1. Water here automatically comes "con gas" (carbonated) unless otherwise specified. You have been warned.
2. The sun sets around 8:30/9 PM. Totally unsettling when you're used to it setting at 5:30/6 PM.
3. The transportation system here is pretty awesome. After you get over the initial annoyance of not being able to drive your car anywhere, anytime, you start to appreciate the leisurely drives through the city.
4. Speaking of transportation, everybody here drives crazy (including public transportation!). 60 mph on tiny little one way streets when there are people all around. Oh and did I mention that at certain times of the day, the direction of the one-way traffic reverses???
5. The cat calls/wolf whistles/all other animalistic noises made by men in the street are off. the. charts. Memorable moments: a man yelling from across the street to ask if I would go to lunch with him, a couple of friends and I actually getting applauded while walking home from school, and a musician serenading me on the bus.
6. Anybody who is not a native Spanish speaker is called a gringo. I am, of course, familiar with the term, but I have never ONCE been called a gringo in my life. To tell you the truth, I kind of enjoy it hahah. It lessens the pressure.
7. People will assume you are Chilean if you appear at all hispanic, but will realize you are a "gringo" as soon as you open my mouth to speak. Recently, however, I have been getting a lot of compliments on my spanish from Chileans. But maybe they are just humoring me :(
8. The friendliness of Chileans astounds me. I have never before heard of a major metropolitan city with friendly inhabitants. After they chuckle at my inability to speak Spanish, they are incredibly accommodating and helpful.
9. Chileans don't speak spanish... They speak some sort of distortion of the spanish language. Not only do they speak 10x faster than any of my Mexican family, they also drop syllables like nothing, and even have entire books that list all of their slang, widely known as "chilenismos". Side note: the call the language "Castellano"...something about the word "Spanish" referring solely to the nationality.
10. Chile is Chile and Mexico is Mexico. I realize now how naive I was to think that this trip would help me get in touch with my Mexican heritage. What I have learned these past two weeks is that Latin America cannot be grouped together as one because each country is so entirely unique. I think it is safe to say that Mexico is as foreign to Chile as the U.S. is.