Turnabout is fair play: Chileans in the US

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JHyre
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Turnabout is fair play: Chileans in the US

Post by JHyre » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:01 pm

Curious as to what Chileans or other Latins like/ do not like about living in the US. We can drag discussions of living in Australia and other Anglosphere neighbors or Europe into it as well.

Probably the number one complaint I hear is that it is hard to raise children in what more traditional cultures would view as a very culturally toxic environment. With kids, Chileans in the US tend to dislike the early and constant exposure to sexual themes and overall lack of respect for family, at least as depicted in the popular culture. Many Chileans are pleasantly surprised by how family oriented midwesterners are, in contrast to what is depicted/pushed in movies, teen magazines, etc.

What they like, well it's a material paradise. Quiet, safe, orderly and cheap, at least here in the midwest.

John Hyre

bones
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Re: Turnabout is fair play: Chileans in the US

Post by bones » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:10 pm

I can tell you that complaint #1 is the US health care system - i.e. navigating through the mess that is filing claims, finding out what services are covered on your health plan and the limits to the # of times a service will be covered within a period of time, getting incorrect information from both the doctor's office and the insurer about what services are covered and at which location. And, last but not least, THE COST! When we we only had emergency coverage, she called around to different places to find out exam costs and the doctor's offices in some cases couldn't even give her a price! From her experience she has also found doctors in Chile to be more thorough, patient, and friendly, and she's seen several in both countries.

Also - public transport

However, both of these may be offset by the fact that people have garage sales. She was absolutely shocked that people would sell such good stuff for so cheap or even give things away. Once spring rolls around, Saturday mornings are allotted for the pursuit of ultra-cheap goods.

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Re: Turnabout is fair play: Chileans in the US

Post by stgogiant » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:27 pm

bones wrote:I can tell you that complaint #1 is the US health care system - i.e. navigating through the mess that is filing claims, finding out what services are covered on your health plan and the limits to the # of times a service will be covered within a period of time, getting incorrect information from both the doctor's office and the insurer about what services are covered and at which location. And, last but not least, THE COST! When we we only had emergency coverage, she called around to different places to find out exam costs and the doctor's offices in some cases couldn't even give her a price! From her experience she has also found doctors in Chile to be more thorough, patient, and friendly, and she's seen several in both countries.

Also - public transport

However, both of these may be offset by the fact that people have garage sales. She was absolutely shocked that people would sell such good stuff for so cheap or even give things away. Once spring rolls around, Saturday mornings are allotted for the pursuit of ultra-cheap goods.
I'd fully agree w/ that assessment as an American. Healthcare is a mess. While my wife and I were living in the States, twice I received bills for things after the fact that the doctor's office never mentioned were part of a given procedure. Speaking for my Chilean wife, she would definitely add the wide variety of new goods available in stores (retail, grocery, etc) to the list of pros...though she LOVED the garage sales too (shocker that a woman loved the shopping in the US, I know). In a major US metropolitan area you could literally furnish a whole apartment with pretty nice stuff for FREE on Craigslist. Try doing that in Stgo. Other cons would be the high price of eating out/going out, and, interestingly enough, she disliked freeway driving there (too many lanes was the main issue :D )

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Re: Turnabout is fair play: Chileans in the US

Post by JHyre » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:28 pm

By public transport, I would assume you mean scarcity thereof?

BTW, posters please mention where in the US you/your friends were. Characteristics vary significantly by region (e.g. LA, CA vs Columbus, Ohio)

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Re: Turnabout is fair play: Chileans in the US

Post by bones » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:50 pm

By public transport, I would assume you mean scarcity thereof?
Yes, scarcity thereof and infrequency of service (especially buses)
BTW, posters please mention where in the US you/your friends were. Characteristics vary significantly by region (e.g. LA, CA vs Columbus, Ohio)
We've been on the East Coast - DC, Baltimore, Philly and points in between.

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Re: Turnabout is fair play: Chileans in the US

Post by New2Stgo » Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:36 pm

I know this is about what Chileans don´t like about living in the US, but I have to disagree with El Pueche, the quality and variety of produce in any Supermarket in the US is far superior to that of Chile. I'm assuming they export the best stuff to the US...
The US has the best variety of food available in the world. You can find anything, from anywhere, regardless of the season... unlike in Chile! I'm talking about Restaurants or just foreign food ingredients from anywhere in the world.
I also gotta say, Asado in Chile is not nearly as good as BBQ in the US... sorry buddy!

I know a family here that lived in the US for many years and these are some of the things they have complained to me about:

1. They would like to see the Dentist him/herself do dental cleanings, not the Hygenist
2. Healthcare system - Good, but too expensive if you don´t have good insurance and even then
3. Daycare system. They would like to see a public daycare system like they have in Chile
4. Racism

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Re: Turnabout is fair play: Chileans in the US

Post by GJJIM » Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:06 am

New2Stgo wrote:I know this is about what Chileans don´t like about living in the US, but I have to disagree with El Pueche, the quality and variety of produce in any Supermarket in the US is far superior to that of Chile. I'm assuming they export the best stuff to the US...
I bought some Chilean cherries last week, they were expensive (about $3000/kg) and not as good as the ones we get from our neighbor's trees. Of course our neighbor doesn't have any cherries the last week in December when it's -20C outside. 8)

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Re: Turnabout is fair play: Chileans in the US

Post by zer0nz » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:53 am

New2Stgo wrote:I know this is about what Chileans don´t like about living in the US, but I have to disagree with El Pueche, the quality and variety of produce in any Supermarket in the US is far superior to that of Chile. I'm assuming they export the best stuff to the US...
The US has the best variety of food available in the world. You can find anything, from anywhere, regardless of the season... unlike in Chile! I'm talking about Restaurants or just foreign food ingredients from anywhere in the world.
I also gotta say, Asado in Chile is not nearly as good as BBQ in the US... sorry buddy!

I know a family here that lived in the US for many years and these are some of the things they have complained to me about:

1. They would like to see the Dentist him/herself do dental cleanings, not the Hygenist
2. Healthcare system - Good, but too expensive if you don´t have good insurance and even then
3. Daycare system. They would like to see a public daycare system like they have in Chile
4. Racism

How you mean Racism?..... you need to learn some more spanish and listen to what they say about asians, and latinos (eg bolivia, Peru, and Argentina) from other countries !, chileans are some of the most racist people i have met!!!!!!!

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Re: Turnabout is fair play: Chileans in the US

Post by otravers » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:47 am

New2Stgo wrote:the quality and variety of produce in any Supermarket in the US is far superior to that of Chile. I'm assuming they export the best stuff to the US...
Your assumption is way off. First off, 80%+ of produce sales in Chile are done in ferias, not in supermarkets, so your comparison is irrelevant to how people respectively shop in these two countries. More importantly, there's a lot of stuff that's almost impossible to export because the fruit is too fragile to handle/preserve over more than short distances and/or doesn't fit the expectations of export markets. I'm talking about rainier cherries (corazon de paloma) [*], torontel/moscatel/pastillas grapes, chirimoyas, pepinos, lucumas, melons... Chile is mostly exporting very common fruit varietals (Hass avocado, Thompson grape, a couple types of apples, Hayward kiwi, ...) that can handle the distance, mostly by boat (berries tend to fly because they're sold in smaller quantities at higher prices). The fact is, a lot of the nicer stuff actually stays here in the local market.

If you take the example of table grapes, an overwhelming proportion of the US market is the seedless Thomson variety. This is the most tasteless grape you could think of, but it's what's selling in the US because American consumers want every fruit to be a variation of a banana (i.e. don't ask me to make any effort to eat it). Moscatel or pastillas grape cultivars taste way, way better but a) they have seeds (the horror!) and b) they're much more fragile than Thompson that you pretty much freeze and ship by boat. If you know where and when to buy fruit in Chile, and what to buy, it's really hard to beat. Just accept that fruit is a seasonal product.

Yes, you have a huge amount of food variety at Whole Foods (if you can afford it, that is), but no, the average consumer in the average US supermarket is not enjoying better produce than the average Chilean, in fact it's quite the opposite. Many people in the US eat what is in effect frozen fruit because of the long supply chains involved. Here we actually eat fresh fruit all year round. Ask any fruit exporter and they'll tell you the US market is primarily driven by fruit size, aspect, convenience (big, good looking, no hassle) rather than flavor. The thing is, when I eat my taste buds need to get excited, not just my eye balls.


* Of course you have rainier cherries in some US markets too since this cultivar comes from Washington state. My point is to dispel the silly notion that you have better produce in "any Supermarket in the US" than what's available in Chile, or that the fruit that stays in Chile is of inferior quality. (BTW I've traveled to at least a dozen US states so I'm not talking out of my ass.) There's great stuff in the US, mainly in big coastal cities and affluent markets. NYC most probably offers the biggest food variety on earth - I absolutely love it. Or, say, Central Market in Austin, TX is fantastic but it's also very expensive. Not typical at all of what 308M Americans (= shopping at Wal-mart or Costco, not Whole Paycheck) get to eat on a daily basis.

Possibly you need to learn how to properly find and enjoy the great fruit available in Chile? Fresh Chirimoya alegre beats the crap out of the cardboard that passes for fruit most of the time in the US.

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JHyre
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Re: Turnabout is fair play: Chileans in the US

Post by JHyre » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:15 pm

Gloria,

Well, feeling is mutual, no shock there, and doubtless no tears either. I do find the "you have no standing to post" argument amusing, including "Chilean spouses don't count" rule. If I were feeling picky, I might define "Chilean" as more than "by birth".

But this thread is going nicely, directly says some things US culture, and indirectly communicates much about Chilean culture (e.g. focus on family, how they view friendship based on what they do not like about gringo version, etc) and so I will let it be. It's just that I do tend to respond when my name is mentioned, especially when it is mentioned somewhat in vain.

For my part, vicarious posts & hearsay about Chilean views of life in the US are welcome and strike me as informative. Thanks for all (sigh, yes "all") who have posted so far.

John Hyre, Just Watching, Up On The Horse, Like You-Know-Who

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Re: Turnabout is fair play: Chileans in the US

Post by JHyre » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:38 pm

OK, I have a pretty lawyer-sized ego.....but "divine intervention"? I usually find myself associated with "The Other Guy", or at least told to go shack up with him.

P, sorry about that. I've had it happen to me before. Now I write major posts in Word and paste into here. Added bene = spell-check.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

John Hyre

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Re: Turnabout is fair play: Chileans in the US

Post by JHyre » Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:52 am

Gloria,

You are nuts to have taken any of the last post seriously, in any way. Humor is a great release and I was clearly poking fun, starting with me. Ask your therapist about obtaining a sense of humor and benefits of same. For the love of Pete, you really are hard to be at all nice to or even civilized to.

As to time....I guess that means anyone posting here doesn't have a serious job, or what? Why would lawyers be any different?

And for the record, I do not chase ambulances. Like a dog chasing a car, I wouldn't know what to do if I caught one. I leave such work to ethical giants such as John Edwards. Rather, I legally and ethically screw our Masters in Washington out of every nickel I can, every chance I get. But why am I saying this? A conversation with you, aside from some minor entertainment value (and even that is in question), is pointless.

Your ball, let's hear the lastest incoherent rant. On the other hand - maybe you should not post on any thread I start. This one was going well until your highly political "input" which caused a reasoned response from Puelche that you in turn did not wish to answer.

John Hyre

PS: Bigger than oldest and most worn out underwear? Huh? I would beat my fourth grader with a with a 2 by 4 for sullying the family name by using such a lame put down. OMG, call Children's Services ASAP, the humor impaired might have taken that seriously.

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