If the previous post was too much, I thought I’d share a quick personal victory.  For the first time, I have made a phone call to a Chilean business to obtain information.  I was given a Chilean phone when I arrived in Santiago and have viewed it with skepticism and fear ever since.  Please let me do business online and please let the website have a little Union Jack up in the corner, I’d say to the phone.

As you may or may not know, this is a holiday weekend.  Chile, being a very Catholic nation, comes close to shutting down on Friday and Sunday.*  Some businesses open on Saturday though and it was this question I needed answered.  The website was no help.  So there was nothing for it.  I called.  I got through the automated message – damn, I should have known that was coming – and pressed ‘0’ because, well not because I followed the automated message completely but because I figure that is the number most likely to get me a human.  Same as in English, it worked.

“Van a estar abrir en sabado?”


“Muchas gracias.  Chao.”


Whohoo!  A successful phone call!


Postscript:  I should have asked one more question:  “Tienen algos coches para este fin de semana?”  Damn.


* Note: I have always found it odd that Christmas is the huge deal it is in the United States while Easter gets fairly short shrift.  Or, I should say, relatively, short shrift.  From a theological point of view, this weekend is so, so much bigger than Christmas.  And, yet, the United States gets through it without much public notice.  I can’t tell if that’s because we actually treat it with the sobriety and decorum it merits or because the holiday doesn’t facilitate a corporate money grab.  The answer is, almost certainly, a bit of both.  Sorry, I said this would be lighter.


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