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commented on the Expat Report Living in Santiago, Chile
What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?
My experience from visiting the last 2 years is to just start a conversation with someone who speaks english. DON'T rush. They do things much slower in Chile then the US. Relax- and just let things happen. It is surprising how well you can get to know someone over a 10 minute conversation. Get a drink or coffee- whatever you do- If you want to make friends- DO NOT BE AFRAID TO MEET THEM. (Continue)
replied most recently with:
FIVE YEARS??? jeeezzz, your time is up, go back where you came from, we are up to here with gringos and their bad habits. I know the US is a pitiful country so why don't you stay there and fix up your mess?
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Expat Report Christmas In Santiago, Chile was published
If locals celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah where you are living now, how is it celebrated differently?
Christmas is a manic mix of end of school year, summer vacation and Christmas holiday all rolled up into one great big frenzy. The holidays decorations are up early here (some starting in October) and speed up through November. There is no Thanksgiving speed-bump to keep the holiday in check. The focus for Christmas is mostly religious (Chile being predominantly a Catholic country). However,the malls all entice you to buy more.

Household decorations appear to be only the Christmas tree. Decking out the halls and household seems to be left to the high end hotels. Some districts put on holiday events (Las Condes offered a light show with holiday music).

Gift wrapped presents are not a big deal here. People purchase their items from the stores. The vendors will put a bow on the store bag and call it wrapped. Store bags may have some holiday motif and come with a seal to keep their contents a secret. Some stores are now offering gift wrapping as we know it in the USA. But you will be hard pressed to find "Hallmark" quality or quantity of wrapping paper.

The main attraction in the home is the creche or "pesebre" with the baby Jesus missing from the manger until midnight Christmas Eve. Families will have holiday meals. Frozen turkey is beginning to become popular, but given it's summer many choose cold plates of meat, or asados/barbeques. The holiday drink is cola de mono, made with aguardiente, sugar, milk, coffee and spiced with cloves, cinnamon and orange zest. As midnight arrives the families may attend midnight mass. When they return the baby Jesus is placed in his spot and the presents are ripped opened.

Santiago is at its quietest during this time as many families escape for the beach to cool off and begin summer vacations. (Continue)

Expat Report Info about International Assocication of Chile in Santiago, Chile was published
Describe your group.
A social organization of English speakers residing in Santiago. Members meet monthly and share lunch weekly at the organization's meeting house. The organization also does charity service, volunteer service and members enjoy many fun events and parties. (Continue)
Expat Report Culture Shock in Santiago, Chile by bronco was published
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
I think that to avoid Culture shock a person should have an open mind and also try to learn as much about the culture as possible by either visiting the counry as well as studying on the internet as much as possible. Also if possible by meeting other people that either have lived or visited the host country. remember you are a guest in the host country and you must accept and seek out competant help with anything you don't understand (Continue)
A reader commented on the Expat Report Living in Santiago, Chile
What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?
Finding other expats here in Santiago is not very difficult at all really. Just take a stroll down Isidora Goyenechea or El Bosque and you´ll feel as though you found a street somewhere in the U.S. On one side of Isidora you have Bennigan's and directly across from that you find Starbucks's, Ruby Tuesday's and Hooter's. If you walk down the street just a bit farther you will come across TGI Friday's as well. In any of these places (especially at Bennigan's and Starbucks) you will find PLENTY of expats. You can also find, in the same area on Roger de Flor, a place called Cafe Melba which is run by a woman from New Zealand and caters specifically to the expat, English-speaking community. Not too far from there is the NY Bagel. There is certainly no shortage of places in Santiago to find fellow expats. (Continue)
A reader replied most recently with:
I lived in Santiago for 2 1/2 years - as a semi-retired Canadian. I can emphasize the comments above in the section labelled ".. religious, racial, etc.."I met Chileans, mainly well educated and professionals. In my opinion, they tended to be racist, sexist, classist and gay-intolerant.
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Serviced Apartments, residences or aparthotels --typically 25% cheaper than hotels of similar standard.
Expat Report Info about San Marcos Church in Santiago, Chile was published
Describe your group.
San Marcos is an English Speaking Christian Church in Santiago, Chile serving the expatriate community living and working in Santiago and surrounding regions. (Continue)

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