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Published: June 27th 2019
One of the differences I find between Chilean and Canadian work culture is the amount of greeting/goodbye-ing that goes on. Canadians, I would say, and I don’t want to say we are not as friendly (although I think Chileans might say we are not), we are not exactly full of hellos and goodbyes in the office. Like, when you come into the office here, or when you leave, you might say hello or goodbye to who you see on the way to your desk. Whereas in Chile, you may go to your desk, but then you go around your group, and give everyone a handshake, or a kiss on the cheek, and then when you leave, it’s all the same process. Ciao ciao, decansas, hasta manana etc. etc. And when you first think about it, well this seems like a really nice thing…a real camaraderie that you would make the point to giving a hearty hello or goodbye to everyone. But you know what, sometimes, I just want to put my head down and plough out of the office 15 minutes early and not have to announce to everyone that I’m leaving (oh hey, I know it’s 5:45 and we’re all
a bunch of clock watchers here, but I’m heading out early). Consequently, there is a bit of a culture of clock watching here as well, so people are sometimes pretty rigid with when they come and leave….back to my main point though. As a serial introvert, going around to every Tom, Dick and Harry, or in this case, Juan, Ricardo & Humberto, and having to say hello/goodbye and give a firm handshake or kiss on the cheek is not exactly my favourite…so while I have thought about eschewing the entire process altogether, I don’t want to end up like Jerry in the Seinfeld where he refuses the kiss hello in his building, and becomes an outcast. And you know…it is nice in some ways too.
Moving on though, Stephanie and I also had the chance to get out of Santiago for a weekend and head to Buenos Aires back in May sin ninos, thanks to her parents. It was a quick trip, but man what a great city. There is a reason that they call it the most European city in South America. Big boulevards, lots of parks, impressive turn of the century and older buildings. Food
Hittin' the Pari-zha
Don Julio makes a mean steak, or maybe it's all that free espumante talking
was great too, we ate at an amazing hipster Vietnamese place (Green Bamboo, a nice late 11 pm South American start) and at Don Julio’s Parilla (pronounced pari-zha in Argentina, like “I can’t wait to hit up the pari-zha caballeros”), which is a bbq place with big hunks of Argentinian meat that was recommended to us by friends. At Don Julio’s we basically waited two and a half hours on the street corner for a table, which was not so bad, as we spent the time talking to the other people waiting while the restaurant filled us full of espumante, which is just a Spanish way of saying sparkling white wine. By the time we got to dinner, I was pretty lit up, but the steak was great. Lest this becomes a “we went there, we did that blog” and it’s hard not to do that sometimes, some of the highlights included the Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosa (government house) along with the requisite protests, Recoleta Cemetary (fancy rich people graves), San Telmo market (all the kitchy tourist crap you want to buy, but also great food, coffee and a few hipster shops), and also the el Ateneo, a
huge theatre which they had converted into a bookstore, along with 80 cent metro rides (along with $3 taxi rides). I found a much more hipster vibe in Buenos Aires, akin to Vancouver in some ways, and the locals tended to speak more English in Chile, although you could tell that Argentina has certainly fallen on hard times from chatting with our cab drivers…but it’s an amazing city, and we will have to go back. Also did not hurt that we were there without our kids, as we really got to take advantage of every minute we were there.
Meanwhile in Chile, Winter continues to descend upon us, with even a bit of snow falling on some of the higher parts of the city this week. Despite a somewhat cool start to the season, mostly because we could not get our boiler started and our house was probably 10 degrees, it has been pretty mild thus far. We are off to Valle Nevado, one of the bigger resorts here in Chile, in about two weeks to get our first experience of skiing in the Andes. I was a bit nervous of it actually being open, but saw this week
Bring on the nieve!
Looking off to Valle Nevado and the Andes
that after a big ol’ storm they are opening this Friday…thank goodness. It may be my first experience with putting chains on a car, as there is a forty-something switchback road that you have to climb…I’m sure this should work out well for our children who are prone to car-sickness. After chatting endlessly with people skiing here, I’m looking forward to go. Because of the short season, and all them Brazilian tourists I’m told, skiin’ ain’t cheap in Chile, but nonetheless it should be fun…I’ve heard the early risers in Chile on a powder day don’t hit the slopes until 10 (usually it’s 11)! So if it is a powder day, hopefully I don’t have to be getting smacked by the skis and poles of other people as we scramble to get the goods. Pray for snow!
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