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Santiago, good place to live?
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Don Alan



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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 5:50 pm    Post subject: Santiago, good place to live? Reply with quote

Iīm still in Spain and will shortly be in Scotland to spend two months before heading out to Santiago. I was there in September for a month.

What do I think of the place? Never would contemplate going to live there if it were not for having a Chilean girlfriend. Just given up good job, nice flat here in a small town south of Madrid. In Spain I worked in an academy but in reality I was self employed because I rented the classroom. I found making money very easy once i got established and was successful. I realise that in Santiago making money teaching English is going to be difficult. I think to a certain extent the job market is spoiled by people who want to travel and only aim to stay a short time. Itīs not really their fault but what happens is that the academies only offer low wages and no conditions because they are full of teachers who are only going to pass through for a year at most and donīt care about having a long term future with rights and conditions.

Santiago is very contaminated and has very few green spaces. I got fed up of the city centre within a few days as it has nothing to offer. The only compensation for me apart from being with my girlfriend was that i found the Chilean people I met through her to be very open. I didnīt think the people in Madrid were that friendly, but the Chileans like people from other countries and don't make you feel like a foreigner like the Spanish do.

Anyway, I would be interested to hear from more teachers in Santiago.
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Dennis Parish



Joined: 09 Nov 2004
Posts: 18
Location: santiago de chile

PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, your point about those just passing through is well taken but you have to take into account that starting in November until March or April, classes really can be hard to come by. Added to this, Chileans have no qualms about cutting their programs without notice or just not showing up for classes which haven't been paid for but have been arranged. Then they wonder why there aren't any experienced teachers around...
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matttheboy



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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good idea Don, get someone else's opinion about the place, i've got nothing good to say Sad It would seem like it's only you, me and dennis on this forum at the mo though...

Chilean people are open to foreigners because they see us as status symbols a lot (not all) of the time due to the classist nature of chilean society, but i think i've already touched on that in a previous thread...

Anyway, over to someone else and please, please tell Don something good about Santiago..... Very Happy
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Don Alan



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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I said to my girlfriend tonight that i was speaking to someone on the Forum who didnīt like Santiago and mentioned some of the comments and she said to me, ' Santiago tiene cosas bellas, también.' Then I asked her what they were and she was stumbling but then started to mention places which are in the Province but not in the city itself like Cajon de Maipo. So I think the conclusion is even from the point of view of someone from there, there really is bugger all going for the place apart from the odd Chilena. And to think I am leaving a place in Spain that was where the KIngs of Spain spent their summers with fountains, palace and gardens and was declared by UNESCO ' Paisaje cultural de la humanidad'. Love makes you mad. Iīm off my rocker!
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matttheboy



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

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, away from the city is OK, i like renaca myself, just along the coast from vina del mar, much more relaxed that vina or valpo...but it still doesn't really do all that much for me...

Anyway, i'm off back home to dorset manana, something i'm not really looking forward to a great deal (cold, expensive, full of idiotic english people...) so i wish all reading this a happy christmas and new year and i look forward to rejoiing this thread in 2005.

chau for now,

Matt
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ryanmh



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 1
Location: South East Asia

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey everybody,

I've been reading this forum for some time but until now haven't posted anything. I am arriving in Santiago around the second week of March with a friend to teach English. We both have experience doing so in Asia.

Although I admit my expectations of Santiago are being lowered with every post I read, I'm still incredibly excited about Chile as a whole. The diversity and opportunities for time off seem very appealing. The ability to go snowboarding in the Andes in the winter and lie on a beach on the Pacific in the summer... all only a couple of hours away. Deserts and glaciers in one country... come on!

I'm not in any way attempting to start an argument about the country, because when it comes down to it, I'm still quite ignorant about it. But I'm more than willing to give it a shot in the hopes of having some amazing times.

Anyway, for those who've spent some time in Chile... hit me up - what are the good things? I've heard enough about the smog and traffic, what about the positives?

Thanks,
Ryan
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matttheboy



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

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are no positives about santiago, sorry Sad

However, the rest of the country is beautiful, the main problems being that it's very expensive (food, accomodation etc), pricier than spain for many things for example. Also the country is so damn long it takes hours to get anywhere and north of santiago there isn't much but great expanses of desert between towns and cities which is pretty at first but 100% dull after an hour or so.

Close to santiago is the cajon de maipu (well i think it's called that) where you can rent cabanas in the mountains which is good, vina del mar and valparaiso are nice as well (about 2 hours away) but the sea is a) too cold to swim in (14-15C in summer) and b)the currents are too strong and it's strongly advised that you don't swim...only in the far north is it really warm enough to swim (up to about 20-21C water temp).

There are good things about chile (but not santiago) but i personally find that to every 1 good point to chile there are 5 to argentina...good luck and have fun

el matito
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Don Alan



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

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good summary by Matty. Remember this topic heading is about Santiago not about the whole of Chile. Chile has a lot to offer outwith Santiago but if you are working in the slave trade of giving English classes you probably wonīt have any money to enjoy the rest of the country unless you come with plenty of savings.
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eileen



Joined: 15 May 2004
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing beautiful in Santiago? Ni-k. You`ve got to be kidding me.

Beautiful things really inside the city:

Plaza Concha y Toro
Plaza Ņunoa
Parque Forestal and itīs continuation up into Providencia
Barrio Brasil
Barrio Universitario (Republica)
Cerro San Cristóbal
Cerro Santa Lucia

Beautiful things that are technically in the city but feel like youīre a world away:

Parque Mahuida in La Reina
Camino Huinganal in La Dehesa
Quebrada Macul in Peņalolén
Quebrada de la Plata in Maipú
Cerro Manquehue

Quite close to the city:

Laguna Aculeo
Cajon del Maipo
Baņos Morales
Baņos Colinas
Rio Clarillo
Valparaiso
Laguna Verde
Caleta Las Docas
Viņa del Mar
Reņaca
Con Con
Caleta Horcon

Well, I guess thereīs probably more, but Iīve only been here 8 months, so Iīm sure I havenīt seen everything there is to see. True, Santiago can be a difficult place if you donīt like living in cities. But it's not without its good points.
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Weona



Joined: 11 Apr 2004
Posts: 166
Location: Chile

PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

matttheboy wrote:
yeah, away from the city is OK, i like renaca myself, just along the coast from vina del mar


So you don't like the whole classist nature of Chileans yet you like reņaca? One of the most westernized, resort, classist, rich towns in Chile? Right.
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Don Alan



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

PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say that although Matty might give the impression he doesnīt like Chile, he does in his defense have a Chilean girlfriend like myself and therefore has no inherent prejudice against the place. Like myself he talks from his personal experience something which cannot be denied.

I think we both state the obvious, Santiago is an ugly city but the rest of Chile has something to offer.
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sciphoto



Joined: 11 Nov 2004
Posts: 29
Location: praha, cz

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you say that teaching englishg is a slave trade in santiago? how much is average salary there? Also i am an avid snowbaorder, is it possible to live in Santiago and make it to the mountains on a teacher's budget?? i live in prague right now teaching and it is real comnfortable, the people are kinda cold here like everyone seems to say about chile, but i can deal as long as i can get to the powder and find a job and a decent plae to live...gracias por el consejo
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Don Alan



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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some good ski resorts quite near Santiago. One is called Farellones although I think you would be better placed for skiing if you lived in Argentina as there are some resorts on the Chilean/Argentine border.

As for having enough money, probably not if you are relying on a poorly paid teaching job in Santiago unless you are prepared to stop eating during the week to fund your weekend expeditions. It takes one and a half hours to reach Farellones, itīs not just round the corner and between the bus fare, ski lift prices etc and accomodation, you better come with some savings if you want to taste the snow or work day and night during the week earning peanuts.
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matttheboy



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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes weona, i like renaca because i like the seaside and it's a lot lot quieter than vina. I go there for the odd weekend with my girlfriend because we like to get out of santiago and its stresses when we meet up and we're fortunate enough to have use of her father's home (he leaves when we arrive). The beach is nice, the restaurants are good and there's a cellar full of wine to enjoy-i'd like you to explain how anyone could fail to like this, regardless of it being the playpen of the rich (who we never see as we rarely go out)? And you deliberately missed off the end of what i said after my comment on renaca-that, despite the things i like about the place it still doesn't really do all that much for me. I like it for the reasons given above and because when i'm there it means i''m with my girlfriend. Any more smart-arse comments?
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matttheboy



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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Valle Nevada(?) is pretty close and the skiiing there is supposed to be ok. Not sure how much it all costs as i knackered my back and so spent the whole winter whining about how i couldn't go skiiing (it drove a few people mad Very Happy )...the main problem about skiiing in chile and argentina is not necessarily the cost but the fact the the last 2 years have seen so little snow that a lot of the skiiing was done on brown gunk. This year was even worse than last. Hopefully the next year will be better...
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