The 5 best things about Chile

So It’s officially been a week since I arrived in Santiago! My guardian angel, Alejandra says that right now I’m in the “Honeymoon” phase of the trip.

Apparently everyone who spends an extended period of time in another country goes through four phases (Honeymoon, Homesick, Acceptance, and Adapted). She said, with absolute certainty, that I would go through all of them.

Right now, Chile is a shiny, new toy and everything about it seems awesome! So I figured now would be a great time to make a list of my top 5 favorite things.

#5 The Pisco Sour

3 parts “Pisco” a Chilean/Peruvian Liquor, 1 part simple syrup, 1 part lime juice, egg white and bitters. Dangerously good! My Chilean “sister”, Gabriella told me to be careful with Pisco, because it’s much stronger than American liquor. I probably could have used that advice a litter earlier. I tried Pisco the first night I was in Providencia with my Dad (luckily I was with my Dad). After 2 drinks I was done. One of the best cocktails I’ve ever had, but for me, one is enough!

#4 The Chilean Mamas

I’ve had a bit of a cold since I’ve been down here, and everywhere I turn, there’s some middle-aged woman doting on me with tissues, tea and cough syrup. These aren’t women I know, they’re total strangers! One women, who owned a cafe I was at, gave me a free cup of tea and a hug. She couldn’t speak any English, but Alejandra told me later, she was very concerned about me and told Alejandra to make sure I got lots of rest and some medicine.

Alejandra said it’s very common for Chilean women to be mothering like this, and she told me she was sorry if I found it annoying. Annoying? Are you kidding? It’s so nice to live in a place where people genuinely care about each other like that. I love it!

#3 The Language Schools

This one isn’t for me personally, as a tourist, but It makes me super jealous that I didn’t grow up here!

Gabriella and I were talking the other day about private schools. I assumed all the private schools here were Catholic Schools. Nope! Parents here have the option to send their kids to Catholic school or Language School. In other words, you can go to a school (staring at Kindergarden) taught entirely in English, Italian, German, you name it! These kids grow up totally bilingual, and without having to live in anther country. How cool is that!?

#2 The Landscape

The view in Santiago alone is just stunningly beautiful. It’s been a little foggy here so I’ve had trouble capturing it in photos, but everywhere I look I get a view of the Cordillera de los Andes that just takes my breath away.

And that’s just the city, I still want to travel north to San Pedro de Atacama, the driest dessert in the world. I want to go south and check out some of the volcanos and lakes at Púcon. Even further south, I’d love to check out The Marble Caves of Patagonia. And of course, if I get a chance, I’d like to check out the Moai on Easter Island. The landscape of Chile is so diverse, there’s something for everyone!

#1 The Food

Chileans eat about 4 meals a day: A light breakfast, like fruit, yogurt, or toast; a full lunch, almost like what we would have for dinner; an afternoon, teatime snack, like a pastry or a small tea sandwich (with tea of course); and finally a late dinner (at 9 or 10pm).

For breakfast, I almost always have fresh raspberry juice (no I don’t mean that sugary artificial stuff we have in the states). This stuff has the raspberry pulp in it, and it’s as common as orange juice.

At lunch I always have a salad loaded with fresh avocado! They’ll serve pasta, salad, potatoes, and fish and maybe flan and coffee for dessert, but usually I can only finish about half of my plate, because I’m not used to that much food so early in the afternoon.

If you like seafood, Chile is seafood heaven. One thing I wasn’t expecting, was all the sushi! While sushi is originally from Japan, it’s super popular in Chile. Not too surprising, considering the entire country is a coastline. They have great access to fresh fish.

They also have a wide range of seafood soups. I recently tried something called “Chupe de mariscos”, which was like a very thick seafood chowder. Muy Rico!

Image

It was so good I had to get the recipe. It’s not an exact science, but here’s what I got:

Chupe de Mariscos

  • Boil seafood in white wine
  • Soak bread crumbs in milk
  • Fry garlic, onion, pepper, ect. in butter
  • Cut seafood into little pieces and mix into the stir fry
  • Add some cream and parmesan cheese
  • Mix everything with the breadcrumb mixture
  • Put everything into a clay pot and bake it in the oven
  • When it’s finished cooking, sprinkle cheese on top and enjoy!

(Warning: This might not be the lowest calorie meal)

Of course there are many other things I love about this country, such as the masterpiece murals on the sides of every building, the way everyone kisses your cheek when they meet you, the fact that avocados are incorporated into every meal (seriously, they even garnish hot dogs with them), and how the streets are just filled with musicians every night (good ones, not so good ones and great ones that should be playing in concert halls).

Everything about this country seems amazing right now, but in another few weeks maybe the rose colored glasses will fall off and I’ll be writing a very different post. Stay tuned to find out!

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