "al tiro" tends to mean several hours later... tear gas makes me sneeze... Alameda is a street.... almohada is a pillow... Ahumada is a <SPAM WORD> (of which there are more than Starbucks and McDonalds combined in the US)... The <SPAM WORD> is cheap and condoms are expensive... very few people can pronounce the 'th' sound in English correctly, meaning that very few people can pronounce my name... Chileans tend to not open their mouths when they talk so lip-reading is next to impossible...

Besides the language, really the biggest change for me is the fact that Santiago is a big city... I'm from suburbia and never lived in a metropolis much over 1million.... Thus, yes, cat-calls are a foreign concept to me, and no, I still haven't gotten to used to it, and no, I don't like it. Sometimes it takes me and hour to get from one side of Santiago to the other... which to me is how long it takes to get from Madison to home... I'm bringing lots and lots of Carmex and Burts Bees chapstick with me, because those are necessary things in life. Also tampons. I've never seen tampons in Santiago, but I've also never looked too hard... I've found that going out to restaurants and bars is about the same price as here in Madison... I've also come to terms that people look at me like I'm crazy when they find out that I haven't lived with my parents since I was 18 and can possibly be away from them at such a "young" age.

I find doing kind stuff for people randomly is super easy in Santiago because they just look at me like I'm a crazy Gringa and just accept my help without asking me too many questions, haha. I've had entire conversations with people in Spanish before I realized that the other person was American... I've introduced my fiance's family to wonderful things like roasted marshmallows and chicken pot pies and jambalaya (although they thought it was too spicy...) I've come to terms that the cheese and milk in Santiago will be eternally disappointing to a Wisconsinite... *sigh* Where's the cheddar?

So. I'll be in Santiago in just over a week... I don't know when I'll be back to visit the US and when, if ever, we'll be moving back here. Wedding is scheduled for early 2013 and my parents will be visiting us at the end of February 2012.

Uuf.

So that's my rambling! :D

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mapache
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Re: Arriving in Santiago in 8 days!

Post by mapache » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:27 am

Not much to say except welcome, to the forum at least since you've been to Chile before :)

and,
wiscondinavian wrote: I'm bringing lots and lots of Carmex and Burts Bees chapstick with me, because those are necessary things in life.
In case you didn't know; you can get Burts bees stuff in Chile. Not sure where in Santiago - here in Antofa it's an in store thingie at Falabella, in the mall. :]

efuba1975
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Re: Arriving in Santiago in 8 days!

Post by efuba1975 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:44 am

Hey I am from WI too! And, yes the cheese and milk are disappointing BUT I did find Pepperjack slices and Wisconsin colby cheese (crystal farms brand) at the Jumbo the other day. IT was ridiculously expensive yet so worth it!

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La_Tini
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Re: Arriving in Santiago in 8 days!

Post by La_Tini » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:46 am

Welcome to the forum and good look with your moving!

P.S.:
Where's the cheddar?
At Jumbo I´ve seen some...

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wiscondinavian
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Re: Arriving in Santiago in 8 days!

Post by wiscondinavian » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:57 pm

mapache wrote:Not much to say except welcome, to the forum at least since you've been to Chile before :)
In case you didn't know; you can get Burts bees stuff in Chile. Not sure where in Santiago - here in Antofa it's an in store thingie at Falabella, in the mall. :]
Thanks! And I didn't know that. I already stockpiled some, but I guess I'll stock up on more Carmex. My suegra thinks the stuff is magical (and, well, it is)

efuba1975 wrote:Hey I am from WI too! And, yes the cheese and milk are disappointing BUT I did find Pepperjack slices and Wisconsin colby cheese (crystal farms brand) at the Jumbo the other day. IT was ridiculously expensive yet so worth it!
:o Totally worth it...

La_Tini wrote:Welcome to the forum and good look with your moving!
P.S.:
Where's the cheddar?
At Jumbo I´ve seen some...
Ooo boy I'll have to look better. At the deli or pre-packaged? I'm so spoiled here in Madison, there's actually a store about a mile away that's exclusively cheese... Yum apple smoked cheddar and 10-year cheddar and just about every goat, cow, and sheep cheese that you can think of...

patagoniax wrote:.
There is still time to change your ticket, to Uruguay.
They have cookies.
I imagine The Fiance would be quite upset... Hmmm... Uruguay doesn't seem to have great cheese either... The pizza was tasty though. They seemed to have the same cookies in a bag that Chile has... now that I think of it... I should probably learn to make some black and whites... ooh! My flight is stopping in NYC, I'm totally gonna pick up some black and whites to share with friends. I still owe them chocolate chip cookies, lol.

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California South
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Re: Arriving in Santiago in 8 days!

Post by California South » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:06 pm

We've only been here little more than a month, but I've seen Burts Bees products everywhere. Huge display at Falabella, as mentioned.
As a witness to many Carmex addicts, amplified by the camphor, menthol and salicylic acid (used in wart removal), Burts Bees is healthier and moisturizes better. And you don't get that addictive effect of having to apply it multiple times a day because some of the ingredients cause drying (i.e., Carmex).
Better yet, use natural remedies to heal chapped lips. It's easy.

Also, agreed, cheddar is available at Jumbo.

Congrats on the move and marriage!
Stultorum infinitus est numerus

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La_Tini
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Re: Arriving in Santiago in 8 days!

Post by La_Tini » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:48 pm

Ooo boy I'll have to look better. At the deli or pre-packaged? I'm so spoiled here in Madison, there's actually a store about a mile away that's exclusively cheese...
Saw it at the pre-packaged cheese fridge section in Jumbo at Ñuñoa (Macul con Grecia). But admittedly their offer is always changeing, some days they have cheddar, some days they don´t (true for most Chilean supermarkets, so you should never plan a big dinner relying on supposedly available items).
Yum apple smoked cheddar and 10-year cheddar and just about every goat, cow, and sheep cheese that you can think of...
Guess those will be somewhat harder to track down here. However, sometimes you will find the weirdest and unsuspected import items. Unfortunately, imported cheese is REALLY expensive in Chile, but then there are always great goat cheese varieties, look for them at local ferias or sometimes there are people selling them on the street side when you drive through the countryside. Cheap and tasteful!

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trabajo en progreso
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Re: Arriving in Santiago in 8 days!

Post by trabajo en progreso » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:31 pm

Welcome :D

They sell tampons here too, a Barbie lookalike was handing them out at the gym the other day. They were Kotex, from memory.

efuba1975
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Re: Arriving in Santiago in 8 days!

Post by efuba1975 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:27 am

They do sell tampons....they are very expensive in comparison, so bring what you can :-) But don't fret about running out, you can get them.

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momof3
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Re: Arriving in Santiago in 8 days!

Post by momof3 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:35 pm

Welcome to Santiago! Glad to see your so darn excited. I am jealous that you at least had a clue. I just kinda landed without ever having been south of the Caribbean where I grew up. Brace yourself for the sun, it messes with your mind. I scoffed at the sunblock and now I lather it on religiously regardless of the temperature. Tampons, yes yes I stocked up at Costco before coming down here. I do find them in many pharmacies and supermarkets though along with cheddar cheese. I feel your pain regarding the quality of cheese. I am in Gruyere withdrawal. Mom always made fondue and sigh... the "Gruyere" here is most definitely not the Gruyere outside of Chile.
Burts Bees is sold as a fancy make up counter in Falabella as opposed to the item next to the gum at the pharmacies in the USA. It costs 6x as much here so stock up. Nivea does have a nifty balm/sunscreen/lipshimmer thing that I love and if you look waaaay behind the locked glass doors in the beauty aisle you should find it.
Let me tell you folks how to save a fortune in Santiago. Don't shop there. They are developing a block's worth of legitimate outlet malls in Colina where the Chilean 50% off sale = regular USA prices. I say legitimate because in the USA the outlet stores ceased to be legitimate when they started producing merchandise exclusively for outlets at laughable discounts. Here every Friday they stock up on whatever did not sell in Santiago. Shop during the week or else you will drown in the multitudes of Chileans taking advantage of it.
I would like to know where I can get bananas that actually ripen. They sell them green in Jumbo and Lider and by golly they stay green regardless of my efforts.
Keep us posted on the wedding. The guys on the forum may get nauseated but I for one am really interested. Good luck!
We agree to disagree.

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momof3
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Re: Arriving in Santiago in 8 days!

Post by momof3 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:54 pm

patagoniax wrote:
momof3 wrote: Tampons, yes yes I stocked up at Costco before coming down here. I do find them in many pharmacies and supermarkets though along with cheddar cheese.
That would explain some of what I have been finding in the GF's refrigerator here.

Now if Chile could kindly produce some Midol we could save the men a lot of misery :P
We agree to disagree.

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momof3
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Re: Arriving in Santiago in 8 days!

Post by momof3 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:01 am

....and if you ask the employee standing 3 feet away from it he will consult the manager and both will solemly inform you that they don't carry either product.
We agree to disagree.

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