Little bits of happiness (No, not only manjar candies)

Charquicán: Mapuche dish that’s made my stewing and slightly mashing a ton of veggies (and I guess usually meat or horse meat) like carrots, potatoes, squash, ginger, etc.  It’s not really like a stew in consistency; it’s thicker. I know it looks like puke, but it’s delicious.  Of course, I was given the vegetarian version, which is an oxymoron in some ways: charqui is the Quechua word for meat that has been dried and salted, like horse meat.  Try saying charqui and jerky together.  Yup, that’s where it came from.

Jumbo!  So much more than a supermarket. Like Cosco, but with more variety and not in bulk. It’s super-cool to think that it was named after our mascot.  Also, every time I visit, I hear  instrumental versions of Billy Joel songs.

Plazas are everywhere.  Walk a couple blocks in any direction.

All** women under age 40 have long hair.

Metro bits:  Women apply makeup in the metro, which is fascinating as I can hardly fit in the door. Many stations have huge displays of art.  There are TV screens in stations, buses, and trains, usually playing music videos, which leads me to…

Random music that has made me smile:

  • Ordinary World (Duran Duran),  I Want It That Way (Backstreet Boys); played back-to-back in the hostel…
  • Dead and Gone (TI and JT); reached #2 on Chilean charts?
  • Honesty, Just the Way You Are… as I said above, Jumbo randomly plays instrumental Billy Joel tracks.

If you’re not happy with something here in Chile, put some mayonnaise on it.  Chileans love mayo on everything.  I recently ate artichoke with mayo.  It was delicious.

streets flooding in Viña del Mar... more to come!

Santiago is not a pretty city in the rain.  The next day it is; the smog lifts, leaving the air brilliant and the cordillera pristine.  But about ten minutes into a shower, the streets start to flood.

In America, when someone sneezes, whether it be a family member at home, in a classroom, or really almost any scenario, you reply with “Bless you,” “God bless you,” or “Gesundheit” (for the more adventurous**).  In other Spanish-speaking countries, they say ¡Salud! or ¡Jesús! … In Chile it’s not acknowledged.  <(*o*)>  Just don’t sneeze in Chile.

And now, the language part of today’s lesson:

  • Your momma jokes become “your sister.” Por ejemplo: Tomás¿Qué estás haciendo? (What are you doing?)  Charles: ¡Tu hermana!  Good one, Chaz.**  That’s Americanized usage, of course.  More common might be Me: El tipo terrible peludo. (That dude’s really hairy.) Tomás: Y tu hermana!
  • Po—As in “Sí, po”… an abbreviation of the word “pues.”  It adds emphasis, po.  Sometimes after every two words, po…¿cachaí?
  • Cachaí—basically, “capice?” Except it can be conjugated… although it is more frequently used in the same way ‘po’ is…obnoxiously.  It’s supposedly derived from “you catch?”
  • Colorina—Pelirroja! Charles’ host father (Carlos) laughed and said, “Colorina!” when he saw me at church today.
  • Ojo—One of my profes says this all the time during lecture. It means “eye,” but as an exclamation it usually means “look out!” or “careful!”  He uses it every couple sentences just to remind you that he’s probably saying something very important.
  • Tipo— if you don’t want to say man or woman, you say tipo.  Like, I met this guy in the street…  Also, if you want to say something like “The party will be at my house around 7 PM,” you can say “tipo 7 PM”. (With the period on the outside of the quotations… because this is Spanish!)



One thought on “Little bits of happiness (No, not only manjar candies)

  1. Yeah, my host father was always eager to give me lessons in English, and so he was sure to emphasize that cachaí? sounds just like catch… the Italian question there was more just my unfamiliarity with voseo, and specifically the conjugations in Chile. Aaaaaand later I went to La Católica for a semester, where I looked just like every cuica there :) , so I do know that there aren’t a shortage of fair-haired ladies in some sectors. When I was in La Chile, however, I seemed to stick out much more.

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