I’m such a gringa sometimes. Cachando Chile friend Marmo (of Marmota & Marmotita fame) reminded me that today was Groundhog Day (which would be Día de Marmotas, if such a thing existed here), so of COURSE I went to the official Punxsatawney Phil web site and tuned in to the live streaming of Gobbler’s Knob’s biggest event of the year. For those who don’t know (US gringos, forgive them, despite 125 years of history, not all the world is aware of Phil’s utmost importance!)
The world's most celebrated groundhog, Punxsatawney Phil, makes his 125th appearance at Gobbler's Knob (PA) on February 2, 2011
Read on to learn more about the groundhog that made Punxsatawney famous…AND for a suggestion to add a bit of much-needed national silliness to Chile’s annual calendar…
Posted in Animals, Everyday Life, Expat living, Holidays, Identity
Tagged Chile, customs, general silliness, groundhog day, huemul, marmota, PostaWeek2011, Punxsatawney Phil
What do you need to know to get your bearings in Chile? This is the first in a series of posts on the basics of getting acquainted with everyday aspects of life in Chile… in other words “Cachando Chile 101.”
I don’t get a lot of visitors from “back home.”
I have to admit—we really aren’t kidding when we say that Chile is at the ends of the Earth! But I am very happy to report that my best friend from grad school, Kathleen Skoczen (now Chair of the Anthropology Dept at Southern Connecticut University) is here for research (and pleasure), and I’m doing my best to bring her up to speed on the do’s and don’t of getting around. It’s not the Spanish that will get her, but rather Chile’s particular quirks.
The following is something of a fast-track Intro to Chile, with some very basic yet vital information about how to get started in Chile, from the airport to your door to the street…
Posted in Bureaucracy, Everyday Life, Language
Tagged Chile, Chilean money, Chilean Spanish, chilenismos, customs, gamba, greetings, Kathleen Skoczen, Language, luca, PostaWeek2011, SAG, Santiago, visa
While my family in the northern hemisphere is either hunkering down for a quiet evening at home or trying to figure out how to combine New Years’ finery with boots and gloves and snow shovels and ice scrapers, I am happy to report that here in Santiago the sun is shining, it’s 27º (Celsius! that’s 80ºF to the rest of you) at 6:30 in the evening, and we have a nice night ahead with family and friends, complete with a bit of fireworks at midnight.
For more on typical Chilean New Year’s celebrations see Happy New Year a la Chilena, but read on to brush up on the fun list of traditions (some might cal them superstitions, but let’s not go there)… Continue reading
Click on the image to download a free copy of Celebrating Latin America at Ground Level (Nov 2010)
Steven Roll, of Travel Ojos, just released his first e-book: Celebrating Latin America at Ground Level, a collection of tales from 29 expats and travel writers on just about every imaginable aspect of life in Latin America, from food and drink, to life and love, to family and work and leisure, to getting things done and just hanging around, to speaking (or trying to) to playing and dancing, and most of all, just enjoying this wonderful region, from Mexico to Patagonia. Continue reading
Posted in Everyday Life, Expat living, Travel
Tagged culture, customs, family, food, Language, Latin America, popular culture, Steven Roll, Travel Ojos
September: the month of Chilenidad
Chilenidad. What a great word. It means “Chileanness,” and Chileans take it very seriously indeed. And September, the month of Independence Day on September 18 (also taken very seriously) AKA “El Dieciocho” and Fiestas Patrias (ditto) and especially this one, the 200th 18th, makes for some pretty good reasons to think just exactly what Chilenidad is all about.
A small Andean town deep in the Elqui Valley prepares for "18" with Chilean flag banners
Wikipedia (c’mon, admit it, we all use it!) says Chilenidad is: Continue reading
Quick: where was this picture taken?
It’s a pretty safe bet that there’s only one country on Earth that this picture could have been taken. Do you know? Continue reading
Posted in Foods, Identity, Language * Idioma, Life Style, Music, Personajes chilenos
Tagged Chile, completo, cueca, cultura popular, customs, food, Music, sándwich, sánguche
Writing the landmark 100th post is a bit of a daunting task. I had intended to post this on December 1, which I had declared Cachando Chile’s 1-year blogiversary, but with all the hoopla over the Alienating Chileans post (which hit and passed the 100 comments mark that day), followed by an enormous amount of real-life events—you know the kind—all those things that get in the way of blogging, but that end up becoming “blog fodder*’ anyway. (*Eileen gets credit for coining this extremely apropos term).
In honor of this landmark, I wanted to look back over my first year of blogging. Continue reading
Posted in Expat living, Foods, Identity, Language * Idioma, Life Style
Tagged blogiversary, Chile, Chilean Spanish, chilenismos, chilensis, completo, customs, Eileen Shea, family, food, Language, popular culture, popular expressions
Today is Cachando Chile’s 1st “blogiversary,” and I had hoped to put up my 100th post today, but I didn’t quite make it. This is number 99, but that’s fine. I was absolutely stunned by the amount and types of response that my recent post “Ways to Alienate a Chilean” received. And now, with a few days to reflect upon it all, it seems only fitting that that post, which details our many and often humorous failed attempts to fit in, be followed by its more positive counterpart…
There are different ways to experience a new culture. I divide them into 3 categories: tourist, missionary, and participant-observer. Continue reading