Chilenas, all of them, I swear! Well, all except for yours truly, but seriously people I can’t begin to emphasize how monumental this moment was for me as an expat in Chile. I broke through the bubble and you can too. There is hope for us gringos to bond with the locals without marrying into the family. Granted that has not been the only way, but the most popular no doubt.
We spent hours exchanging our personal stories over coffee and laughing, so much laughing. These ladies felt comfortable right off the bat sharing intimate details of themselves without a single drop of pisco. Well, you see, that is usually what it takes to get the locals relaxed: a BBQ and wine marathon known as a “parillada” which begins at lunch and extends way, way past dinner. This was breakfast, yeah, that’s right, I had breakfast with Chileans. Let that sink in won’t you.
All of this thanks to the wonders of Twitter, a way for an introverted nation to observe you and then choose when and how to socialize with you. I grew up on an island where the phrase “Mi casa es su casa.” was taken very seriously. You knew your neighbors and happily marched into their homes as they did yours with only one invitation: the first upon introduction. Today I sat with a group of women who still could not fathom going to someone’s home, even though they were invited as a group. It was too much too soon for them, better some breakfast at a restaurant…. for now.