Friday, October 20, 2017

Rental in Los Lagos Region

Interested in trying Chile out with no commitment?
A rental is a great way to experience Chilean life and after your rental contract is over you can move on or stay without the loss of having committed to purchase a property.
This beautiful little 1 bedroom cabin is on 600+ acres on a river - off grid - private - spectacular views - only an hour from Puerto Varas.
Here is the link to our Youtube channel

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How to make your dreams come true .....

Somewhere over the rainbow
Here is a repost of one of my more popular posts .... 2 combined.

1. Start paying off your debt.

 Debt is servitude. Being in debt ties you to your job because you have to make a certain amount per month just to pay the debt. Here are some scary debt statistics and I hope you aren't one of these!
over 40% of US families spend more than they earn. WOW! that is scary
* the average US household credit card debt is $16,140.
* the average consumer has 3.5 credit cards
*total outstanding consumer debt is $11.34 trillion and includes car loans, mortgages, credit cards, student loans, and personal debt and the numbers keep going up every year!
 I'm no financial expert but we did it buy living simply and cheaper and then using that money to pay off the debt. We drove the same car for 8+ years. We cut up the credit cards. We shopped at Goodwill and Aldi's. We rarely ate out and we rarely bought "toys" and stuff. I enjoyed listening to Dave Ramsey and there are many other financial websites that can help you achieve your financial goals.

2. And then start saving.
Open a savings account, stuff it under your mattress, bury it in the backyard, anything! Just start saving.
It's hard to judge how much you will need to live in a foreign country until you get there. Some places are really cheap. Our friends in Panama tell us how much they pay for stuff and it makes me cringe because things are expensive in Chile. But it is relative. Our friends from New Zealand think Chile is cheap. We lived in South Carolina and to us Chile is expensive. You can check out numbeo.com to see how much things cost in the country you are looking at. Then you should try to save enough money to live on for a year or two while you get yourself established. For Chile, outside of Santiago, a family of 4, living simply, could survive on $3,000 per month. But you have to figure costs if you need a car, buying land or house, sending the kids to private school which is typical here and could cost you $500 USD per month. You may have a retirement check or other monthly income which will be great to keep you going if you have no major expenses like car or house but don't expect to come down and just get a job. Jobs here are low paying for unskilled labor and if you don't speak Spanish you might as well forget it unless you plan to teach English.  Which leads us to ....

3. Get or create a job.
You may have a retirement income or not or just need some extra income. Get or create a job that is not tied to a certain location like telecommuting or an online job. If you are an entrepreneur, there are many opportunities esp. in Chile with its growing economy and stable government and rising incomes. And your 1-2 years worth of savings will give you some time to get some other income going. We have a monthly retirement check we are living off of but we want some more disposable income and we are still young and energetic, at least most days, so we are opening a business here in Chile selling products from the US. Often it just takes some time on the ground living in the country of your dreams and thinking with your entrepreneurial thinking cap to see what opportunities exist.

Next time we will wrap up our list with
4. To Pack your stuff or not to pack your stuff
5. Finding a place to live
6. Buying your airline ticket cause you've made your dreams come true!
And also a few tips on set backs and not getting discouraged because most of your friends will tell you that you are crazy and you'll never do it!

4. To pack or not to pack

Here are some pros and cons for each.

1. To pack by shipping container




In 2013 we bought a 40' seaworthy shipping container for $4,000. We packed it up and then it sat for 9 months in the yard at our duplex which our eldest son was living at. And in the meantime in Chile, we were checking out what we could and could not get here and the prices. So we had our son buy a welder and put it in the container. Then he put some kayaks in and so on. Then we paid $1000. to have it driven to the port of Charleston about 3 hrs away.  We paid $2700. for the boat ride to Concepcion, Chile. which took 3 weeks. We hired an aduana or customs agent to oversee things for us and do all the paperwork and pay all the port fees. This was about $500. Chile has a special deal for new residents- if you ship during your temporary residency you pay less taxes. We met the container at the port where they did a quick inspection and we were on the way with a truck which we hired to bring it to our house about 6 hrs from the port for $2,000. The whole process was pretty smooth and we had no problems. But not always. You can rent your container instead of buying but this puts you on a tight time schedule which can be very stressful! Friends of our had their container detained in the US for a random inspection. 2 weeks later and $2,000., the container was on the way. He was sorry he had done the whole thing. So think about your stuff. Do you have collectibles or valuable things, irreplaceable items, sentimental things you'd prefer not to live without? Specialty equipment for your hobbies or job? Or just a bunch of junk you'd prefer to sell then....


2. If you sell everything, you can use the money to start over once you settle down. 


Cons - You may not find everything you want or think you need once you get here.

Pros - A lot less hassle and expense


           
You can bring some stuff on the airline for free usually 2 suitcases up to 50 lbs and $80 for   any extra but that varies depending on the airline and the time of year you travel.         
 You can ship stuff by postal service. We got a 25 lb box for about $175 and it took 2 weeks. The Chilean postal service has a bad reputation for stealing stuff and sometimes they do        inspect your box. There are usually no importation fees unless you receive a box from a business and then they will charge you 19% IVA tax.

5. Find a place to live

This beautiful cabin is in Frutillar Bajo

We have a friend with a vacation home that they let us live in for almost 2 years but if you don't have a friend like that (sorry, I don't have a vacation home) .....

You could travel around Chile using airbnb.com to find cheap short term rentals. This way you could explore different areas and when you find one you like you could do a more permanent rental on a cabin. Expect to pay $400-500 for a small 1-2 bedroom cabin outside a city. January & February are peak summer vacation times so rentals may be more expensive or even hard to find in some areas. July also may be a busy and expensive time because of winter break. BTW, these are good times to explore Santiago as the residents leave en masse for vacation. I would recommend 6 months to a year in your chosen area before making the commitment to buy anything. 

6. Buy your airline ticket


Expect to pay $800 to $1,000. for a roundtrip ticket from LA, Dallas/Ft Worth, Atlanta, or Miami direct to Santiago on LAN or American. The overnight flight gets you there first thing in the morning on an 8 hr. flight or leave in the AM and get there in time for a late dinner. Chile is usually 1-2 hrs ahead of eastern standard time.

Chile used to charge a reciprocal one time entrance fee to all US citizens of $160. but that was revoked in 2014. A free tourist visa lasts 3 months and can be renewed once for another 3 months but then you have to either leave or apply for temporary residency.


In conclusion. I wrote down our goals with a rough timeline of when I wanted to have certain things accomplished. I checked this list regularly to keep us on track. It helped us to stay focused and take action instead of making excuses. And don't get discouraged because everyone will think you are crazy and will tell you you'll never do it. Best wishes to you all! 


Friday, May 26, 2017

Lot for sale

We now have a lot listed for sale.
It is 11.73 acres or 4.75 hectares of vacant develop-able land with pasture and views located 5 km outside of the city of Osorno.


Please see our Youtube channel Chile Expat Family for a video and more info
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nf_OYI5si0


Monday, December 19, 2016

Farm for Sale

Well, we hadn't planned on going into the real estate business again but.....
When someone comes to you and asks you to help sell their farm, what can you say?
This small dairy farm of 60 hectares or 148 acres is located in the vicinity of Puerto Octay in the Los Lagos region of southern Chile.
It has a fantastic 5 volcano view. See Volcan Osorno below with the house on the right side of the picture.

 The entry to this working farm. They have about 50 cows but the animals and machinery are not going with the farm.
 There are 4 barns including the milking shed.
 Lots of pastureland
 The house is newer and has 5 bedrooms, 1 bath and is around 1300 sq. ft.
 This is the workers house.
 Please see our Youtube video for more info
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8BWqWY_euY

Friday, November 25, 2016

Questions from Readers






I have been getting a lot more emails the past few months from people interested in moving to Chile so I thought I would share some of the questions with my responses here for you.

 what made you go to Chile??

Well, this is what we were looking for
Stable government
Growing economy
Safe
A place where we didn't stick out as the rich gringos
Moderate climate not too dry or too cold or too hot
We went to Uruguay and it was nice but not too impressive
We had friends here in Chile from the USA who owned a vacation home which they let us use  for 2 years until we found our farm
Funny thing is they didn't like Chile and are now back in the USA.


How are the school systems in your area?

Public school is the pits but there are private schools - some free like the catholic school my kids attend. Public schools in my experience have problems controlling the students. Their ideas on discipline and control are a bit different than in the US. The teachers teach to the yearly exit exams mandatory for each grade and text books are revisionist history written by the socialists. Students are not taught to think but just how to follow the steps to achieve the correct answer. All schools have english teachers as there is a big push to get all chileans speaking english but in my opinion they don't start soon enough because most kids graduate not being able to speak english.


How bad are the mosquitoes? Any fear of getting one of the fevers? 

Despite the fact that this area is a temperate rainforest (the Valdivian rainforest) mosquitos and other insects are not really a big problem like in Maine, Minnesota, or Canada.
Remember Chile is not tropical or jungley. It is nowhere near the Amazon so we don't have any of the tropical fevers and diseases you may find in Ecuador or Brazil. Chile is very modern, clean, and healthy. You can drink the water anywhere with no fears. The US State Dept does not have any warnings for travelers to get any immunizations before coming here.

Are there wood burning stoves instead of central heating?

Wood burning stoves are very common or propane heaters. Central heat is very unusual.

Are the locals welcoming at all or do they not want us there?

Locals love us. They think America is great (little do they know!) In the area we live, the Los Lagos region, in 1860 it was settled by thousands of german families so we fit in and most people who don't know us just think we are colonial germans. In places like Ecuador and Peru, you will be targeted as a "rich" American but not here. Chileans are friendly and helpful. My kids had an almost superstar status when they joined our little local school as they had never had american students before.

My hope is to get a job teaching English as a foreign language does that actually sound like a possibility in a not so populated area?

If you want a job teaching in a school, you may need to be certified but I don't know how that works but make sure you have all your documents (look up my article on my blog entitled "Don't leave home without it" and I have a list of all the documents you may need and how to have them apostilled.
We have friends who teach english but it's not in a public school and they seem to live in the cities (Santiago & Puerto Montt). You can do some research on Facebook or online for schools that teach english in Chile. Many businesses that don't have a website often use Facebook for advertising.
There's a course for TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) but it's only in Santiago I can't find it anywhere south.

Is there lactose free milk or a dairy alternative? my son is lactose intolerant

Chile has dairy companies that produce lactose free milk and yogurt and are found in most larger supermarkets. Lider (walmart) and Jumbo have the best selection of products and the imported (expensive) products from the US. My friend found a new product at Jumbo made in Chile called Nature's Heart Almond Vanilla drink with no sugar. There are more products available in Santiago than here but things are moving and changing here so eventually we should have most products! Also Jumbo has lactose free cheeses.


What is the safest and best way to transfer funds from America to Chile?

As far as money, we use our ATM and debit card everywhere without a problem though ATM fees can be quite hefty. For large sums of money, you can use Western Union or XE.com

Are there any stores for things to get for kids like toys?

Yes, they have toys here :) but anything imported from America is super expensive.

In your opinion what town is best for someone that prefers the cold but also wants the ocean and forest? (Haha so basically I'm being too picky)

No - that is one of the great things about Chile!  Because the country is only 150 miles wide, more or less, You can easily be in the mountains, the forest, and the beach in one afternoon. We prefer green areas as opposed to the dry dusty arid regions around Santiago. We don't like snow and prefer the year round mild temps of the Los Lagos region. 40 F in winter and 60-70F in summer.  We don't like cities so we live out in the country but if you need a job you could live somewhere near Valdivia or Osorno. I'm not as familiar with the other regions.

My husband was wondering besides English teaching, what jobs are there for Americans there that aren't super fluent in Spanish just yet?

Jobs are a difficulty here if you don't speak good spanish so start working on it now! Lots of good online programs. Starting a business here or online are options. Though starting one here won't be easy and you need to be here for a while to figure out what you can do or to fill a need you may find. Tourism is big here and cabin rentals and farming. A hands-on trade like plumbing or electrical work may be a good business as Americans are trusted here and have better knowledge of these fields.
Here are a few tips for you- 
You will need some income or savings while you are getting established. If you live simply, you could make it for a year on $20-30,000 USD
Chile is not one of the cheaper places in SA to live.
We keep our expenses down by living simply like chileans and homesteading to produce a lot of our own needs. We sell pigs and pork and vegies to supplement our monthly annuity income.

Monday, August 15, 2016

An exciting opportunity

We have an exciting opportunity for you to get an 8 year jump start on your dream homestead in the south of Chile.
We are helping some friends sell their homestead near Rio Bueno in the Los Rios Region.
Here are some facts

Property Facts:Rio Bueno, Chile

10 Hectares or 24.7 acres fenced with river frontage

Orchard with 370 Avcllano or Chilean Hazel Nut Trees


+/-2100 Sqft House; 3 Br 2.5 Ba W/Inground pool


House is furnished and stocked

NOTE: House is being being remodeled, but is currently habitable



Care Takers House

John Deere 5400 Tractor w/loader & back hoe attachment
POLARIS 4X4 "Magnum 325" , Roto Tiller (a Big one)
2007 Hyundai 1.7 ton Diesel Truck
Woodchipper, lawnmowers, 2 Containers 40', Every shop tool you could almost imagine,
Kipor 6500 or 5000 watt diesel Generator


All this and more go with property. Everything you need to move in is here.
 To see the video on our Youtube page click here
Video
Or you can email Jim for more info  at
jim.dorchak@gmail.com
The seller is asking $450,000.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Great Travel articles for Chile

The Telegraph in the UK has a series of excellent well written articles about traveling in Chile.



Panoramic view of Santiago, Chile, South America


                                                                                                           photo borrowed from article linked below
Here are a few links for you ....

21 Reasons to visit Chile

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/south-america/chile/articles/reasons-you-should-visit-chile/

Doug Tompkins and more Patagonian Parks

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/south-america/chile/articles/Patagonia-Chile-a-new-national-park-and-conservation-campaign/

Patagonia, Chile: a new national park and conservation campaign
                                                                                                             photo borrowed from article linked above
This is my dream trip to the Atacama

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/south-america/chile/articles/Atacama-Desert-Trip-of-a-Lifetime/


Atacama Desert: Trip of a Lifetime
photo borrowed from article linked above

And my dream cruise to the Patagonian Fjords and Glaciers

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/south-america/chile/articles/Cruising-Chile-comes-in-from-the-cold/

And there are more articles about Chile at the bottom of each link. Enjoy your desk top traveling! It's the cheapest way to go!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

April/May News in Review

Well, April was not a very exciting month but May has been pretty eventful!
                           
For a good laugh about Chile's continuing problem with the off again on again Daylight Savings Time program read this article from the Wall Street Journal
http://www.wsj.com/articles/what-time-is-it-in-chile-theres-no-telling-1463063085

This article was quite "tame" as some sites had pictures of the man with his head in the lion's mouth.
I'm not sure why they had to kill the lions instead of tranquilizing them. I guess maybe tranquilizers don't work fast enough?
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/22/two-zoo-lions-shot-and-killed-after-mauling-suicidal-naked-man


This is a little closer to home and BIG news.

In April, large red tide algal blooms were poisoning the fish and shellfish of Patagonia. Red tides are common but this was of unprecedented size fueled some say by El nino and warm waters and others by pollution from salmon farming. It hurt many small artisan fisherman. They protested by blocking the ferry ramps to Chiloe which not only hurt them but many others on Chiloe who have nothing to do with the red tide. Like our friends who own a small dairy farm and count on the income from selling their milk to companies whose trucks couldn't make it over to the island. Never fear
"We are the government and we are here to help you" They offer the fisherman 170,000 pesos, about $250.
As it turns out, the salmon farms were dumping a lot of their dead salmon (from a previous infection earlier this year) way out in the ocean but apparently due to the currents they washed ashore causing more problems and maybe exacerbating the red tide.
What a mess!
Here are 3 articles you can read in chronological order

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/03/chile-fishermen-red-tide-algal-bloom-protests

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/11/red-tide-crisis-deepens-in-chile-fishing-waters

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/17/chile-red-tide-salmon-farming-neurotoxin



Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Buying Online and shipping packages

We try to shop as locally as possible and we try to make do with what is available. We try to live like the average Chilean. But what do you do when you really need something that is not available locally? Well, we do have a few options.

1. Buy online here in Chile
This is not always so simple or easy as it is in the US. Many businesses don't have a big online presence. They may have a website but you can't order off of it (?) or they just use Facebook (not!).
So for example, I found out from my friend about a company call Tostaduria Puerto Rico in Santiago. They sell dry bulk items which is great because buying (10) 1-ounce bags of cinnamon is a pain in the neck. So you go to the website which has just lists of their products with no prices or sizes and you email them and tell them what you would like. They send you a price list.Then you find out what the minimum order is and tell them how much you would like of each item. Then they send you a cotizacion or quote of your order with the total amount due. Then you have 2 options - if you have a Chilean bank account (which I don't) you would send them a bank transfer  which takes 5 days to clear or you can go to their bank in the closest city and make a deposit which clears fairly quickly. The next day or so your item will ship from their warehouse by bus to your city of choice. When it arrives the next day you go pay for the package's bus ride and pick up your package. Wow, I feel like it's the 1980's!
Here is what I bought

From top to bottom 
Basmati Rice - 5 kilos for 3,077 pesos per kilo inc. taxes of 19% and shipping
Whole coffee beans from Brazil - 5 kilos for 8,430 per kilo
Polenta or grits if you are from the south - 10 kilos for 903 per kilo
Popcorn - 10 kilos for 1,128 per kilo
These came in 2 boxes and the bus ride was 13,000 pesos but prices above reflect shipping fees.
These prices are good deals as buying an inferior coffee in the grocery store in a 250 g bag runs over 10,000 pesos per kilo.


Here are a few other options for shopping online in Chile.

Mercado Libre is like the ebay of Chile and purchases are free from the 19% IVA tax.


Busca Libre is a search engine for Amazon and Ebay and other US stores plus it has Spanish and Chilean books. If you shop on Amazon through this website, it gives you the prices in Chilean pesos and the shipping accordingly which seems pretty cheap if it is coming from the US. I tried ordering a book and the shipping was only 1,990 pesos. My gripe is the custom regulations. This is the note you see if you try to order a vitamin or supplement. I am seriously bummed out!!

Warning: Due to customs restrictions, we can not import airbag, perfumes, makeup, skin creams, food, food supplements or remediesIf the product you're quoting is none of the above, proceed with the purchase. If the product is one of the above and continue with the purchase, we will refund your money.


Another interesting site for local products sold by locals is the Chilean version of Craig's List called Yapo. Ya is spanish for already but adding po to the end of words is distinctly chilean. Sipo! You can search for an item by region and they sell great things like chickens, rabbits, trucks, tractors, etc.


2. You can order directly from the US. 

Though you do have 2 choices. You can order directly from a company if they ship internationally and you will probably have to pay Chilean taxes on it. We have a friend here who ordered something worth $500 and when it arrived she had to pay another 19% tax on her purchase to the Chilean government. Or you can order it and send it to a friend and have them ship it down. We have a friend who has a shipping box. When we need something we have it sent to her and when the box is full she ships it down to us. Since it is personal, it is usually not subject to the sales tax. We had a 40 lb box one time that cost us almost $200 to mail. yikes! We don't do that much anymore.




This package above had a pressure canner part and cell phone parts for a phone Andrew was fixing so we labeled it replacement parts. It wasn't insured for much and had to have weighed less than a pound but we paid $22 for it and it took about 2 weeks to arrive. It was sent USPS and Correos de Chile (Chile Post Service).




This package only had a replacement part for our Coleman camp stove at 5 oz and $13 for shipping. I have heard Correos de Chile has a problem with items missing after customs inspections. I have never had a problem but my friend has had items stolen from the packages her mom sends.

And when you are worried about getting stuff and whether Chile has as much stuff as the USA remember this quote. A sentiment I am always working towards.


But there are two ways to be rich:
You can earn, inherit, borrow, beg, or steal enough money to meet expensive desires;
or, you can cultivate a simple lifestyle of few desires;
that way you always have more than enough money.

The secret of happiness you see is not found in seeking more
but in developing the capacity to enjoy less”.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

News in Review March 2016



Mounted Carabineros in Santiago
First Quarter economic news

http://www.focus-economics.com/countries/chile

Doug Tompkins was the owner of the largest tract of privately owned land in Chile. As of his death in December, Parque Pumalin, just south of Puerto Montt, will be handed over to the state opening up the lower third of the country for a new road to connect the far flung reaches of Chile. He has been a controversial figure in Chile. Find out why in this article.

http://www.elmostrador.cl/mercados/2015/12/09/por-que-era-tan-polemico-douglas-tompkins-el-millonario-ecologista-que-murio-en-un-accidente-de-kayak-en-chile/

WalMart in Chile

http://www.elmostrador.cl/mercados/2016/03/29/carrera-por-los-activos-de-walmart-en-chile-entra-en-recta-final-y-no-la-ganara-necesariamente-la-mejor-oferta/

The view of the Milky Way from the southern hemisphere is awesome and here is an article on the most comprehensive picture to date taken from an observatory in the Atacama Desert

http://www.thisischile.cl/the-most-detailed-picture-of-the-milky-way-was-take-from-the-atacama-desert/?lang=en

For hikers, new maps of Chile's senderos now available

http://www.thisischile.cl/alternatives-for-exploring-chiles-nature-trails/?lang=en


Salmon farms suffering losses - the hazards of factory farms

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/10/chiles-salmon-farms-lose-800m-as-algal-bloom-kills-millions-of-fish

The Unbelievable lottery but I wonder where they are getting the money from? I'll let you know if I win!

http://www.biobiochile.cl/2015/12/18/the-unbelievable-lottery-where-absolutely-all-the-chileans-are-going-to-participate.shtml

Marijuana is legal now in Chile but this farm is growing only for medical purposes

http://www.biobiochile.cl/2016/03/23/chile-is-reaping-the-largest-plantation-of-marijuana-in-latin-america.shtml

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Lago Todos Los Santos and Petrohue


One of the most beautiful lakes in Chile is located just east of Lago LLanquihue and is surrounded by 3 volcanoes- Osorno, Puntiagudo, and Tronador.


A view of Puntiagudo to the north

A view to the east of Isla de las cabras (Goat Island)



A view to the east and south


Here is the town of Petrohue if you can call it a town. It consists of the Lodge in the upper right corner, the boat/bus terminal with a small snackbar, a post office, a museum, and a few houses. Yeah, I guess that qualifies as a town here!
The beach has beautiful black sand and there is swimming in the cool waters. You can go on a boat ride in one of the boats pictured here for 2-3,000 pesos per person (about 3-4$) 


I was a bit disappointed in the boat ride. It was 1/2 hr long but didn't go anywhere near the island and you could never get a good view of Volcan Tronador on the southeastern end of the lake. But you did get to go out to this cute little floating cabin ....


With great views of Volcan osorno.


Nice panoramic view with 2 volcanoes - Osorno on the left and the tip of Puntiagudo on the right




And here is the Lodge. Quite beautiful and modern. We stopped in for tea and cookies one rainy afternoon and were treated to this spectacular view below.




And here is the link to their website http://www.petrohue.com/

I haven't stayed there but I've seen the rooms and cabins and I would recommend staying and Trip Advisor has some pretty good ratings for it. The Lodge also offer excursions like fishing, hiking, rafting, kayaking, horse back riding, climbing, zip lines, and canyoning (?). Check out the website!


There is also camping if you can't afford the expensive price tag of $200 per night for the Lodge.
The campground is at the entrance of the Sendero Desolacion for the intrepid hiker. See my other post on this. No, I did not go! but my boys did and they loved it!


This is the only ferry on the lake and it goes to the only other town on the lake, Peulla. For 27,000 pesos ($40)for the day you can go over to the other side and spend the day at the Lodge there. Check out this link to see what you can do for the day in Peulla.
http://www.turistour.cl/tour/es/excursiones/lagos-y-volcanes/peulla-dia-detail



And here is a view of the lake from up on the Paso Desolacion on the side of Volcan Osorno.
 Just spectacular!







Thursday, March 10, 2016

Getting a Chilean Driver's License Part 2

He got it!
But it wasn't easy. They call it tramites (trah- me tays) here but I call it traum-ee-tays. These are the procedures usually associated with bureaucracy. The inefficiencies of government and its policies are often tiresome and lengthy but we played the game and followed the rules and were rewarded.




So here is how it went.

Day 1
Jim showed up at 9 AM on Tuesday morning. He waited just a few minutes and then got online for the computerized test in english. You have 45 minutes to complete 35 questions and you can only get 3 wrong. Jim got 4.  Don't ask how it happened. The english test was written by a non-native speaker and was a little awkward in spots, those double negatives were confusing, some questions were just stupid and he overthought them, whatever.... Come back tomorrow at 9 AM.

Day 2

Jim showed up at 9 AM to get behind 20 other people. He waited an hour just to get on the computer. He checked his answers carefully, made a few changes, and he passed with only 2 wrong. OK

Step 2 get in line behind 20 other people to see the eye doctor. Waiting and waiting. Phone goes dead. Waiting and watching mind numbing Chilean TV. Finally gets in - look through here and tell me what you see. BTW, Jim is pretty blind in one eye. Actually it is so bad his eye doctor didn't even give him corrective lenses. But he managed to pass even though a lot of the pictures were very fuzzy.

Step 3 On to the games for reaction times and coordination. The first one is a game where you tap the moving ball with a stick. Jim was a little too violent with this game and the lady told him "tranquilo!" I think he was a bit stressed out by this time. Then on to the coordination test. These tests are hard to describe and we got no pictures since Jim's iphone was dead.
He passed it all about 1 PM and they told him to come back at 3 for the driving test. So we went out for lunch and a few beers while waiting, (just kidding) Though I think he really needed one at that point.

Step 4 We show up at the parking lot for the driving test 30 minutes late because Jim didn't understand the directions. Good grief! Where's that beer? Well, fortunately, the other 20 people were in line in front of us so the instructor didn't notice he was late.  Jim walks over to the instructor between tests. The instructor asks Jim if that is his car? Yes. And you have a license from the US? Yes. I have had one for 30+ years. Ok. No problem. Let me see your RUT card and you can pick up your license tomorrow. Come at 9 AM for the photo. Yes!!

Day 3

Jim showed up at 9 AM for some paperwork and picture and then was back at 3 PM for his new license. It feels good to be legal!

And 30 days before March 8, 2022  Jim has to go in to renew his license with the vision and reaction tests. And you thought the US bureaucracy was inefficient!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Is Chile a Third world country?


Chile - clean and modern

Well, my daughter likes to make fun of me and says I live in a third world country but Chile isn't a third world country. Actually, the terminology does seem a bit dated. It arose after the end of WWII and was used to describe the capitalist countries allied with the United States and they are the first world countries including Western Europe, the UK and their allies. The second world countries are those of the Soviet Union and the communist bloc, China, and Cuba while the third world countries are all the rest, the neutral nonaligned countries. This broad categorization based on social, political, cultural, and economic divisions was a useful tool during its time but today things are different. Most people don't know enough of WWII history to understand this classification and for people today a first world country would be modern and affluent while a third world country would be poor and backwards and second world is somewhere in between.

So where does Chile fall in these categories? For the original meaning, Chile did not participate in WWII. It was a neutral unaligned country meaning a third world country. So says Wikipedia under the heading of "Third World" but under "World War II by Country" it says " initially Chile chose to remain neutral in the war, having close trading links with Germany. Later in the war, however, Chile distanced itself from the Axis powers, and the Chilean government took steps to dismiss pro-German military officers. Relations with Axis countries were broken in 1943, and in 1945, Chile declared war on japan, being the last nation to join the war. As with Argentina, by this time the war was almost over." So it was an ally entering after the attack on Pearl Harbor so that would mean Chile is a first world country according to NATO.

And what about the more modern sense of the word - poor under developed v. rich developed?

Chile is very modern and clean. Most of the poor live in homes with flooring, water and sewer, electricity, cell phones, and direct TV. Education is compulsory and literacy rates are high. The economy is growing and unemployment is low. The government is stable. Health care is modern and affordable. The highway system is modern and well maintained.  What else could you ask for?
Sounds pretty first worldish to me!