I can’t claim to “know” Chile as I only spent two weeks there with 60% of that time sick in bunk beds, but if I had to describe the little that I saw in two words it would be wieners and strays. Let me explain.
My first stop was Santiago which was very average. I did a couple free walking tours, hit up some local markets, and went to a museum about the atrocities and human suffering from a past president.
I also ate a lot of hot dogs. It’s not like I’m even that into the things but everywhere I went they were selling them. But these are no ordinary hot dogs, oh no. In Chile you have options with the most popular being smothered in mayonnaise, tomatoes, and what appeared to be three whole avocados. They call this the “Italian.” It was excessive.
And it’s not just straight hot dogs that they’re into…it’s anything with a wiener (this sounds dirty; ha). French fries? They’ll throw some wieners in. Sandwich? They’ll stick some wieners in that, as well. The Chileans just love their wieners (snicker).
And now for the strays. The quantity of them in both Santiago and Valparaiso was insane, though the quality of dogs was quite different in each place. In Santiago the dogs are friendly and well-kept with the locals going out of their way to take care of them. Apparently in the winter people even make the dogs sweaters. Too. Cute.
Then there’s the strays in Valparaiso. I liked Valparaiso…it’s a cool place…but the dogs are aggressive. They look a little mangy, they bark, and they chase you. Not the most pleasant puppies in the world.
Again, I can’t claim to have seen a whole lot of this country, but if I had only two words to describe it those two words would be wieners and strays.