We could start this short note asking where Chile is, and we know that in some latitudes someone could put his finger in the wrong place of the map. However, we are going to pretend that everybody knows that Chile is Chile, that it is in South America, that it runs along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, that Peru is in the north, that Chileans speak very quickly, that its wines are famous and that once there was a man called Pinochet (we prefer not to mention Neruda; maybe you don’t know that he was Chilean).
No, what we are going to do on this occasion is to tell you things that you don’t really know about Chile. For example, that in no other country does the word “huevo” (egg) have so many derivations; huevón, huevada, hueveo, hueveando, huevear, ahuevonado, huevas, etc, each of them with its own meaning and context, and all of them together are a great part of the Chilean vocabulary. Although it is not so curious if we take into account that the egg plays an important role in their diet.
Surely you don’t know that the owner of the moon, until the date of his death, was Chilean. Jenaro Gajardo Vera registered the moon on September 25th, 1954 and, according to the regulations of this country he was the legal owner of the satellite that some years later Neil Amstrong would step on. Such was the case that, according to the legend, before sending the expedition President Nixon had to make a “symbolic” request to Gajardo to be able to visit the moon.
Something that you don’t know about Chile, and maybe you will prefer not to know, is the existence of Ñachi, a food originally from the Mapuche that is eaten in the south part of this country. While an animal (veal, lamb) is being butchered for the barbecue, all its blood is gathered in a container with some spices and lemon juice. Then, it’s mixed and it’s let sit. Once the blood is coagulated, it’s cut into small squares which are then served. And Anthony Bourdain didn’t tell you about it.
Finally, you should know that Chile is an insatiable collector of Guinness Records. Among its many feats, it can count the biggest swimming pool in the world, the largest cluster of grapes, the longest drought, the southernmost town, the first missed penalty in the World Cup and the largest number of round kicks to the head level in the shortest time.
All this valuable information could be useful in the future. When you travel to Chile, asking about these subjects could open many doors. And if you prefer not to travel, at least you will be able to say that you know something about Chile, but you still won’t know the singularity of its people.