Today I stepped out of my “office” to have lunch with K (take another bow, as this is your THIRD cameo on my blog) and to avoid another fight with Santiago (the city) I opted to take a cab to her office. I already had a fight with Stgo earlier this week and I really want to avoid getting all cranky pants at him, especially around the dreadful topic of parking in the city. It’s a nightmare. You thought SF or NY was bad? Try Santiago where 7+ million of their total 16 million inhabitants live in the city. In short, the car to parking spot ratio is dire. So, I avoided driving so as not to have another fall out with the city as I did on Monday.
Except my cab driver cut another cab driver off at some point in the route and when we were about 2.2 seconds from where I had to hop out, the cab that my driver had cut off pulled up next to us at the light. Thus began the insults back and forth:
Cabby #1 (the one who was cut off): You need to put your blinker on, old man. You totally cut me off!
Cabby #2: No I didn’t. You were going that other way and I was going straight.
Cabby#1: No, that’s not how it happened. You just need to use that blinker and stop driving like an a**hole.
Cabby #2: Oh, I’m the a**hole? You need to be quiet and just keep driving. You’re just way ahead of yourself and driving too fast. (which, incidentally, can I just point out that one cabby saying that to another is SO ironic…)
Cabby #1: Where did you get your license? Stay out of my way, old man!
At this point, the light changes and I can literally SEE the bldg where I’m supposed to meet K, all the while these two cab drivers continue to yell insults at each other as we’re driving! All I want to do is GET OUT OF THE CAB as I was pretty sure that guns were going to soon come out blazing. Oh no. That’s not how it’s done here in Chile… instead, they each swerved TOWARDS each other and away from each as if to scare one another into thinking that they were going to get hit. But the thing is that it was done with such synchronization that neither of them hit the other one and it was done as a show of muscle. Fluffing of feathers, if you will. I, of course, was thrown about inside my cab, hit my elbow and ended up with my purse on the other side of the passenger seat. In the end though, he stopped at the building, I paid my $1200 pesos, thanked him, wished him a nice day and stepped out.
Ahhhhh… all in a day’s work!
So that was today’s misadventure. But what I wanted to provide here is a short view of some things I’ve kept mental note of since I moved in with G almost a week ago.
Some things I find quite interesting/peculiar and/or sometimes cute:
- Apparently I am living with, and will be married to, the Chilean version of Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor (TV show called Tool Time with Tim Allen). I can’t begin to imagine why Gonzalo feels the need to have about four tool chests, but he does! One is even two tiered and ROLLS like luggage. Why so many tools?? What does he feel he needs to constantly fix? And if there is anything – and I mean ANYTHING – that is remotely loose or, God forbid, broken – the words “I can fix that” come floating out of his mouth. In any case, my thought is that this is quite a good quality to find in a mate. I’m not complaining but it IS peculiar. I told K about this and she mentioned her husband was similar but with electronic stuff. Is this, like, a norm with Chilean men??? I said to her that if we put Gonzalo’s mind and her husband’s mind together, perhaps we could have them come up with a home made garbage disposal.
- Chilean women don’t tend to use tampons as much as they tend to use diapers – I mean, feminine napkins (whatever you call them.) I’ve been to Jumbo, I’ve been to Lider, I’ve been to Farmacias Ahumada, I’ve been to Cruz Verde… you name it, I’ve been to many retailers and while the selection of diapers, I mean pads, ranges in size, color, scent, etc, there is just about two options for tampons. What??!! This is like the complete OPPOSITE of the U.S.!! And I heard that they are “phasing” out the Tampax brand all together! Who makes these decisions? And what’s the deal with Chilean women and tampons? Why don’t they get along??
- Why are the rolls of paper towels for the kitchen only half the size of those in the U.S.? Why do they use midget paper towels here? What’s wrong with the long tube??
- Dryer sheets anyone?? Why so anti dryer sheets, Chile?? Yes I know that having a dryer is a luxury rather than the norm here, but you DO sell all of six different types of dryers so you must at least offer SOME form of static cling remedy!! I feel this is a huge lapse in your dryer customer service.
And finally (for today) –
- I once thought that in the U.S. you were just a number but in reality, Santiago holds the record for labeling anyone and everyone with a number. You want ham from the deli? Take a number. You want to buy a router? Take a number. You want to ask a question about your health insurance? Take a number. You have a doctor’s appointment? Take a number. Happy Hour? Take a number.
Ok I’m just kidding on that happy hour take a number thing… but I bet it’s not that far off from reality SOMEWHERE in this narrow country…