Stuff that just bugs me…

Toothpaste and toothbrush

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Maybe I’m just grumblier than usual these days, but for some reason, I’m noticing that certain pet peeves are bugging me more than usual lately. So I thought I’d let you know. Here’s a list of gripes, pet peeves, and stuff that just plain bugs me. Bet some of these things tick you off too! Would love to know what you think… Does this stuff bug you too? Are people offending more often? Am I just noticing more often? Have I just got nothing better to do than worry about other people’s habits? All of the above?
Don’t know, but here goes. I bet some of this stuff bugs you too.
BTW- if you’re squeamish, you might want to skip the first two.

Tooth brushing in public

And I mean anyplace outside the bathroom. As in any place that I have to see it. Makes me shudder to think about it…and gag to see it. Please, please, please… If we ever happen to be together at tooth brushing time, please don’t do it in front of me. And if you forget and should happen to talk to me with a brush in your foaming mouth, expect me not to look you in the eye again for quite a while.
And let’s not even go anywhere near public flossing…

Public grooming

This is an extension of the tooth brushing thing, but while I’m dancing around the grooming pole, let me just say that there are things that should be done in private—preferably in the bathroom—that I really don’t want to witness: toenail clipping (please clean up after!), tweezing, zit popping (note to couple in the park: eeuuw! Can’t you just kiss or grope? Do you have to pop too?)… Seriously, why do I have to see this? Why do I even have to say this?

Leaving grocery carts in the middle of the aisle

Ok, this is something I associate with Chile. Probably happens elsewhere, but it makes it onto my buggin’-me radar every time I walk into my local Jumbo. It goes like this: you’re in a busy supermarket, everyone’s maneuvering enormous carts and your make-it-painless strategy involves trying to get in and out of there before sensory overload and energy meltdown kicks in. And then you turn the corner and there it is: a dozen semi-abandoned carts strewn all over the aisle left wherever their cart-pusher happened to be when they suddenly remembered something and walked away from their cart—RIGHT THERE—and went off to do whatever they had to do. Sigh. Am I the only one irked by this? Why is it that cart owners seem to get bugged at ME when I move their carts out of my way? Is the proper protocol just to stand there and wait for them to hem and haw over which color yogurt they want?

Hanging in the left lane

OK, I’ve already written about this one (The Left Lane is Mine). The left lane of a highway is for passing. So I don’t really care if you’re doing the speed limit. You still don’t have the right to hangout there, because I’m trying to pass you and I’ve got someone else on my tail trying to pass me. Move over bud!


Arrggh! Pain, shiver, chills…right up there with blackboard scratching. I once went to lunch with a coworker who ordered a salad and scraped every bite off her fork with her teeth. It was the most painful lunch of my life! Please people, save your teeth for chewing; LIPS are for fork scraping!

Talking in the movies

I used to think this was a Chile problem, but have since realized that it happens elsewhere too. My theory is that since people are now so used to watching videos at home, where they can stop, backup, and watch again, that they have lost the sense of getting lost in a film and letting the rest of the world melt away. And when the person next to me answers their cell phone, my world-melting movie experience disappears.

I have the same problem during classes, presentations, seminars—anywhere where people are expected to face forward and pay attention (in silence). I’ve found that generally, the talking and distractions increase in direct proportion to the distance from the screen or speaker.

Seat invading and armrest hogging

You know the scene: you’re on some form of public transportation, and the person next to you overflows their seat into your own already too-small space. If your seatmate is a guy, he will often also sit with his legs outspread, so not only do you have to squish up against the window (or balance to avoid falling into the aisle), but you don’t have room for your legs either. And if he’s particularly obnoxious, he’ll hog the armrest too.

OK, I’ll stop here, although I’m sure I could keep coming up with more annoying habits of others—mostly because when I mentioned to Eileen (Bearshapedsphere) that I wanted to write about the topic, she warned me not to get whiny about it. I hope I managed (whiners are also pretty high up on the annoyance list).

But here’s what I’m going to do… throw it out to the rest of you…


Got something bugging you? Write a post about it on your blog and think to this one and I’ll link back to you!

No blog? Don’t worry—feel free to vent in the comments!

Piglet in Portugal is first up with: Pet Peeves, Grumbles and Stuff That Bugs Me!


60 responses to “Stuff that just bugs me…

  1. Splitting the bill! You go out for a meal and your fellow diners order the most expensive food and wine on the menu. You’ve laready told them numerous times you are on a tight budget, but no – they must have the best. We have ordered the best value option but then up spliitting the bill 50/50 and subserdising their night out!
    This is my pet peeve!

    I better not post the above on my blog LOL

  2. Am I the first subscriber to be notified when you post a new post? I guess so because every time I look, there are zero comments. But never mind all of that stuff. You are asking for feedback, so here it is, completely naked and without mincing my words. In other words, to heck with political correctness for once!
    Yes, people EVERYWHERE are offending more often. I won’t go into making a long list, but you can see this happening all over the U.S. and Canada. Don’t know about Europe cause I haven’t been there lately.
    As the country [Chile] comes out of third world status economically, people definitely become more assertive. Unfortunately though, the level of ‘social education and manners’ does not go up proportionately. Example; Italy, a well developed country, had to pass laws to prevent men from pinching women’s posteriors.
    Chileans (in general of course) are not socially educated, or perhaps ‘cultured’ may be a better way of describing it. My Dad used to go crazy when some people would give him one of those long ‘mindless stares’. He’d get so irritated that many times he’d say to them ‘what are you looking at weon’? And he was NOT a gringo.
    I know you love Chile, therefore, I won’t go on about all the myriad of little things (and some pretty big things) that would irritate me when I lived there. I love as much as you do, but with a big BUT. And many of those ‘buts’ are the things you’ve mentioned here.
    Will any of those irritants ever go away? I wouldn’t hold my breath! Just at look at the ‘Italian’ example for a minute. “Leopards do not lose their spots”.

  3. @Pip-yes, that IS a good one. I could go on and on, but won’t… just leave it at it’s very important to be aware if the bill is relatively even before proposing a 50-50 split!
    @John-my guess is that YOU’RE going to get some feedback on that comment! hahaha… and yes, I think people in general are paying less attention to manners… I’m no Emily Post, and like to think I’m pretty relaxed in general, but basic manners exist to make it easier to live together. It seems a bit odd that today, as population density increases, that people seem less concerned about peaceful coexistence (or is that my imagination?)

  4. Send them all my way! I feel feistier than usual, 🙂 I will go the grave trying to understand why some people are so terrified and OFFENDED to hear the truth! Germans are a highly disciplined race. Japanese society is respectful of other. Chileans (many of them) are SLOBS!
    Don’t like the truth? What can I do about it?

    From one feisty, but polite person, to another, not so polite!

  5. Boy, I really screwed that last sentence up well! What I meant to say was … “from one feisty (JC) and not so polite person, to another feisty (MS) but polite person”.

  6. Uh-oh John- better get your computer’s bullet-proof screen ready! I would hardly agree with a sweeping statement about Chileans being slobs…some are, many aren’t… we have all kinds of people, just like everywhere else!

  7. The masses (in Chile) are SLOBS. Why? Their poor level of education. The ‘upper’ classes behave better (sometimes) because they have received a much different and superior level of education.

    I have not given up on ‘political correctness’ yet, but I just may. I know this is off-topic, but that is my gripe. As far I am concerned, hiding behind ‘political correctness is completely dishonest. A lazy worker can not be let go because of his ‘laziness’. Why not? Because he may sue the employer. Therefore, the employer has do an ancestral dance to describe why that “LAZY” employee is being let go, and give a host of ‘political correct’ reasons. BS!

  8. Well I can tell you that grocery cart thing is not unique to Chile – this also happens in Peru! People put their carts smack in the middle of the isle as they deliberate and pay no mind to people who want to get by. As if no one had any peripheral vision, you have to lean in and say “permiso” for them to notice that you’re waiting. Oh the cultural run-ins of living abroad!

  9. Hi Kelly–I wonder what’s behind the whole grocery cart thing anyway!

  10. No bullets yet, but I’m ducking, 🙂

  11. I used to date a “flosser.” Eeee-uuuw!! He thought it was cute to gross me (and everyone else) out.

    As for grocery carts in the middle of the aisle and talking in the movies—definitely NOT unique to Chile. For about 20 years now, I’ve been sitting in the back row of the movie theatre because I discovered that most of the sound travels forward. Therefore, if someone in front of me is having a conversation, it’s not quite as annoying as if they were sitting behind me.

    In New York, I used to grocery shop on Tuesdays until I caught onto the fact that it was “senior citizen day.” Not only did I have to dodge shopping carts, but walkers, canes, and wheelchairs as well……all moving at a snails’ pace.

    I finally switched marketing days.

    Will repost my original “Senior Citizen Day” blog story on La Gringa.

  12. @John-OK, I’ll warn you if I see any Wanted signs out for you!
    @Thorny-dating a flosser? eeuuw! Why anyone would think it was cute to share human detritus is completely beyond my comprehension. So much for putting your best foot forward!
    Can’t wait to read the Senior Citizen Day post! Little old ladies can be pretty obnoxious wherever they are–I guess it’s kind of an “earned-the-right” thing… and you can bet I’m going to take full advantage when my time comes!!
    Re movies-we always sit way up front because we’ve found that the farther back you go, the more people talk (and the more distracted I get).

  13. @Margaret. I like you and respect you, therefore, I am done …for now, 🙂

  14. Definitely all kind of annoying noises during a movie makes me want to jump and smash them with a hammer. Cell phones? Why didn´t you turn it off! Over the top pop corn munching? Why do you have to eat that with your mouth open!!! gross, and people talking during movies, making comments on every escene… A fast elbow to your face should do the trick.
    My particular addition to the list would be the people that likes to take off their shoes during long night bus travels… They think no one can smells them? And flying shoes and bottles in the bus aisle due to their special comfort during the night is not something I like to suffer again, but it happens over and over when I travel to Santiago. Grrrrrr.

  15. @John Carr & Margaret My post on this WOULD get too whiny so I might skip it but I also do not agree that Chileans are slobs in general. In fact, so many Chileans I know here are the cleanest people I’ve met in terms of personal hygiene (the teeth brushing in public 5 times a day that grinds your gears – and mine -and showers twice a day), housekeeping (BLEACH! And washing comforters once a week) and general tidiness. All in all, I don’t think I pass the “suegra” or co-worker cleanliness test when it comes to not being a slob because I spill my coffee, have my cats fur on my jacket and only brush my teeth twice a day.

    An English-specific pet-peave of mine is when I’m talking to someone on the phone and they say, “well, I guess I’ll let you go now,” to say goodbye. I know the why behind it but it still gets to me because I think people are trying to be polite by not saying, “I have to go now” (I don’t want to talk anymore) but it just doesn’t work in my book.

    The one Chile-specific (not saying it doesn’t happen anywhere else) thing I’ll mention that bugs me is that apologies are never accepted. As someone who always uses public transport, I’ve bumped into many a people and stepped on a number of toes by accident. It’s a no-brainer to me to apologize to the person for causing them pain when that wasn’t my intention. Over the past four years I’ve apologized to strangers a countless number of time (I even ended up chasing a woman down the street trying to buy her a new pair of shoes because I accidentally stepped on the back of them and broke a strap), but I’ve not once gotten a, “that’s ok” or “don’t worry about it”. Or even a “that’s not OK, you jerk!” Instead, I’ve gotten many a lecture and very passive-aggressive comments about how everyone’s an animal or “Oh, I’m used to pushy people hurting me.” and so on and so on. And on a similar note, I can’t think of a time anyone’s apologized for doing something they shouldn’t (intentional or unintentional) to me in public here.

  16. Okay….I am jumping on this crazy ride with my eyes wide open to the fact that I might get in trouble for my comment …but here goes.
    CHURCH…..You go to church here in Chile with the best of holy intentions, trying to be the best person you can be, all set for your Sunday “come to Jesus” meeting heart in hand….and you want to sit down for the next hour, makes perfect sense to me.
    Why oh why do people all sit at the end of the pews and not schootch in to let another church goer sit down comfortably.
    It is one thing in pubic transportation when your mind is probably on a million different things, but when you are in a house of worship, trying as I can only imagine to connect with your God on a spiritual level to become a better person, why can’t you start with moving your ass over and let another soul have a seat as well?
    I’m just saying……….

  17. I agree with you! I do not enjoy going to the supermarket in Chile because of how rude people are. I got used to how people greet you at the checkout in the US, and shoppers do not act like they own the place, bumping into each other with their carts, and averting their eyes like you do not exist, etc.

    On a different note, I have lived in the US a long, long time and still cannot get used to people using their fingers or toothpicks in public to remove food stuck between their teeth. Some of them may be dressed to the nines and/or very well educated academically speaking, yet they still insert their fingers deep into their mouths obliviously… to the point of even using a compact mirror while seated at the table to get a better view (that one happened just a couple of days ago).

  18. @Isabel. You’ll notice that I did say “Chileans (in general of course) are not socially educated, or perhaps ‘cultured’ may be a better way of describing it”. We can never get consensus on anything by citing the exceptions to an otherwise general statement. Surely, as you say, there are lots of Chilenos who are super-duper-squeaky clean. But both Margaret and I were talking about the generalized behaviour of the masses. To most south americans, Americans appear to be distant and cold. Does mean that that there are no people in America who are warm and caring?

  19. Wow! Looks like I opened up a can of worms! Thanks for the company–just what I needed–others to gripe along!
    @Marmo–oops! I’m a shoe-taker-offer… but I do make sure my feet and socks are clean first! (but yes, stinky feet –ick)… hm, while we’re on the smell thing… how about heavy-handed perfumery?
    @Iz-haha- OK, I’l try very hard not to “let you go” the next time we talk! Interesting about the (no) apology thing–I have had people apologize for tromping on my feet in the Metro (I have a toe that will never be the same, thanks to a big bruiser of a guy who lost his balance and came down hard on my foot–he did apologize profusely though!)
    @Judy- pew-scooching! I can understand wanting to sit on the aisle, but don’t they at least shift around to let you in?
    @A A: I was at the grocery store the other night and the same woman bumped me FIVE times in diff parts of the store! Never hard enough to hurt, just annoy, but despite my glares, she never once seemed to notice. Really annoying…
    and yeah- I’m with you on the teeth bit… and if someone needs a mirror, they certainly need a bit of privacy to go with it!

  20. Brian Patrick Corcoran

    In a world awash with economic problems engendered by globalist banksters, entrenched political corruption, endemic social injustice, wars, starvation and cultural decay, this petty things are all you can find to be abhorrent? What about the Hydroasyen Dam Project which was shoved down the Chilean peoples throat against their popular will and which threatens to not only destroy a substantial portion of their pristine wilderness but also their faith in the democratic process. What about the plight of the Mapuche Indians in the Lake Region who have been effectively marginalized and forgotten by the Chilean government. What about the great disparities in educational opportunities in Chile that condemns the underprivileged to lives of chronic poverty. If toothbrushing in public and obtrusive shopping carts is all you can find to complain about you need to cultivate a more enlightened sense of social awareness.

  21. @Margaret. This ‘ain’t the first (neither I suspect the last) time’ you have opened a can of worms. Kudos to you for doing so! It makes us all take a closer look at ourselves. Therefore, I consider your post a kind of public service. 🙂

  22. Of all the gripes I have about Chile (there are many because I live here, when I lived in the US I moaned about that and when I lived in France I moaned about that, so PLEASE Chileanos don’t get the umbridge) Is that people are not able to say the words “no thanks” or email the words “no thanks”
    I send quotes all the time to people wanting my photographic services. They are unable to say “no thanks you are not what we want” or “No thanks we got someone cheaper” or even “crikes, your photos are the worst photos we ever saw. Are you blind and without the use of your arms”
    Instead they will send an email saying “WOW you are the most amazing photographer we ever saw, we will call you in a week” The calls NEVER come. It took about two years for me to realise they always say this and never call.
    Probably why only 15% of my income comes from Chile.

    BTW folks. The way around the rudeness and trolley madness of Chilean supermarkets is to go at 9am on a weekday. No one in Chile ever goes to a supermarket at 9am on a weekday.

  23. @Matt. In a sort of weird and funny way, we are all in the same boat. Adjusting to the ‘gringos’ way was not easy for me either. I am sure I speak for lots of Chilenos who have moved abroad.

    At first, I could not get over the fact that when someone would ask me ‘How are you doing? no one really meant to say … tell me briefly about your life. Another REALLY tough bit of behaviuor I found was when someone would tell me …”that’s not my problem”. In other words what I heard them say was, I don’t care and I’m not about to shoe a bit of sympathy.

    This whole way of doing business you describe, is foreign to most Chilenos. It was also foreign to me until I lived in the U.S. and Canada for several years. I suppose it may change, but if this is not the way people have normally behaved, why would they change all of a sudden?
    My only comment is “when in Rome …”

  24. My big thing is when you are in a waiting room, or you are confined in a space for a period of time. And someone is on the phone – talking loudly and boisterously. As if everyone wants to hear what you have to say! I don’t want to know your business! I agree with all you peeves – they’re right up there with mine!

  25. Correction: Meant to say ‘show you a bit of sympathy’ of ‘shoe a bit’

  26. @ Matt I’m with you on the communication issues. My Spanish teacher tells me that “it costs a Chilean a lot to say ‘no’.” So they, essentially, almost never do it. They have a million ways to say ‘yes’ that don’t really mean ‘yes.’ They apparently understand each other, but to a gringo, it’s confusing.

    And as for grocery shopping, at my local Lider it’s safe to go in there up until noon-ish. After that, the lunch crowd comes out and it turns into a zoo until about 4pm. Then you have another window of an hour or two.

  27. When it comes to this type of thing, Chileans would rather be polite than honest.

  28. Hi John,
    It became so Pc in the UK we shipped out.

  29. Actually I did once get a job here in Chile for being English. I went to the magazine with my portfolio. The AD said to me “Are you English”? I replied yes. He said “You got the job” I asked him if he still wanted to see my portfolio, and he said “No we don’t need to, we know it will be good”! That was kind of odd

  30. @Brian- please understand the difference between things that bug me and things that infuriate me… you talking about infuriating stuff, I’m just blowing off off a little steam. It’s good to open the valve once in a while…

    And everyone–the idea here really isn’t to just dump on Chile! I was complaining about stuff in general–wherever it may happen!.

    @Matt–was that a certain winery job that had you dangling over hillsides? Also, I think 9AM in Santiago still has the grocery stores full. I find the best time is to do any kind of shopping is during a major fútbol game (too bad they don’t have them more often!)

  31. Nope, that job was with a certain magazine, that now is selling my images to a third party! hahaha another Chilean gripe, © is just a symbol meaning nothing

    I guess living in Santa Cruz has the bonus of the 9am supermarket sweep

  32. It was a magazine? I was thinking about a UK ad company you worked for several years ago…
    And yes, there are definite advantages to living in a small city!

  33. oooh, the hanging out in the left lane thing! also related to driving,thinking you can stop ANYWHERE you want just by putting on your emergency lights–those pretty flashing lights are for EMERGENCIES, kids. I think the most annoying thing to me, like the stopping anywhere you please example, is just the myriad of ways they show that they have no consideration for or even awareness of others.

  34. Pingback: Pet Peeves, Grumbles and Stuff That Bugs Me! | Piglet in Portugal

  35. Hi Annje! Hey, it’s been ages! I just stopped over to your place (your blog place, that is!) and see you’ve been too busy doing real work to update it (sigh!) Hope the semester is going well!
    I think the awareness idea is the key. I don’t think it’s conscious rudeness, just a case of looking inward and “taking care of me and mine” along with a “you mind your business and I’ll mind mine.”

  36. Walking (slowly) five abreast on the sidewalk and stopping short, obstructing pedestrian traffic behind you.

    Honking to let bicyclists know they are present (I am outside, I hear you).

    People listening to their music w/o earphones on their tinny cellphone speakers on the bus.

    Failure to wait for everyone’s food to come before taking a bite of your own, especially if the other food is on its way to the table and it would require you to wait 20 seconds.

    Iterations of PIP’s comments about bill sharing as well.

    That’s all I can think of at the moment, but I’m sure there’s more. This has gotten a ton of comments, guess it’s great fodder for conversation!

  37. Annoying things from this week:
    1. Someone at the movies who ANSWERED their cellphone saying.. “I’m at the movies, yeah the one about.. bla bla bla, laugh more bla bla”
    2. Someone at the supermarket checkout that had no products but just put money on her phone and then said, oh wait, I need a bottle of coke too… and then disappeared to the far back of the store where the drinks are… and took her time about it. (Yes, I did say something to her and her response was, it’s not my fault there aren’t any at checkout!)

    Those zit-popping couples at the park, I find that more gross than annoying.

  38. @Eileen-good list–but you forgot the one from yesterday about everyone standing in the restroom line and people keep pushing in even though there is obviously no room, so just go ahead and push harder on the door so maybe the person on the other side will disappear or something…
    @Kiwi- I think we were on the other side of that person at the movies… and on the other side of us was the first date couple who were more interested in getting to know each other than watch the movie (so why spend the $$ on the movie anyway if you’re not even going to watch it!)

  39. Mine is the lack of courtesy. Very little please, thank you, excuse me where it would be appropriate. Unfortunately, I’m not just referring to teenagers. It happens often in the grocery store. I’ve also met some lovely people there!

  40. Hi Barb. That seems to be a universal these days! Reminded me of a post I wrote a while back about business etiquette:

  41. Hahah, overuse of perfume is a nice one, very often asociated with annoying old ladies, specially in Santiago, where their breed is the worst.
    People listening music on their cell phones (usually reggeton, wákala) in the micro or metro is another great addition, thanks to Eileen.
    This can go on forever, but I would like to add people eating stuff in the supermarket before paying for it. I´ve seen many kids eating yogurth and chocolates on the aisles, and then leaving their stuff half finished just anywhere, and their mothers just look anywhere else.

  42. Hi Marmo-Yep! it looks like we’re a pretty peevish bunch around here! Perfume is not just about women though! Guys can really go overboard with their aftershaves and colognes too. I used to work with a guy many years ago who used so much that it was hard to use the phone after him because it was permeated with his cologne for what seemed like hours!
    Good one on the grocery store–although I’d say that’s actually an illegal activity. Can you imagine how embarrassed those mothers will be the day they get stopped for shoplifting!

  43. I´ve been tempted to say something to them, but my Chilean programing takes over and I switch to intensive use of the evil eye for some seconds, before I continue shopping hahaha

  44. Ah! it’s that mind-your-own-business gene! It causes the evil eye to activate and the mouth to firmly close!

  45. Finally!… a topic that I have just been waiting for. I’m going straight to it. There is a new, sophisticated way giving customers their change after they’ve made a purchase. The clerk has one hand out with the change and the other hand hidden below that. When you reach out to have the change spilled into your hand the clerk’s other hand comes out and cradles your outreached hand to support your poor weak hand!!!! YUCK! YUCK! Don’t touch me! I’m a man! Leave me alone. That’s all I have to say. Except. Good by.

  46. Hi John- uh-oh–the touchy-feely sales gesture! Like how supposedly people will be more inclined to buy something if the salesperson touches them. I suppose this change-giving thing is to make you want to come back. And yes, very strange!

  47. SO, first I have to admit that I’m a shoe-taker-offer & occasional (discrete) tooth-picker.
    Now, on to my peeves… Several of those listed above bug me too (driving in the left lane, ridding a bumper in the right lane when there’s room to move over; the over-powerful cologne/perfume; talking at the movies; no “please” & “thank you”, etc). My biggest bothers are a little more on the personal side ~ using books or magazines as coasters (I paid good money for some of them!) and putting dirty dishes in both side of a double-sided sink (in my mind, one side is for dirty dishes & the other is for things like washing hands, washing food, rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, and so on).
    Something I found interesting, is that I tend to give the evil-eye to people where my counter-parts (who did not grow up in Chile) might have said something to the person.

  48. Oops!! guilty as charged–I promise I will be extra careful NOT to put my coffee cup on your magazines ever again! It’s that I don’t like to put coffee cups on a wooden surface–but I’ll look for a coaster next time!
    And that sink thing–oh you are SOO your mother’s daughter!
    Interesting that you may have picked up your evil-eye tendencies while living in Chile… are you and I the only evil-eye givers in the family?

  49. The sound of chewing gum cracking and the sight of green bubbles emerging from a brain-dead face repulse me. I don’t mind tooth-brushing, but can’t stand the sight of a gum-chewing mouth.

  50. First of all, I must say I love Chile and the people here are very friendly, especially to gringos. However, I hate going to the bank, drug store, extranjeria, etc. ( the list could go on but I think you get the drift) do to the simple fact that some people here think it is OK to cut in line. Why? The lines are endless…and it never fails to amaze me that person who cuts in line with no shame. I know Chile is not the only country where this occurs & yes there are much bigger things to worry about in life…but why is it socially acceptable?

  51. Yeah- line-cutting is pretty big here! And little old ladies are the biggest offenders. Once at Falabella at Christmas time we were all standing in a long hot line and this older woman cut straight to the front and when the people started complaining, she just smiled and said, yes, yes, I know… like it was nothing! What gets me is why the CLERKS tolerate it. I guess no one wants to argue with an old lady (and so that’s SOMETHING to look forward to anyway!)… but bottom line is that now you know why we have those little number machines everywhere!

  52. @Esti- funny about the gum. have you ever noticed the sidewalks outside schools? they’re covered with little round dots–old gum! (ick!) Although in Berlin there was a place that had a metal sculpture absolutely covered with all different colors of wads of gum! Looked like it was part of the artwork (gum graffiti?)

  53. haha yes, although I’ve even seen those machines been put to shame by not using them or ‘line cutters’ still managing to not wait in line.
    But, now I remember. Once and I can’t remember where, the clerk said, no sir, you must wait in line and refused to attend him despite his complaints. That made my day!! viva Chile

  54. I bet! I can just imagine the applause of all the line-waiters as the line-cutter slinked (slunk?) to the back of the line (or right out the door)!!

  55. Come oooooon You all !!!!

    It seems to me, too simple of communication. Sharing comments about a culture and or the indiocincracia of the Chilenos. We ” Los CHilenos ” are interesting people and quite aggravating in many aspects. Just one comment about that ” it depends what is your circle of friends and surroundings in Chile” base on that, opinions can vary dramatically.
    Soy Chileno, y me cargan los Chilenos por many different reasons ” mainly for their clasismo, racism and copy-cat al peo de todo lo extranjero.
    De la tv. ni hablar. Es una verguenza galactica.

    However, have had the chance to grow up in “wonderful ” Stgo. until I was 22. Then I was blessed, I guess “by the invisible man in the sky ” not religious ( you probably picked up that right up) to move to the U. S. of A.
    Until 2008.

    Now, after tres years living in the middle kingdom. I have to say, we as human species are not much different aqui y en la quebra del aji. Stupid and interesting people exist everywhere.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that pin point personal experiences in different countries are just that, life experiences and can’t really describe accurately a group of people.

    I just wish George Carlin were still alive to see how everything is crumbling little bit poquito.

    God bless ( just a cliché ) Dr. Noam Chomsky.

    I’m I confusing the heck out of you ??? : ))

    Buena suerte Peg

    Vivan las sopaipillas de la estacion con aji rojo ( ladrillo molio ) en invierno.

    Viva la jente que tiene sentido comun, el resto hay que tirarlos al mapocho no ma. : )) ( chucha van a quedar como cuatro pelagatos en Stgo then )

    Sorry for my French :))



  56. Margaret….
    Tuve noticia de tu blog a través de un artículo de prensa, en él mencionaste que a veces recibías comentarios de chilenos enojados por la manera en que describes nuestro país y a nuestra gente, pero que se debía a que no hablaban bien inglés o utilizaban traductores que hacían traducciones imprecisas o incorrectas.
    Yo si hablo inglés, y además tengo dos profesiones, lo que me hace formar parte de aquellos que tus comentaristas califican como escasos chilenos con acceso a una buena formación académica, y debo decirte que soy incapaz de ver buena fe detrás de tus palabras. No solo son ofensivos tus comentarios, sino que también los de aquellos que comentaron.
    Es evidente que existen muchos aspectos de nuestro conmportamiento como sociedad que deben mejorar, pero me parece maleducado y poco amable de tu parte el tono y la manera en que lo haces.
    En estados unidos he visto y sabido de muchas situaciones calificables como eeuuuu!!!!… como la manera en que comen, la obesidad mórbida de la mayoría de sus habitantes, el desconocimiento casi generalizado de la geografía más allá de los limites de su Estado, usuales tiroteos como los de virginia tech y columbine, la facilidad para involucrarse y generar guerras, su falta de higiene y aseo personal, pero eso no quiere decir que yo tenga que crear un blog, viviendo en tu país y maltratar a su gente.
    Además de lo ofensiva que resulta la materia y el tratamiento que le das, resulta un insulto el hecho de que acuses a chilenos enojados de malinterpretarte, a causa de su escaso conocimiento de inglés.
    Si te molesta tanto nuestra conducta, te invito a volver al lugar del que provienes.
    Espero jamás encontrarme contigo en MI país o en MI ciudad.

    Chilena Ofendida

  57. Estimada Chilena Ofendida.
    Lamento que te sientes tan ofendida que quieras echarme de tu país. De eso podríamos hablar mucho, pero lo dejo para otro momento.
    Por ahora, unas respuestas puntuales a tus comentarios. Obviamente el resultado de cualquier entrevista periodística es una síntesis muy reducida de lo que entendió un periodista en el transcurso de una conversación. En esto caso, fueron dos, si no tres conversaciones y sin duda bastante más de una hora total de conversación, la cual fue reducida a cuatro párrafos en el diario. Obviamente, hubo mucho contexto que quedó afuera. Como, por ejemplo, que jamás dije, en ninguna parte, ni verbalmente ni por escrito, que nadie en Chile entiende inglés ni que no tienen acceso a buena educación. Dije que no entendía el tono de algunos comentarios que parecían referirse a puntos absolutamente contrarios a cosas que yo había dicho, hasta que pasé el texto por el traductor y vi que salió al revés, dejando afuera palabras importantes como “no” en expresiones como “no creo equis”, para que resultara “creo equis”.
    Con respecto a este post, la mayoría de las cosas que yo (y los demás) decíamos eran generalizados y no dirigidas a chilenos. Hubo comentarios de Portugal, Estados Unidos, Inglaterra, Japón, Perú y otras partes del mundo. Lo que sí podría interesarte es que los que hicieron la crítica más dura a los chilenos eran, de hecho, chilenos.
    La intención de este blog no es criticar —y aún menos generalizar para decir “todos los chilenos” son así o asá—. Sin embargo, no creo que es obligatorio, solo por vivir fuera de mi país natalicio, tener que morderme la lengua el resto de la vida. Tengo, como cualquier ser humano, cosas, actitudes y comportamientos de otros seres humanos que me molestan, incomodan o que me confunden —vivan donde vivan, sean chilenos, gringos o marcianos—.

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