Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Morning Thoughts

Oh Friday.  I am so happy you are here!  On Wednesday, I thought it was Thursday and was so excited for the weekend to be a day away....but then I remembered it was only Wednesday.  I hate it when that happens!  

This week has been really good.  I guess it started off well with last weekend and just continued on.  It isn't that I had a bunch of events to go to or something like that, I just did what I have been wanting to do: cook healthy food, read and go to sleep early.  It was glorious.  So simple, yet so powerful.  I have yet to dive into the explanation of the change in my eating habits, but I am happy with this weeks progress and feeling much better.  

What has really been on my mind this week are thoughts of when we move back to the US.  While I love Chile and enjoy my life here, I am super excited to move back to the States sometime in the future.  I'd say near future, but it's not so near.  But it is exciting to think about moving back, seeing my family and friends I haven't seen in ages, eating at my favorite restaurants, having access to healthy food markets like Whole Foods or Trader Joes, going shopping for clothes that I actually like and are of good quality, finding quality dance classes and a million other things.  We aren't exactly sure where we will be moving back to though, or exactly when for all that matters.  I love Colorado and wouldn't mind a bit living in Denver and its suburbs.  We'd be in a great city and still close to my parents and most of my friends.  But at the same time, I have day dreams about moving to the East Coast.  Cities that cross my mind: Washington D.C., Boston, Raleigh and of course New York City.  It has always been a dream of mine to move to the Big Apple.  Before studying abroad in Chile, that was my post-graduation plan.  Obviously falling in love and getting married changed my plans a bit (for the better of course!), and part of me started thinking that I would never move to NYC.  I convinced myself that it would be best to just visit (frequently) so that I wouldn't have to worry about living on a strict budget and could instead go to as many Broadway shows, expensive restaurants or swanky bars and shop as much as I want/as much as my travel budget permits.  But after living in Santiago, a 6 million person city, while not anything like NYC, is a big city and we have adapted well....and I totally think it would be possible for us to move to NYC or one of the other big cities previously mentioned.  Even if it was only for a few years, even if we decided we hated it....I think it would be a good experience.  

And that my friends are my early Friday morning thoughts....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No More Respect for Arizona

My husband came across this cartoon on facebook last night and I think it sums up my thoughts perfectly regarding the Immigration Bill that Arizona passed. A couple other bloggers have posted their thoughts, which I also agree with. Check out Rene's post here and Sara's post here. I just wish people would wake up and realize that passing bills that legalize being racist and putting up walls like the one Bush wanted to put between Mexico and the US are not solutions to the broken Immigration System. Obama is right to push this as a priority even if the Senate or other parts of the government don't think they are ready. Ready or not, this is a problem that needs to be fixed ASAP and it must be done on a nationwide basis.

I am so disappointed in Arizona and the people who support this bill, even embarrassed like Sara mentioned she is, and regardless of whether or not they repeal this law, I have lost all respect for Arizona & the bill supporters.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!!!

Today is Earth Day and you'd have to be living under a rock not to know it.  I mean, just clicking on google's homepage gives you a clue.  Here is a list of 40 ways to celebrate Earth Day today and everyday, because really we should be incorporating things like this into our every day life!  Here are a few things I incorporate into my everyday life that are on the list:
  • Walk to work 
  • Shut off the lights in a room when I am not in there.
  • Shut off the water when brushing my teeth.
  • Line dry my clothes.
  • Shut off the water when washing dishes and use it only to rinse.
  • Open the fridge/freezer only when I know what I need.

Some things I am hoping to incorporate into my life (I plan on going in more detail, but prefer to not expend energy today on the computer and instead, on reading or doing something else) which help the Earth and are healthier:
  • Eating more organic and in-season food.
  • Cut way back on eating processed foods.
  • Stop drinking pop and alcohols (except for wine).
  • Get my husband to shut off the water when he does the dishes, turn off lights when he isn't in a room, and not open the fridge until he knows what he needs.
  • Reduce my shower time.
  • Try to use our heater products less this winter (this will be HARD)
  • Be better about recycling vs. what we throw away and investigate a possible compost bin.
  • Use my tumbler more often when going to Starbucks (oh and cut that habit back to like 1/week).

Most of these changes are not hard to do, it just takes commitment and a little bit of extra time and effort.  For example, cutting back on processed foods means we need to cook and plan our meals more than we do now.  But I am ready to make the change.  

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day every day?

Friday, April 16, 2010

The President's Tax Return

The White House blog published Obama's tax return as well as Biden's.  Kind of interesting to see how much they made and how long their tax returns are.  Or maybe that is just me being a big dork.  Anyway, if you want to check them out, go here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Free Starbucks Today (if you bring your own mug)

I am sure most US people have heard that if you bring your own mug to Starbucks today, you'll get a free coffee.  I wondered if it would be true for those of us in Chile today too so I packed my SB tumbler in my purse and headed off for work this morning.  I also wondered if it'd be good just for brewed coffee or for any drink in the house.  I passed by the SB that is 3 blocks from my house (I know, I am a lucky girl) but I didn't see any signs that would indicate that store was participating.  I normally prefer to buy my coffee at the SB below my work (again, lucky lucky lucky) so I knew I had another chance anyway.  I walked into the SB on Callao and again, no signage to indicate this awesome promotion.  I guess it is for those who "know the secret".  Anyway, I proceeded to order my raspberry muffin for breakfast and a tall decaf non-fat Caramel Macchiato, regardless or not of the free offer, I was going to get my "usual".  When the cashier rung me up.....the grand total was the price of my muffin! So yes, today in Chile, take in your mugs and tumblers and enjoy a free coffee!!!  

P.S. According to the US SB website, it is for a free brewed coffee--however according to my barista, it was my CM.  That website also lists all the countries participating in this awesome campaign: East China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Netherlands, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, UK, Ireland, Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico.

P.S.S. Why doesn't SB Chile have a darn website still????? Does that bother anyone else?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Another Earthquake in the World

Really? Another devastating earthquake?  This time in China.  See article here. Does anyone else find it strange there have been so many big earthquakes within such a short period of time????  Haiti in Jan.  Chile in Feb.  Taiwan in March. Mexico and China in April. Sheesh....the Earth needs to take a chill-pill.

Some days I just get so mad at Chile...

...and today is one of those days!!! Grrrrrr!!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Saving Grace of Being Foreign in Chile: Chilespouses

Want to know what made has made life 10 times easier to adjust to in Chile? What has helped me find everything from great doctors, to a trustworthy housekeeper, to where to by organic food or corn tortillas (since they are not readily available in stores here), to my fabulous job to awesome twenty-something gringas who also live here?? Chilespouses, an online forum of over 500 English-speaking foreign women partnered or married to Chileans and living here indefinitely (boy that is a mouthful). I have been a part of the group for almost 2 years now and can attest to its amazing-ness. Without it, things would still be much more frustrating because the datos (or tips) that I get through the group are reliable. I don't have to worry about bad service or flaky people.

A fellow Chilespouse wrote a great article describing us. You can read it here (there is even a video included!).

Friday, April 9, 2010

Chile's New President's "Marepoto" & "TuSunami"

Since we moved into the new apartment, we haven't really been watching much TV. This is because 1. thanks to the fact that the TV is no longer in the bedroom, but is in the computer room and 2. we no longer have free cable and only get the local channels via the antenna. Anyway, not having watched much TV since the move means that we missed BOTH of Sebastian Piñera's (Chile's new President) major goof ups when talking about the earthquake and tsunami. We heard about it through a friend who is a big Piñera fan, which only made the situation even more hilarious.

Now, please just consider the fact that this man went to Harvard and is now the President. And not only that, he is the first right-winged President that Chile has had in over 20 years! How the heck he screwed up TWICE when talking about the situations is beyond me. I think most people are chalking it up to being stressed out for having taken office just days after one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded. In any case it is just down right, laughing-on-the-floor-peeing-your-pants funny.....that is, if you speak "Chilean" Spanish.

Ok, so here goes Goof Up #1--watch this video and then read below for my explanation.

First of all, instead of saying "maremoto" which is a sea quake or tidal wave, he said "marePOTO". Here is where you need to know Chilean slang. "Poto" means butt, but as referring to it in a scientific sense, instead it is more of a "Damn that girl's got some a$@" that is sung about in hip hop songs. So the fact that the President--of all people--not only mispronounced a word (which is understandable when the word is something similar to what you meant to say), but that he changed the end of the word to "A$@" in Chilean slang just cracks me up. Everyone makes mistakes when speaking, but this is an invented word--it doesn't even exist! And not only that, he didn't even stop to correct himself. Really, Sr. Piñera--what the heck were you thinking about while you were giving this speech?!?!?!!

Goof Up #2--I couldn't find a legitimate video that just include the goof up and not some remix of it, so I'll explain it first and show you the video next. We all know that tsunami is spelled with a "t" at the beginning, but that the "t" is actually silent when pronouncing the word. I am pretty sure this is something that you learn in grade school. Anyway, Piñera decided it should be pronounced a new way "TuSunami". Yes, he pronounced the "t" and even added an invisible "u" to the word. I am not sure if he was reading those cue cards and just read wrong, or maybe it was spelled wrong, but again...hilarious. Here is a video that we could not stop laughing at. Why the Star Wars people are included, I have no idea...but you cannot help but laugh.

And just for the heck of it....a nice remix showing the more fitting situation of the word "marepoto"--in a reggeaton song:

Helpful Article about Google Searches

If you have time and want to learn a new thing or two about how to better your google searches, check out this article at the NY Times.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Inspirational Quote

"The future belongs to those who
believe in the beauty of their dreams."
~Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Don't Forget to Change Your Clocks

Just a friendly reminder to all living in Chile--we change our clocks tonight! So before going to bed, make sure you change your clock one hour back.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Our Best April Fool's Day Prank

For some reason, I remembered that today is April Fool's Day.  Living in Chile means I quite often forget about all of those "fun" holidays that we celebrate in the US.  April Fool's Day is normally one of them, as is St. Patrick's Day, among others.  But today, I reminisce about the best April Fool's Prank I have ever pulled off, in conjunction with Christian.

Three years ago we were with my Chilean host family at a friends house for an asado.  After eating, we were bored so we decided to surf the web.  Then it occurred to us that we should plan a "fake" wedding and invite all of our friends on Facebook.  So that is exactly what we did.....we researched a cabaña resort in Olmue, Chile where many events are hosted.  We made an event invitation on Facebook, telling everyone that we had secretly went to the Registro Civil and gotten married.  The Registro Civil is like the courthouse in Chile.  I don't remember many of the details, but I think we made the date of the reception only a week or two into April and just for the hell of it, I also invited friends from back home, knowing they would not be able to travel to Chile.  

People freaked out and totally believed us!  It was hilarious....I don't know how many times I busted into a crying laughter from the hilarity of it all.  One friend from back home saw my sister at the grocery store and was like "OMG I didn't know your sister had gotten married!"  So then my sister went home and told my parents....hahahaha.  They had no idea of our little prank whatsoever.  Our facebook pages and event were full of congratulatory messages.  I think we might have even changed our status to Married too.

I don't remember how long we let the little charade go on (maybe a day or two), but when we eventually told people it was a joke, we realized how seriously they had taken it.  One Chilean friend had already been in contact with family members to find a car to drive to the reception.  Lydia said she was worried about what shoes she would wear.

We ended up sending an email to my parents to let them know about the prank.  They didn't quite know what to think when my sister had mentioned it to them but I am sure they were relieved to know it wasn't real.  Oh man.....I don't think we'll ever pull a better prank.  I kind of don't even want to try.  In reality, I am not a big prank person nor is it imperative for me to participate in April Fool's Day jokes....but something about the situation three years ago make it work out.

Oh the adventures of study abroad......


Disclaimer—La Chilengüita is a blog created upon my personal experiences and which expresses my personal opinion that in no way represents the views my employer, family or friends.