Here’s a list of things I would love to tell Chileans:
- STOP SWEEPING. I just don’t understand. We wear shoes throughout the house and track dirt everywhere, but you need to make sure the sidewalk outside is all clear? I’ve always been amazed by this practice. Slightly more befuddling is when they use hoses instead of brooms… now you’re going to waste your time AND spurn conservation efforts? That’s just like you , Chile. (Santiago was put under regulations according to “environmental pre-emergency” as of Monday. Because the smog burns my nose. Among other things, it means that 60% of cars are not allowed to drive. Xileno?)
- Yellow lights—not a challenge. You have not failed yourself as a driver or individual if you do not make a yellow light. I should clarify: if you have to stop because the yellow light will turn red, you actually might be saving someone’s life.
- Photocopying entire books is illegal and not normal. Don’t act like I’m a freak for being stressed by your endless lines of students, stacks of paper, and broken staplers.
- It doesn’t make send to ask me what country my Chinese friend is from. When I say she’s a “chinita,” I mean she weighs about 90 lbs and lives in China. Your confusion makes you racist.
- Grapes vs. Avocado. Let me explain something to you: Grapes will not make you fat. Let me explain something to you: Avocados have almost twenty times the fat of any other fruit. If you eat several pounds of grapes everyday, you will gain weight. But they are not going to make you fatter than eating a bunch of palta every day.
- The front row will not kill you. In class, in church, in movies… there is nothing there that is life-threatening.
- Actually, Super 8s aren’t that great. Actually, ají is not spicy. Actually, your mantecoso and goat cheese are not strong-tasting.
- Just say goodbye. One, maybe two of the following are acceptable to signal the end of a conversation… all are not necessary: listo-que-estes-bien-gracias-besitos-chauchau-nos-vemos. Also, you don’t have to fit them all into one word… or sentence, even.
Anyhow, that’s it for now… I had a revelation recently when my cellphone randomly chose to be without service for like… the third time in a week… that “sin servicio” was a good way to describe living in a foreign country at times. The feeling of dependency that you develop for your cellphone, that connection to your loved ones, a secure line in case of danger, a versatile resource … and then to suddenly not have it there… without service. Yup.