The Strangest Warning...

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gringalais
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Re: The Strangest Warning...

Post by gringalais » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:05 pm

I've been here for 11 years now and I have seen a lot of people (and not just from the US) come here with the idea of being here for the long term and leave within a year. I remember some posts here on the forum from people selling everything after being here only a few months.

I guess a lot of people overestimate their ability to adapt or underestimate how different life is going to be. For some the language is an issue. Or the little irritations of day-to-day living wear down their patience. I don't think it is such a strange issue to bring up.

sqcpcg
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Re: The Strangest Warning...

Post by sqcpcg » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:14 pm

admin wrote: Of the thousands of instances of Americans behaving badly, I have seen over the years, the one that sticks out in my mind the most, is the American in China I seen. My wife and I were having dinner in a small restaurant in Nanjing. This American, obviously an executive of some sort there on biz (totally California all the way), comes in to the restaurant we are in. He sits down, looks around the room, then tells the waiter in English to tell all these people to stop smoking. In China, people smoke in restaurants. People smoke while eating in restaurants. They smoke alot. The waiter has no clue what he is saying. He gets frustrated, stands up, and starts going from table to table yelling at the Chinese in English about smoking in the restaurant. The poor Chinese all have this look of terror on their faces, at this mad man, ranting at all the Chinese.

That is an obvious case, but I see Americans do it every day in Chile, just they don't realize just how fish out of water they are.
A corollary to this is that many Americans seem to think that English is intelligible by everyone if said loudly enough. Hence one would simply repeat the misunderstood phrase/sentence and say it louder and possibly, slower. After several unsuccessful tries, the listener is then adjudged to be a complete idiot if he/she has somehow not yet understood the shouting........

HybridAmbassador
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Re: The Strangest Warning...

Post by HybridAmbassador » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:28 pm

zer0nz wrote:
Donnybrook wrote:
JHyre wrote:DB, first portion, true & well put. Second section...interesting. If you've the time, I'd be curious to here how Peru was harder than Pakistan for your friend. That contrast struck me, it's not one I'd have thought of.

John Hyre
It was quite intriguing. She said that totally wiping out everything you were familiar with was easier than shifting it slightly out of kilter. In Pakistan she could not drive, in Perú she could but driving was challenging to say the least. So going from the familiar driving in Britain in a place where people usually obeyed the rules to somewhere where hardly anyone obeyed the rules, was more difficult than just not being able to drive. On the surface she could drive in Perú just as she had in Britain, but the reality was completely different.
A friend who has lived in chile for about 5 or 6 years has just moved to peru, under company policy he is not allowed to drive at all, full stop... and has 2 armed body guards at all times...

They will follow him no matter what, running, cycling and so on, mountain biking, he went off road, ... so did they!

Peru is certainly different :)
! Then your friend must be holding very high status and earning big bucks so to warrant such degree of security!
Two armed body guards? Not even the Consul of Japan in Lima has that kind of clout !
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Re: The Strangest Warning...

Post by HybridAmbassador » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:41 pm

Donnybrook wrote:
JHyre wrote:DB, first portion, true & well put. Second section...interesting. If you've the time, I'd be curious to here how Peru was harder than Pakistan for your friend. That contrast struck me, it's not one I'd have thought of.

John Hyre
It was quite intriguing. She said that totally wiping out everything you were familiar with was easier than shifting it slightly out of kilter. In Pakistan she could not drive, in Perú she could but driving was challenging to say the least. So going from the familiar driving in Britain in a place where people usually obeyed the rules to somewhere where hardly anyone obeyed the rules, was more difficult than just not being able to drive. On the surface she could drive in Perú just as she had in Britain, but the reality was completely different.
in Perú she could but driving was challenging to say the least. So going from the familiar driving in Britain in a place where people usually obeyed the rules to somewhere where hardly anyone obeyed the rules, was more difficult than just not being able to drive.
Well, I did drive in Lima once. It was very challenging to maneuver among the file of ants going from lane to lane or others occupying two lanes at all the time. Criss-crossing and chopping you from any other direccion. It reminded me of the "Kamikaze but very high skilled taxi drivers of Tokyo, circa 1960's " But in turn, Chile driving is a pleasure in comparo!

I observed that majority of drivers keep themselves in the proper assigned lanes and somewhat more refined and organised driving..?

The Peru, or better say, in Lima driving, reminds me of Beijing driving at all times. Lima has no Subway system so all people transport has to use the surface real estate and very limited space available as Autoways and streets..So more vehicle congesting and clogging up the traffic.
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WolvesOfTheNight
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Re: The Strangest Warning...

Post by WolvesOfTheNight » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:23 pm

HybridAmbassador wrote:Lima has no Subway system...
The word on Tunnel Talk is that one is under way. Of course, they also note that line 1 has gone unfinished for over 20 years.

JustJ1lly wrote:One of the most frequent warnings I've seen about moving to Chile is " :shock: It's not like the US!"
I think that is rather the point, no?
Yea, it is odd how often this is pointed out. But it is very impotent for someone moving from the US to Chile to actually understand it, and not just say "yea, I know that." So it gets repeated a lot to try and get people to actually understand, but it often does not really sink in. Having said that, what really matters is if they also do a good job explaining how Chile differs from the US and what sort of issues can really expect.

Donnybrook
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Re: The Strangest Warning...

Post by Donnybrook » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:12 pm

Alan Garcia started work on a metro system during his first government. There was endless hype about it. They got as far as a double row of pillars for an overground bit and stopped there. People said it was really a monument to his wife, Pilar: Pilar, Pilar, Pilar, Pilar…………………..

frozen-north
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Re: The Strangest Warning...

Post by frozen-north » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:23 pm

sqcpcg wrote:
A corollary to this is that many Americans seem to think that English is intelligible by everyone if said loudly enough. Hence one would simply repeat the misunderstood phrase/sentence and say it louder and possibly, slower. After several unsuccessful tries, the listener is then adjudged to be a complete idiot if he/she has somehow not yet understood the shouting........
There is a well known writer that wrote something along those lines. And somewhere I have a magazine with a travel article in which the writer claims to have done exactly that while travelling in France.


Ironic post: Why English is all you need to travel the world

In many places, you will have no problem ordering food and checking into your hotel entirely through English. This is, after all, pretty much the only reason you ever need to talk to other human beings: to get French fries and an air-conditioned bedroom.

http://www.fluentin3months.com/why-engl ... -you-need/

Donnybrook
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Re: The Strangest Warning...

Post by Donnybrook » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:25 pm

Benny the Irish Polyglot! :)

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logantyler
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Re: The Strangest Warning...

Post by logantyler » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:45 pm

As a young (north) American boy (19) I decided to come to Chile around March of 2013 and while I have encountered cultural diferences, none of them were too drastic. I agree with sandrab, people here are generally not as friendly as the people in Canada or the States. Anyway, I'm about to hit my one year mark in Chile! (6th of March).

frozen-north
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Re: The Strangest Warning...

Post by frozen-north » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:14 pm

logantyler wrote:
....people here are generally not as friendly as the people in Canada or the States.
How do measure 'friendliness'?

Which reminds me of one more thing the writer I mentioned earlier did in France: 'speak slower, louder, .....and smile.' Not in every country it is thought as 'normal' going around smiling at strangers.

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sandrab
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Re: The Strangest Warning...

Post by sandrab » Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:47 am

I measure it by returning a smile or hello, by holding a door open or by letting people by on the street or in the aisle of the supermarket. By stopping to help if someone drops something or trips on one of the many cracks and holes in the uneven streets. By being helpfull when you are looking for something in a store or are asking a question.

People here seem annoyed at almost anything and If I had a dollar for everytime someone smiled I'd be rich and back home by now lol.

AHusband
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Re: The Strangest Warning...

Post by AHusband » Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:56 pm

I would say that Chile isn't like South Africa, Belgium, France, United States, Canada, Sweden or Denmark.

Mostly as a warning.

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