There is a project in Santiago right now for people to submit short writings describing their Santiago in 100 words or less. My teacher assigned this as our homework assignment last night, so I´ll post what I wrote here for those of you who read Spanish:
Los Santiaguinos caminan en sus mundos propios; quizás sin destino, quizás en cualquier dirección que el viento los lleve o quizás sólo disfrutando el paseo. De todas formas, las reglas de como alguien debe caminar en los EEUU no se aplica a nadie aquí. Creo que esto dice algo sobre la cultura chilena, que es más libre y más relajada. Pero de todas maneras los mundos de los Santiaguinos son sus propios y me lo hace un poquito difícil para entrar al principio. Pero he descubierto que después de que alguien entra al mundo, o al corazón de un chileno, estará adentro para siempre.
Basic Translation: ¨Santiaguinos walk around in their own little worlds, maybe without a destination, maybe wherever the wind blows them, or maybe just enjoying the journey. The rules of the U.S. about how someone should walk do not apply to anyone here. I think this says something about the culture, that it is more free and relaxed. However, the worlds of Santiaguinos are their own and this has made it a bit difficult for me to enter their worlds. But I have discovered that after someone enters the world, or the heart of a Chilean they will be there forever.¨
-By rules of the U.S. I was referring to how we transfer our rules of the road to the sidewalk and stairs usually: walking on the right, etc. That is NOT the case here, people make it extremely difficult to pass or to walk anywhere at a pace that would allow you to arrive in any sort of timely fashion. And own little worlds…I´ve noticed that Chileans are considerably colder as compared to my experiences in Colombia, but I think once you break their barrier they are just as caring.