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Accomodation in Santiago
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matttheboy



Joined: 01 Jul 2003
Posts: 854
Location: Valparaiso, Chile

PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If, and it's a big if (as my family has left me with little faith in the institution of marriage!), i were to marry my girlfriend then i would guess that Buenos Aires would be the place to live-i'm also giving up the teaching trade to go into business after new year so everything i own will be here...

as for the house, it was a big house run by a local family, kind of like a long-term hostal. For a double room it cost 170 000 pesos, about Ģ170 and included electricity, internet connection and cable tv in a lounge and in your room (if you had your own telly). There were something like 10 rooms in total, mostly of them occupied by bosch. It was a bit like living in berlin really but they were all nice enough, if a bit serious (especially as they were all students on their year abroad...). the house was a bit run down but it was kept clean (there was a maid who cleaned and made the beds 3 times a week) and had a great roof terrace with a view (if you could make it out through the smog) of the cerro san cristobal.

I have to say that i really got lucky with this place as for the cost, location, size of the room etc were way, way better than anything else i looked at. And it made a difference that i was living with my girlfriend (her family is very disfunctional so it wasn't a problem although it was a big thing for her as it was the first time she had lived with a boyfriend).

I'm guessing that your girlf's family is a bit more traditional (i read that as loopy personally Rolling Eyes )...when are you getting married-any plans or are you going to be living on your own for a while yet??? Chile is a pretty conservative country and the Church has a big influence-divorce was only legalised 3 weeks ago with strong Catholic opposition...it's strange because in many ways it doesn't seem that conservative, i mean parents let their kids out to play and trust them to some extent (in comparison to ecuador, for example, where the parents barely let their children out the house and have no trust whatsoever...) and santiarsehole seems to be modern-not just in design but attitude- but under the surface it's surprisingly like every other latin country...little sex education leading to a very high rate of teen pregnancy (my girlf's cousin was born to a 13 year old mother), an unbelievable intolerance of homosexuality and classism/racism based on skin colour and country of provenance (the Andean countries are particularly looked down on).

I don't mean to put a huge downer on the place for you before you spend a long time there, most people agree with me about santiago but perhaps don't have such a bad opinion of it...i don't know, i've never been somewhere that has felt like such a crushing weight on my soul before...and to the other extreme, Buenos Aires has the exact opposite effect. Whenever i return here, from anywhere, not just from santiago, it just kind of totally lifts my mood. After 18 odd hours from england i'll be knackered but arriving back into the centre always gives me a buzz...
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matttheboy



Joined: 01 Jul 2003
Posts: 854
Location: Valparaiso, Chile

PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, i forgot-there's a similar place to where i lived just around the corner, i can't remember the address but it's just off diagonal rancagua near the big green pacificos gym. I'll try to find out the address (it may be calle italia(?). It's less of a house and more of a student residence for about 15 people but the cost and facilities etc are similar to what i mentioned.
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Don Alan



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 150
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Matty, I donīt mind your mad raving about Santiago, really! Any information about accomodation gladly appreciated. I think Santiago wonīt be so bad in the summer because the pollution isnīt so bad and there is sunshine every day. I donīt know why they donīt do something about those bloody micros spewing out fumes all over the city. If they could bring in cleaner fuel or something on the buses it would make a big difference. I went to Viņa del Mar when I was there and that was nice apart from the gypsies who never stop pestering you for money, even one of them dared to say to my girlfriend that she reminded her of one of her daughters - what an insult! Actually teaching in Viņa would be a lot better for your health.
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Weona



Joined: 11 Apr 2004
Posts: 166
Location: Chile

PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My oh my. Does anyone else living in Chile find these posts a little unsettling and depressing?! I think Chile is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Santiago, true, isn't so great, but there is a lot more to this country than a city of 5 million and smog. Good lord. This country has a lot of culture, it is very rich in culture even. You kind of have to venture out of the westernized cities to find more of it. Go north, south... its there.

I find the people to be some of the most accepting, friendly, and warm people I have ever met. Just today I had a person come up to me and strike up a conversation just for the hell of it. The other day I had some problems at the bank with my ATM card and a Chilean couple stayed with me to try and help me through everything when talking to the bank officials. I left my sweatshirt in a cafe once and I had a women running after me outside at like midnight to return it to me. Little things like this make me love this country. Granted I live on the coast, less people, less smog, tranquila, etc... but I still get treated very well every time I go to Santiago. Could be because I'm North American, who knows, but I would say Chileans are some of the most friendly and warmest South Americans I have met.

I went to Mendoza a little while ago and the people seemed cold, bored, like I was an annoyance when asking questions in stores and cafes. They seem very much more centered on their looks and apperance than Chileans and I cant remember the last time I wasn't looked at up and down by female store attendants when shopping. So I don't pronounce "talla" as "taja" so maybe I don't use "vos" and maybe I slip in too many "ya"'s when talking, but I still would appreciate less eye-rolling and a little bit more smiles (and preferably ones that don't come from the men who seem to want to do nothing more than to whistle and make kissy noises every time I walk by them - even la policia! en serio).

I guess I'm a little troubled as to why you feel that strongly about Chileans and Chile in general. I'm putting on the defensive because its my home. Argentina is a fine country and I only mentioned those things above to show that nobody is perfect and that Argentina is by far not flawless, just as Chile isn't.
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matttheboy



Joined: 01 Jul 2003
Posts: 854
Location: Valparaiso, Chile

PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My feelings about Chile and in particular Santiago are based on the months (not just a couple of days) i spent living there (and i go back at least once a month) and on my girlfriend's family, friends and various associates who, despite being all very nice (even her father!) are in the main, classist, arrogant and on occasions obnoxious and racist. They form a pretty decent cross-section of chilean society, from fairly 'lower class' with not much money to upper middle class with BMWs in the driveway.

You must have had a very unfortunate experience in mendoza as mendocinos are the friendliest argentines i have ever met (and argentines are very friendly in general), full of life and very open, cold they are not. They are very chilled out and very friendly stemming from the fact that they are a very country oriented people and not really city-folk at all. Maybe it was your chilean accent that put them off? I've been there on chilean long weekends when mendoza has been 100% full of chileans and they treat the mendocinos like dirt. My girlfriend was very very embarassed by how her fellow countrymen behaved and finally understood my views on chileans. She even apologised to some restaurant owners for how some chileans treated the staff there....
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Don Alan



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 150
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I canīt speak for the rest of Chile but given the heading makes it clear this is about Santiago, I will say one thing: it is extremely difficult to find culture or cultural events in Santiago. The city is extremely poor in this sense.

Moreover, with regard to Santiago, with its pollution and smog, winter there is extremely depressing.
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Don Alan



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 150
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2005 11:07 pm    Post subject: accomodation Reply with quote

Any more possibilities about accomodation? My girlfriend is looking to see if she can find me something. I contacted Contact Chile before Christmas after looking their web site with a view to reserving a pieza in somebodyīs flat, was then told to contact them nearer the time of arriving, contacted them again about 3 weeks later and was told the place I wanted was reserved and that the only other options were 50% more expensive than i anticipated which doesn't correspond with the prices or availability on their web site. When I first contacted them saying I was looking for a pieza for a year they were super nice but then when I said I would want it for less time, which means less commission for them, they weren't very helpful. Parasites!

I'm now thinking that instead of renting a pieza maybe it's worth just having a wee flat to myself even though it will be more expensive but as I have experienced before while living in Spain, sometimes it pays off having your own place, for one thing gives you a place to do your private classes.

Anyway, interested on hearing more views on this topic as the time for my departure fast approaches.
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Weona



Joined: 11 Apr 2004
Posts: 166
Location: Chile

PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Don... not sure if you've tried the Mercurio classifieds but I'll go ahead and post the link anyway:

http://propiedades.elmercurio.com/

There you will often find various accomodation websites while doing your search.

There's also:

http://www.elrastro.cl
http://www.huifa.cl/
http://www.arriendovacaciones.cl/
http://www.chilnet.cl

I'm sure you've done your fare share of research but I figure I'd post those links anyway just incase you hadn't come across them. Good luck! Smile
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Don Alan



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 150
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 5:14 pm    Post subject: accomodation Reply with quote

Thanks Weona, I knew about el mercurio but the others I hadn't seen before so Iīll check them out.
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