Sunday, July 8, 2007

Things to bring to Chile

Absolutely the most important things we brought were our notebook computers. The internet is just the best source of information. I use it to find baking substitutes and recipes, besides the million other reasons-news, encyclopedia, dictionary, communication....

Small non-electric kitchen items are also great, especially if you have certain special items you love to use. Favorite spices are nice to have too. Some are hard to find and many are hard to decipher because they're named something different here. Someone said cream of tartar and allspice are impossible to find but I haven't confirmed that. I also wish I'd packed a spice rack of some type. The ones here that I've seen come in sets of 4 jars. I was thrilled(go figure) to find a pie pan yet baffled by the spring form cake pan-I'll have to check the internet on how to use them. I haven't yet seen the layer cake pans. I haven't baked much previous to Chile but I find if we want a "real" chocolate cake, that's the way to go. So, even baking is more rewarding and adventurous.

I wish I had brought some of those little bag clips because everything(spices, marmalade, you name it) comes in little bags here and the small clips would be perfect for resealing them. I did throw in a couple for larger ones for chips which are handy, especially with high humidity. When we have more room in the new house, we'll acquire more containers.

I'm really glad we brought paperback books and cards for some of these rainy winter days. And happy to have warm, thick socks and long underwear for working outside when it is cold. The cold can't compare to Montana but 40 degrees and humid is quite cold to me! Sunny and 68 degrees in the winter is a nice relief on the non-rainy days. I also wish I'd brought a couple favorite board games. I have been completely unsuccessful in finding a crockpot, yet have found many rice cookers!

I brought an Ipod from the states and I love it-not so much for music but for the many free podcasts available. I know a few people that brought a Kindle and they love them.

And finding both familiar and new items is all part of the adventure! Chileans have been very helpful-one told me I'd find dark chocolate at Copec(the gas station-not the grocery store or department store) and there it was! Talking to Chileans is essential to the adventure and while you're talking, you'll hear some great stories. There is a lot of superstition here. We were recently told not to live in Pirque because high in the Andes there is a "bottomless" lake (Laguna Negra). When the dam breaks, the never-ending water will pour out and drown all of us! I guess we'll build a boat. Maybe it's easier for them to ignore the earthquakes and concentrate on a lake. Another perfectly sane Chilean told us to beware of the evil eye. The evil eye is the name for a sickness transmitted, usually without intention, by someone who is envious, jealous, or covetous. In other words, a person can harm you, your children, your livestock, or your fruit trees, by looking at them with envy and praising them.