Nuestra Casa is a Very Fine Casa

The hardwood floorboards are stained with playful shades of green, pink, yellow, and purple. The colored glass window in the kitchen glows cheerfully with daylight. Though the apartment came mostly unfurnished, an ancient armoire in the bedroom isn’t going anywhere and probably had to be built in the apartment itself. Eight foot tall double doors in the bedroom lead out onto a streetside balcony and sunlight floods the room, reflecting off the hardwood floors to reach the ten foot high ceiling. Continue reading

Gringa Tax

My hair is thick and wavy, my eyes are brown and steady. My skin is not very dark nor very light, and I´m definitely not too tall. My tongue rolls r´s and sails past d´s, and has no trouble cooing u´s. If I keep my sentences short and uncomplicated, most days I can “pass.” Continue reading

Valparaíso: A City Built in Neverland

A few months ago, I could not have told you the name of a single street in the entire country of Chile.  I could make broad statements about the desert in the north, the mountains in the south, and a fertile wine growing valley surrounding the capital city in the center.  The intricacies of this skinny country were nothing more than abstractions of guidebook details. Continue reading

Chilean Spanish: Language Lessons

So you took high school Spanish, maybe even some classes in college.  It’s been a few years, but you at least know how to say “hello,” “goodbye,” “I want a beer,” “where is the bathroom,” and “thank you.” Right?

skull door (1 of 1)

Not so fast, there, weon.  Chileans don’t frequently use “hola” or “adios.” They say “alo” and “ciao ciao.Continue reading