Since I first got to Chile, I’ve been taking notes on my phone on all of the little things that I’ve noticed are different. Things related to food, to words, to businesses, to overall culture – all jotted down in a little notepad on my phone. Listed and explained below are a few of those differences.
1) I NEVER KNOW IF I CAN FLUSH TOILET PAPER DOWN THE TOILET OR NOT. One of the things that I’m most excited about when I get back to the United States is being able to consistently flush toilet paper down the toilet. The uncertainty of where I can put my toilet paper in all of the random bathrooms that I’ve gone to around the continent really is doing things for my stress levels. I’m so conditioned to putting it in the toilet, but then there’s this little fear in the back of my head that says “Ooh but if you do that you could blow up the entire sewage system of this establishment”. So toilet paper in toilets is something that I’m looking forward to, if only to decrease my stress levels.
2) Pharmacies. In their big supermarkets, there are places where you can get tooth brushes, deodorant, soap, razors, lotions – all that jazz. But you can’t get sunscreen at the supermarket. You have to go to the pharmacy and ask the lady behind the counter for it. She’ll bring out multiple types of sunscreen if you don’t know which one specifically that you want, and you pick from her selections. Or if you have allergies – you go to the pharmacy and describe what’s wrong with you, and then she’ll go back into the depths of the shelves and pick out a medicine for you. I am a very visual shopper – often times I don’t know what I want or need until I see the item on the shelf. These types of pharmacies throw me off in a major way.
3) Bread and produce are SO DANG CHEAP HERE. Like I can get a massive carton of blueberries (don’t ask me for the weight, I’m absolutely hopeless when it comes to that) for less than $1 USD. Or I can get a big bag of bread for $1 USD. Everything else is a little more expensive, but I’m so down for cheap bread and produce. I’ve had to learn to be careful and not walk on certain streets when I’m hungry or else I pass by a ton of bread and pastry shops and they smell SO GOOD, and then I want to go and buy ALL THE THINGS. And then I would eat ALL THE THINGS, and it would just be a mess.
Those are a few random differences, more to come!