Condors, Gauchos and Steak: A 3 day tour of Salta, Argentina

Argentina may be slightly off the radar for many. For one, it’s distance. Secondly, it is pricier than many other South American countries. Another… many places in Argentina are very difficult to get to (as we were soon to discover). Before going to Argentina, I was unsure about what to expect. I knew nothing about…

A Rough Guide to Teaching English in Santiago

Teaching English as a foreign language is a funny one. In Chile, you need virtually no qualifications other than the ability to speak English (helpful, I know) and in some cases the luck to have been brought up in an English- speaking country. ‘Natives’, we are flatteringly and not always accurately called. Never have I…

Chile: Developed or developing?

On the surface, Chile seems like a pretty ‘developed’ country, not so different from many North American cities. That was certainly my first impression on arrival. An afternoon spent in Las Condes, the business sector of the city littered with high rise glass buildings confirmed this. And indeed, there is a lot of money here….

A trip through ‘linea uno’ (pt. II)

Sadly, but unsurprisingly, not every metro stop on linea uno has the charm of Universidad Catolica. This post details some of the areas on line one that I am not so keen on. Fortunately, this post is much shorter than the previous, which says a lot about my opinion of Santiago. But nevertheless, here are…

A trip through ‘linea uno’

Line one in Santiago has something for everyone. The crowded markets of Estacion Central to the restaurants and cobbled streets of Lastarria, quirky café’s and leafy streets of Providencia, the swish glass buildings and corporate businesses in Las Condes and the mansions nested into the foothills of the Andes in Los Dominicos. As an English…

Casa Republica… ‘Where the sun never shines’ (but the rain comes in).

‘Character’. A simple word of nine letters, yet probably one of the most universally suspicious words in the English language. When I try and describe my residence of Casa Republica to my friends, I frequently use the phrases: ‘it’s pretty quirky. It’s got character, you know.’ I have to hand it to the landlord when…

Día de las Glorias Navales

One of the best things about living in Chile are the frequent bank holidays, or feriados, which commemorate a variety of historical and culturally important days. One of the most recent of these feriados was on the 21st May, which annually remembers the Battle of Iqueque. The Battle of Iqueque was a naval battle fought…

‘Es mejor que el pan con palta’

One of my students recently told me about a common saying in Chile. When something great happens, or when life is generally good, it is referred to as ‘mejor que el pan con palta’.  This immediately sets the bar pretty high, as I have discovered here that few things can beat the simple goodness of…

A *very* brief introduction to Chilean media

One reason I chose Chile as my destination to teach English is because of its status as one of the most politically and economically stable countries in South America. The reliable source that is Google frequently told me that as far as South American cities go, Santiago comes out top in issues surrounding safety and…

Settling down in Santiago

When I told friends and family that I was planning to move to Santiago to teach English, I encountered every reaction from encouragement, amusement…. to downright bewilderment. ‘But you don’t speak any Spanish apart from ‘mas vino por favor.’ ‘You’re not a teacher.’ ‘You have absolutely no sense of direction.’ ‘Do you even know anyone…