Friday, December 3, 2010


Answers you might not expect.
  • Chilean food is overwhelmingly boring. I know, we think of Latin America and we think "Spicy!", for both the people and the food. Most of our experience of Latin food is Mexican food, or maybe Central American. You'll be even more confused if you've had Peruvian food, which is flavorful. And it's true, Peru is right there on the northern border (albeit a couple thousand miles from where I am in Chile right now). However, Peru and Chile hate each other. And in Chile, the word for "spicy," picante, also means "low-class" and "tacky." Anthropologist Jim Stuart explains why.
  • The best thing about Chile was an empanada shop. Everyone expects something deep about this question. But my mind doesn't really work on linear-scale absolutes. Empanadas Las Tablas (Calle Ecuador in Vina del Mar) really is that good, and I talked a lot with the owner, Juan Pablo, who used to be a cop and went on a government-funded junket all up and down the American East Coast. The empanadas are so good that I pretty much got at least one every time I was in town, which was at least 3 times a week for aikido.
  • I don't like Dr. Bronner's liquid soap. My friends all love it, but I've traveled with it quite a bit now, and I hate it. It's difficult to lather up, and it leaves my hair brittle and my skin dry, and I don't really feel clean. Fine for washing clothes, but ugh.

1 comment:

  1. And yet, there was Dr. B's in your shower when I met you...I don't use it on my head, but elsewhere I like it fine. You must be a delicate flower :-)