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Street Spellcheck. What the Fock?

When I was living in DC, I worked at a publishing company, writing business-to-business compliance...
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How to learn to love a new flavor, experiences with boldo tea

Before living in Latin America, I could probably count the number of times I'd drunk tea on...
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I’ve got a purseful of ginger and cilantro, an embarrassment of riches/feria haul

After a truly mind-bending trip to Aysén, the far, lost south of Chile (yes, again, yes, I am that...
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Is that all you’re buying? Social norms and observations on the New Year

"Tan solo eso?" (Just that?) This was what the man said to me while I was buying a bunch of grapes...
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Slicing and Dicing in Chile. Or You Know, Peeling. Tomatoes, of all things. "Always peel away from you." That was the advice my mother gave me in...
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How to parse a sign in Spanglish

Today I am going to teach you how to parse a sign you see in Spanglish, and by parse, I mean consider how it came to be written how it is written, as opposed to in actual English, based on a previous knowledge of Spanish. Before I begin, I should mention that I...

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Tales of a Very Aggressive Vegetable in Suriname

In the stultifying heat of Paramaribo, Celeste and I needed lunch. It what our first day together in this city that we both happen to love, for no real reason except that everything about it says, "hey, why are you here?" and "welcome." Everything from...

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Feria report, with tomatoes with real tomato taste

There are times when you go to the feria obligado, you go because you have to, because when you open the fridge there is more space than stuff, and when dinnertime comes, you think, "I could eat rice and yogurt and lemon pickle." (Just me?) Then there are times that...

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Rethinking Valparaíso

If there's one city in Chile that I have a complicated relationship with, it's Valparaíso. On the one hand, it's an easy place to get to from Santiago, often sunny and cheerful, colorful and bright. On the other hand, it's impenetrably confusing, like a map had a baby...

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Chile food hack, s’mores version

My ire for those who search high and low for exact replicas of the homeland food products is irrationally great. Particularly when they are from the same place as me, and insist time after time after time that they must have: graham crackers! regular cheerios! or...

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When in doubt, make it yourself. The detergent report.

Amid recent reports of price fixing among of all things, toilet paper manufacturers, I return time and again to the things that are difficult, impossible or expensive to buy in Santiago. I had always noticed that toilet paper seemed disproportionately expensive, at...

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I give you: the beansnake, or the midweek Vega report

I was on my way home from the doctor today, for the long-fought asthmapalooza extravaganza, and decided to pop into the Vega. Bought a bunch of stuff, as I am wont to do, and rejoiced at the price of overripe tomatoes, because I am constitutionally incapable of...

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