Where are they now? Chile !

22 03 2013

It’s been a while since this blog has considered those forgotten nations that really deserve more of our attention. I’m pretty tired about hearing about how the US spends money like a drunken, innumerate sailor with poorly stitched pockets or how heinous the tabloid press is with our privacy. I have a sneaking suspicion that most people’s lives are pretty darn boring. Otherwise, why would we need such rampant escapism in our spare time? All they would see at our place is some guy writing meaningless drivel into a computer.. oh, that’s me…

Now we really ought to hear about Chile more often but we just don’t! Our regular readers will expect, very soon, the obligatory quiz, oh, here it is (how’s THAT for timing, huh?!):

Which of the following is REALLY the Chilean Flag?




One of the most interesting things about Chile is that it is the longest, thinnest, country in the world. Yep. If Chile was a supermodel it would be draped in the finest Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Versace instead of stripey Alpaca ponchos. It is remarkably svelte! Now this actually causes some safety issues as well, you could imagine the problem if you lived up on the Andes somewhere in Chile with a long driveway and a dubiously maintained handbrake. It would come as a shock to see your car down the driveway and sitting awkwardly in the Pacific Ocean below. Your Alpaca would not be impressed to be the second most important mode of transport either…

Of course, Chile is known for lots of things. Football? Not so much, really. Food? Meh. It’s really hard to go past a decent Mexican taco or quesadilla. Chileans do manage a peculiar dish or, more correctly, way of cooking called a Milcao du Curanto which involves digging a big hole, sticking a fire in it and chucking in heaps of mashed and ground potatoes, sausages, seafood, old boots and the odd weird uncle that you tend to get at family gatherings. I have some extremely unreliable evidence that long before the Spanish Conquistadors introduced funny hats and severed limbs to the Incas, a boatload of Maoris on holiday had a nice hangi on the beach.

So the legend goes, some particularly hungry Incas crept out of the hills after the Maoris left, drunk, singing and telling Hawaiian jokes to each other. They found only a warm mound of sand, under which the Maoris had sensibly thrown their rubbish, after the Hangi. In it, of course, were the usual sausages, too burnt for even a hungry Australian to eat, Prawn heads (George Colombaris was not present to explain how to extract Crustacean Oil) and the ubiquitous amounts of potato salad (that apparently every culture on Earth appears to make too much of at barbeques!). Well, suffice to say, the Chileans loved it. Previous to that their best dish was a cake purportedly make out of dirt, taro and Alpaca droppings. To the virgin palate, this is, remarkably, what Milcao du Curanto tastes like.

Chile has beautiful beaches, cool, spectacular mountains, truckloads of culture, ruins, classy hotels and places where you can buy souvenir wooden alpacas (or real ones, given a big enough bag and indiscriminate customs officers in your country of origin). So why don’t we hear more about it? Ah, readers, this is the part of the show where we do the fabulous country makeover.

It would be remiss of us to go any further without discussing the merits (or otherwise) of the nation’s motto which translates as “By reason or by force”, which sounds curiously like parenting advice to one with petulant toddlers. It’s just too gubernatorial. You really need to show that you have a laid back vibe when your whole country is really one bloody long beach. Don’t go getting heavy man. What are you forcing us to do? I’m not touching that Milcao crap with a barge pole buddy!!!

How about a far vibier (it’s not a word but seriously should be, man) motto? Hey, since writing articles for Belgium, Portugal and that other country, their column inches in some publications has gone up measurably, according to a vague statistic I manufactured especially for this article. A truly great motto would be: “Life’s a beach, and then you fry!”. Which not only sounds about as laid back as you can get but also explains the inordinately high rates of skin cancer and eighteen year old girls that look like unwrapped Egyptian Mummies.

Here at File 13, we generally recommend a flag makeover and Chile is no exception. The correct flag in the quiz was this:

Yawn. Sorry, this flag always has this effect on me. It honestly looks like the scraps on the cutting room floor when they designed the US flag. One star, half a white stripe and then a red one. Really? errrgh. It’s an embarrassment, man. My proposition is to kill two important birds with one important stone (actually just an ordinary stone would do, it’s only a metaphor for those into animal rights wanting to kill me with, in that case, a particularly hypocritical stone). Let’s do a flag that looks funky AND shows people how to pronounce your country!! Here are some options, mainly because I am honest enough to admit I don’t know the correct way to pronounce it:

Flag 1:

What a great flag, right?!! Chilli:Chile.. how cool (or hot) is that? Even the bloody country looks like a chilli (albeit, long, dried out Chilli but let’s not split Alpaca hairs, right?). Now, if I am not correct with the pronounciation, then this might be a more suitable flag:

How COOL is THAT, for a flag (can you believe our country makeover service is FREE here at File 13!!!!). It screams, “CHILL, EH?”.. with an Eric Estrada-like chilled out dude on a retro chair. I wish it was our Australian flag, man. I’m saying man a lot in this article. It sounds a little sexist. It might well be. If I could find a chilled out woman, I might say woman, but I haven’t met one yet. Of course, from a female point of view, ‘chilled’ from a male point of view could really just be ‘lazy’ from a female point of view.. as in “get off your chilled out arse and put those 16 day old underpants in the wash, YOURSELF!”. I reckon this guy has been SO chilled for SO long that his underwear may be attached to the chair… this could be a problem.

There we have it. New flag, new motto, thrill rides down to the sea in cars with faulty handbrakes and Alpaca rides.. what’s not to love? Well, we might have to recommend fasting whilst visiting, otherwise we really need to develop a new national food. Chilli-icy poles anyone?




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