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.