So these last weeks something has been playing on my mind. Whereas the country of Chile and the Chilean peoples are in fact ridiculous in more than one way they have begun to make more sense to me than my own dear homeland in other ways.
My time here has dwindles to something impossibly and dangerously short meanwhile I swing from high in love to downright denunciation of this country. Less than four months left. It’s seems a lot when you convert into hours left, trying to tame to tigers of School 6, Lautaro but my weekends left here are suffocating few.
So dearest England and inhabitants, take some tips from Chile.
1) Be painfully honest. My Chilean parents were delighted when Beth returned from holidays thinner than before and me fatter and proceeded to exclaim loudly and pinch cheeks. One of my mates here loves my nose because it’s “intense” and my teeth because they cause his mind to think of beavers scurrying in the wilds. When your tired or ill they call you “ass face” meanwhile pressing warm things and paracetamol your way. See, be honest but do it with love.
2) Forget about political correctness
There is a real obsession with people of Asian origin here. When we arrived it was shocking to see the Chinese impressions. Chileans claim they can speak Chinese by pulling their eyes to the sides and shouting in short hard syllables. Now it’s become impossible funny. I dread to think how Beth is gonna cope with the diversity at Edinburgh when she starts Uni. God forbid she tries Chilean/Chinese skills on anyone.
3) Talk to strangers until they get uncomfortable.
Give it a go. Just go up to someone. It doesn’t matter at all who it is as long as they are capable of nodding and smiling and talk, just talk about anything until one of you suddenly has something to do. This is great when you have an hour wait at a bus stop. At first we sort of were polite then shuffled away with excuses. Now we see there is NO HARM staying where you are and half the time this stranger lets on something interesting you didn’t know before. Hey, everyone has something to say.
4) Feeling it then go ahead and put your arm round someone’s shoulder or clap them on the knee. If their hair looks fluffy, ruffle it or their face cheeky then pinch it. Go for a kiss on the cheek or the head. Clasp them to your side like your very own brother. Love is shown here not hidden.
5) Dance, jump, clap, cry. If your a mother cry loudly when your child leaves you for school if that’s how you feel. If your a kid and see your favourite English teacher then don’t think about them. Just launch, fly and land hard and painfully.
Be like a puppy really. Obviously there is more to Chileans than this (loads more, loads, loads more) but this is the bit I’m gonna miss because it doesn’t come out in the stoic British soul, I find and I’ll have a broken Chilean heart and have to cry thoroughly if I come home and no-one says I look fat etc.
Will continue with travel updates shortly
Loads of love,