Friday, March 14, 2014


Late nights spent at big houses with beautiful and friendly Chileans makes me feel at home. Eager to speak English, they surround me with company and soon I feel welcome and find myself laughing and enjoying myself. I am the gringa who wears a poncho to the party. I am perplexed by the familiarity I surround myself with in Chile, and the comfort I find with my new friends. I have been fortunate enough to meet people's families here, which further extend who someone is. In this culture it seems that there is more of an emphasis on family than in the EEUU. People have ties to who their grandparents are and have corresponding levels of class. It seems like a source of pride, as well as an obstacle to overcome. It has roots in a deep history. Who am I in accordance to my family? 

Affection is prevalent in relationships here as well. Friends stand close and rub each other's backs and hair. At home, I find I fall into this category, yet I always fight against a feeling of my personal space being invaded. We have been bred to inhibit only our own space and to share that space only with partners or best friends. However, the greeting kiss right off the get go with new friends pops the bubble. The irony is that the Chilean commentary on Americans is that we are too friendly. The Chilean bubble is inclusive of friends and family, but exclusive of customer service. It seems that their independence comes down to how and why they spend their money, which they can do on their own without the help of customer service. At restaurants here you have to flag down the waiter to ask for the check, and you can bet that they won't be around during the meal to ask how things are going.


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