In my previous post I wrote about the 6 things I will miss about Chile. Well, that’s not all! Here are some more quirks I will be thinking about as I get comfortable in the beautiful Boston fall foliage.
7. Greetings and partings with cheek-to-cheek kisses. And it’s always just one kiss, and always between girls and guys and girls. Guys and guys greet each other with a simple handshake or bro hug or a cool hand shake along with “Que te pasa weon!” Anyway, the American hello’s seem cold and impersonal to me now – it is so much more natural to greet someone with a kiss on the cheek. (In reality the lips barely touch the cheek but you get the gist).
8. Completos. Chilean completos make American hot dogs cry in shame. In fact there is an entire Youtube series about a Chilean guy who decides to put an end to the shameful state of “hot dogs” in the US, it’s called Gringolandia. Not sure yet if he has any success.
9. Regular outdoors swing dancing during the winter. Chileans swing dance outdoors even in the winter! Granted, the winter is more like a chilly summer, but there is an outdoor swing dance happening in Santiago pretty much every week, in the most quaint and gorgeous locations. And, the swing dancing community is extremely friendly and quite diverse – I met several immigrants from rather far-off countries who are lindy hop regulars.
10. Winter like winter in California. It’s great. The coldest was around late June/mid-July (mid-50’s in the day and high 40’s at night), with August becoming nice and warm, like a spring. I love the inception that is winter in this country. 🙂
11. Crashing parties like it’s an old hobby. It’s very easy to crash parties in Chile because everyone is (a) already too drunk to notice (b) very friendly and (c) interested in us, tourist-looking individuals (d) some combination of the previous three. We’ve crashed multiple parties on our apartment roof, a high-end lawn party at a fancy house, a private karaoke party at a club at 3AM, random apartment parties…the list goes on.
12. My new friends. 🙂
13. Things baked in choclo (corn). Everything.
14. La gente tranquila. That is, everyone here in Chile is super chill. No one hurries to eat lunch to make it to some Very Important Meeting, no one places their work over their health, no one ditches plans with their friends in order to finish some work they have been putting off. People have priorities, and these priorities have themselves, their family and their friends in first place. Everything else, of course, is also important, but no need to stress about it. Tranquilo, my friends. 🙂
15. Our awesome students. The students we mentored in IYPT Chile, the physics tournament I organized in Santiago, were one of the best parts of the experience. They were extremely intelligent and curious, and very excited about working on experimental science. Their company made trading a summer for a winter very much worth it. 🙂
16. The terramoto! Not the natural earthquake kind (though I did experience only one, having been woken up by a 4.5-er way earlier than I should have been awake, and knowing for sure it was an earthquake), but the manmade pineapple ice cream in white wine kind. 🙂