Pinche Quincho

Life experience has shown me that of the five senses only four really actually matter (sorry touch). Of course this is coming from someone whose sense of touch is more developed than the others. When it comes to sight, smell, hearing, and taste my senses are good enough to get me by. I can distinguish minute subtleties in color, which is handy as an art historian; but my near-sightedness, even with corrective lenses, makes distances foggy. My hearing is equally hit or miss. For me, most of  the world is white noise. Or at least I can make it into white noise. Ticking clocks, humming, squeaking, doesn’t bother me. The only noise that keeps me up at night is cumbia so loud it invades your tired body, takes hold, and doesn’t surrender. This is what happened to me Friday night. Continue reading

Learn Spanish with German


No, I wrote that right. Learn Spanish with Germán. He’s my new favorite viral video-maker and his Chilean Spanish is surprisingly clear yet slang-heavy which will serve you well the next time you come to Chile and realize barely anyone speaks English. Come to think of it barely anyone speaks the Spanish you learned in high school. Chilean-speak is so unique they call it castellano here, which is a subtle way of reminding you that whatever Spanish you thought you knew is useless in this part of the Southern Cone. But Germán will help since his gestures are better than subtitles, enjoy! Bonus: Germán does English, too.

Mom’s Music

For the past month I’ve had to do without the services of my usual chef. Luckily my first chef, my mom, is in town and willing to cook lunch for me or at least delegate it to one of my aunts. All I have to do is drive 20 minutes to the campo where my grandmother lives to be served. Second on this list of first world problems is the fact that my parent’s vehicle doesn’t have an i-Pod jack. So when hunger forces me out of my research cocoon I scan the local radio. Continue reading

Daily Dose of News

When 9:00 rolls around, better said 21:00 hrs, people in Chile are gathering in front of their televisions to watch the news. Actually most people are already there, attracted by the soap operas that air an hour beforehand, the lure of “onces“, or both. The news is a serious cultural happening: not only does it provide the fodder for the next day’s gossip but it  informs the populace on a smorgasbord of events, from the hi-brow to the low.  Continue reading