Monday, October 5, 2009


This year my country will hold presidential elections. There are four candidates, one of them I cannot even believe that decided to run for president. He was already president for 6 years between 1994 and 2000 and his government was not that bad but he made terrible mistakes of which we still pay the consequences.
To begin with, he granted presidential pardon to one of the biggest narcos in Chile's history. He has never explained why he did that or what he was trying to achieve.
The second mistake was to force Chile to adopt natural gas. When I say "To force", it was literally that. From one week to another he signed a contract with Argentina for buying gas and using government money he subsidized the building of a gas pipeline. Not only that, the pipeline was imposed all over Chile and after that was given to the gas companies for them to use and connect everybody to it. Since Argentina never invested in improving their gas producing facilities they ran out of gas to export and now we had to build a special port to import gas to be able to use gas, which before this brilliant idea was produced from garbage.
The third mistake was denying Intel's application to establish in Chile. Before setting in Costa Rica, Intel wanted to establish some factories in Chile. But this genius didn't want to deal with a "evil company" so he sent some underlings to deal with Intel. As soon as Intel noticed the government was not interested, they moved to Costa Rica. At that point, 10 years ago, Costa Rica was a very poor nation, nowadays they have a flourishing services industry and Intel is expanding there.
I'm not going to enumerate all of his mistakes because this post will grow too long, but I'm going to say this: I don't care who is elected, as long as it is not him. Please fellow Chileans, don't elect the same stupid again because we cannot keep wasting our options.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


While surfing the net I happened to land on some blogs of expats living in my country. While it is nice to read about impressions of people living in your country it is also interesting to see that people usually make the same mistakes as you do. So in order to collaborate to world peace I decided to use the little experience I have as a country-hopper-expat and write some advices for blogging about other countries:
1. Remember you are living in another country, what is normal for you might not be normal at all there and vice versa. Don't make judgments.
2. No country is perfect, not even your country.
3. It does not matter how well you speak another language, natives will always recognize you as a foreigner.
4. Be polite and try not to offend people.
5. Being an expat means that you decided to go and live somewhere else. If you don't like what you see, either help to fix it or move on.

These rules are harder to follow than what they seem. I find myself breaking them all the time, but if one tries to follow them you'll see how much your perception changes and how much natives start improving their perception of you.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Today I came back from an incredibly wonderful experience, skiing in the Norwegian mountains in Jotunheimen National Park.
We started on Sunday taking the DNT bus to Gjendesheim, and once there we went out to check the skis and see how things were going. On monday we crossed the lake Gjende to get to the cabin at the other end, Gjendebu. The first half was against the wind and the second half was more or less problematic because I rewaxed my skis in the middle and I choose the wrong wax. The result was that I was accumulating a lot of snow under my skis, so I had to stop and rewax them. We arrived at Gjendebu at around 15:30 (18 kms trip).
On tuesday morning we started the trip to Olavsbu, a self-service cabin located around 14 kms from Gjendebu. The weather was perfect most of the way, and the trip was very pleasant. The only problem came at the very end when we were caught by a strong wind but we managed to get to the cabin without problems. We arrived at Olavsbu at around 15:00.
On wednesday morning we started our trip to Fondsbu, more or less 12 kms from Olavsbu. The very first part of the trip was hell, it was an almost vertical climb and since I don't master the technique yet it took a lot of energy and time (almost one hour for about 200 meters). After that the trip went better until we hit another climb, although this was shorter. Once we were done with that climb, the down hill part came. That was fun, although I fell like a gazillion times. We arrived at Fondsbu at around 14:30.
Today we started at around 9:00 to Tyin, in the hope to get to Tyinkrysset and catch the bus back. The original plan included a final stop at a cabin called Slettningsbu (very close to Tyinkrysset), but we decided that we were too tired to do it, so we went straight to Tyin. It was a 22 kms trip, and 20 of those were over the lake Tyin. We arrived at Tyin at around 13:40 and we started walking to Tyinkrysset. We missed the 14:15 bus so we had to wait for the 17:05 bus. However while we were waiting, somebody approached us and told us that he was snow blinded so he couldn't drive his car back to Oslo and asked us if we were going to Oslo and could drive him there. We agreed and we got a ride home!
Despite being incredibly tired, I'm totally looking forward for the next trip.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Am I being childish?

I have a job that I like and I can afford to live my life the way I want to live it. If I compare myself to many other people, I'm in a really nice situation. Specially on these harsh times.
Most important, my job is challenging. Or at least, it used to be. Is not that is less challenging now, but we are going through many changes and I don't agree with some of them. I have told my manager but he thinks that things are going on the right direction. If I look at things in perspective, some of them are although some others are not. Should I just grow up and accept that life is not always as we want it? Am I being childish by thinking that I should find something else and do not accept the changes? I need to think about this.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

pushing limits

I've been enjoying cross country skiing for the past three months. I'm progressing at a fast pace and to test how much I've learned I decided to join to an activity by the "Ski Føreningen" (Ski association) and try to go 57 kilometers in a single trip!
I'm impressed with myself, I was able to finish the 57 kilometers without major problems. My strategy was to go a little bit slower than normal and do very little stops. In fact, I can count only two stop that lasted for more than 5 minutes. The other two stops were about one minute, and they were basically to drink some water. The fact that my skis were glided was a key factor, I was able to glide quite a lot and that made the energy saving part very effective. Together with the slow pace that made me feel really well.
Nevertheless, I'm exhausted but terribly happy!