Okay, I have a confession to make. I've been too hard on Chile. Too hard, because apparently, I hadn't really experienced the United States in its full glory.
I have lived the majority of my life in the North East. Pennsylvania is technically lumped with the "Mid-Atlantic" but I identify with its rhythm. I am, gasp, a north easterner.
And well, that's kind of a dirty word in the south. Texans say it with disdain, and a little long-time Raleigh resident birdie told me that North Carolina cannot stand northerners who come down into the triangle area and try to tell people how to do things.
But, living in the "south" for two years and just going through the process of buying a house in North Carolina, I can say that Chile, I was too hard on you. Way too hard on you. Why? Because after going through all of this, I cannot say that living in the southern U.S.A. is all that much more efficient, professional or better-performed than Chile.
The past three months have been terribly frustrating. I don't even want to get into it, but just to even sublet our apartment we had to practically beat down the doors of the administration office in our apartment complex to get them to do their jobs. Calling constantly, being really pushy. Few things they told us during the mortgage process in North Carolina ended up being actually true--I've come out of the process feeling utterly lied to and taken advantage of. Yesterday our bank sent us a letter saying our first payment was due August 1, then today, the DAY of July 1st, we get a letter saying it's due July 1. No one ever returns our phone calls or performs tasks when they say they will. My emails go unanswered. Today, the assistant in our leasing office promised me she'd put a paper I needed to sign on our front door. Tonight, we get home, nothing. Another morning I'll spend bugging them to do their jobs.
This crap reminds me soooo much of what day-to-day errands/dealing with people was like in Chile. Soooooooooo much.
What has this taught me? Aside from eventually wanting to return to my real patria, the north east, it makes me realize that problems we had living in Chile actually aren't unique to Chile. You'll find similar situations in many places,and I can imagine this sometimes happens north of the Mason-Dixon line, too.
I am going to try and love North Carolina with all my might. I am really going to give it a chance and I'm going to try and stop making comparisons, as I've been doing for years. But I just wanted to apologize to Chile, because I think I was kind of unfair. Sometimes, now, Santiago felt more progressive, sophisticated, edgy and urban than Texas and probably North Carolina.... :) Really.
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