|I would have
one shipped because itíll be alot less. In the U.S. when Iím there, I reside
a hop skip and a jump from Silicon Valley and computers and computer parts
are dirt cheap there. I can usually get a whole system, excluding monitor
for about $250 new in the box. The average price for a computer in Chile
is about $650-$700.
So now youíre
thinking, I donít want to have anything shipped because of Customs fees
and etc. Well thereís a way to beat Customs fees quite easily. In fact
since I have lived in Chile I have NEVER paid any fees for any incoming
items. Thereís a company in Santiago thatís a mailbox company but with
a twist. When you sign up with them they will give you AN AMERICAN address
to have items sent to and the items that are sent to that address are then
forwarded to you in Santiago.
I used this
service awhile back and found it to be much like Mailboxes Etc. I signed
a six month contract and then they gave me a mailing address in Florida.
would order things and have them sent to that address. The company representatives
handling parcels at the address would then express the packages or items
to Chile the next day and then the company in Santiago would simply call
or email me and let me know a package arrived. The service was fast; in
fact the turnaround time was about 24 hours. Once the package reached the
Florida address it was then shipped via courier to Chile.
You can avoid
Customs fees because the mailing address in Florida appears to be a residential
address and most times there are no Customs fees if, say, a relative sends
you an item as a gift or if they think itís from a relative or friend in
the U.S. As long as it is not from a company, you can beat fees.
trick thatíll serve you well if you have items sent from the U.S. is to
make sure it doesnít come in the retail packaging. Meaning, if you have
someone send you a new digital camera make sure they remove it out of the
store packaging and put it in a plain brown box and send to you. Again,
the principle is that there are no fees for getting a package of that sort
because thereís no way to determine if the item is new, used from a store
or a gift from a friend.
when your sender fills out the green Customs form at the post office they
put ďgiftĒ on the form and for dollar value, make sure itís something low,
like $50 dollars, that way youíll most likely avoid any Customs fees. Why
should you pay twice for an item you already paid for once to get?
A word of caution
about making purchases here and this is the ONLY thing I DONíT like about
Chile and that is, once you purchase something here, and if you change
your mind and decide to take it back to the store, they will not give you
a refund. This is the only bad point I can see about Chile. I guess
after being raised in the U.S. where if you bought something and did not
like it you can get your money back, I got spoiled on that concept. In
Chile you will NOT get your money back. Theyíll, however, replace the
item or get you a comparable item but again you will not get your money
back, so when buying be very careful and make a good choice. Be sure about
what you want because once the money is down, thatís it. So the rule of
thumb is; make wise purchases.
and shoe sizes are a bit different than in the U.S. also. If you wear a
size 8 shoe, you will not find any size 8 shoes here. Just kidding! A size
8 shoe in American sizes would be a size 40 shoe here in Chilean sizes.
So you can use that as a gauge to determine your shoe size when buying
If youíre invited
out for coffee downtown be warned, many of the coffee shops downtown are
considered gentlemenís coffee shops. Youíll find that the windows to
these establishments are tinted and that you canít see thru them and thatís
because while inside youíre served coffee by naked women and if not totally
naked, pretty scantily clad would be the next best or most tasteful way
to describe them.
itís also advisable to always be watchful. Pickpockets abound. Itís
a problem that the local police have made great efforts to crack down on.
Itís best to keep your wallet in your front pocket and not your back, or
if at all possible, donít carry your wallet or purse at all, just some
cash in your pocket is the most preferable way to operate.
If youíre looking
for housing downtown youíre in luck! Itís very inexpensive to live downtown.
because no one wants to live there. Too much traffic, too many people,
too noisy and after dark it can get a bit risky in some places.
One of the
most inexpensive hotels you can stay in while in Chile is also downtown.
Itís called the Hotel Vegas and itís located at the corner of Paris and
Londres (London in Spanish) Avenues, any cab driver can get you there easily.
accommodations are very nice. The average cost for a room is about $55
dollars per night and well worth it. I can tell you now, the area the hotel
is located in is so old world European youíd swear you were in Paris, or
some quiet street in an England suburb which of course is why the two streets
the hotel corners on have been named Paris and Londres Avenues. The streets
are narrow and cobble stoned and very charming.
The ride from
the airport is about 45 minutes but itís scenic. You can rent a car
or take a taxi but traffic can be insane to drive in. Traffic here reminds
me of New York City near Times Square during rush hour. You must drive
defensively! Thereís always traffic no matter what time of day or where
you go, so get used to it.
in your car, turn on the radio and enjoy the variety of radio stations
available. Surprisingly, Chileans are all rockers at heart so youíll
find many rock stations, along with several 80ís music stations, pop and
alternative also. Sure, there are Latin music stations, but Chileans
are real diverse when it comes to music.
Iím a serious
movie fan. One thing I hate is when a movie is released in the U.S. it
can be weeks or months before it comes to the local theatres here. This
of course doesnít really matter because you can buy just about any movie
thatís in theatres, off the street in downtown. The average cost for a
movie: $3.50 dollars U.S. or about 2000 Pesos.
that sell the movies are called ďPiratasĒ, which of course is Spanish for
pirates. Itís considered a crime here but one thatís harmless. Most
of the piratas that are selling the bootleg movies are not doing so to
get rich; many are doing so to be able to buy food to feed their families.
I would much rather like to see my money going to feed some needy family
than in some greedy movie moguls pocket. Usually within one week of its
American release you can get the film off the street.
buy them as CDís or VHS tapes. The discs are usually of much better quality
than the VHS tapes but you can wind up with a crappy movie at times regardless.
of the discs are computer only, meaning you can only watch the movie if
you have a computer. Invest in a converter, itíll allow you to connect
your computer to your TV and make VHS copies for more comfortable viewing.
Donít buy any
movies that are supposed to be DVD compatible because most of the time
they wonít work in your DVD player unless you have a VCD compliant DVD
player and even then itís a maybe. I like the idea of being able to
obtain any movie on the street. Every time I go to the movie theatre thereís
always some jerk who wants to talk through the whole movie, or some idiot
kicking the back of my chair or noisy people in general, so to me this
is a better way to watch movies. Iím not advocating this, Iím just
saying itís there as an entertainment option.
For those of
you that like the old time way of seeing a movie there are several multiplexes
showing tons of movies. The multiplexes are large, stylish and clean. The
average price of a movie ticket? A paltry 3000 Pesos or about $4 dollars
U.S. Thatís a far cry from the $10 dollars youíll spend to see a movie
in the States.
is a snap here. Thereís a service called Servi-Pag, and what it is,
is a little walk up booth found in most malls or supermarkets where you
can pay all your bills in one fell swoop. Bills are computerized so once
you pay itís instantly listed as paid with the company you get services
from, be it Chilectra, the Chilean power company or Telefonica telephone
service, the Ma Bell of Chile.
I can pay my gas, cable TV, telephone, internet and other bills all in
one shot. Many asked me in emails just what my approximate cost of living
per month is and I put it at about $500 dollars U.S. and this includes
rent. The breakdown is like this, my rent is $200, food is about $100,
bills are about $100 and an additional $100 for miscellaneous ventures,
you know, Blockbuster, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and other incidentals.
$3000 dollars U.S. will last about five months, give or take, but again
this is because I have most of the comforts that are needed to prevent
any frivolous spending. You need a computer, you need a DVD player
or VCR, you need a stereo and the like, if you have these things then you
will not find yourself out on the town every night because you feel bored
at home. Which in turn, will make you spend money needlessly.
I live pretty
simple so this is just average for me, it all depends on your lifestyle
but I canít see anyone paying more than $700 tops per month to live. Remember,
the key to ďBi-ContinentĒ living is in what you pay for rent. You want
to keep your rent as low as possible, and then you can spend on other luxuries.
me of ways to make a living. You can go to the visa office and fill
out a bunch of papers and go through the ďproper channelsĒ and eventually
get a job, which is a long process and could take forever or you can get
creative and make a quiet living on your own doing many things. It all
depends on your skills. I know of some who teach English classes and
collect a nice fee for doing so. I made and designed web pages and ebook
covers to make a good living which afforded me the luxury to work at home
in peace and comfort.
I opened a
virtual store where I made a nice living selling computer parts. In
Silicon Valley 128mb of memory runs about $20 dollars, but that same memory
in Chile will cost closer to $70 dollars U.S. So I would buy computer items
that would be fast sellers, such as memory, flash memory cards, blank CDís,
Mice, and the biggest money makerÖÖÖÖ.printer cartridges. I would then
run an ad in the local paper for these items at ďrock bottom pricesĒ. I
was easily able to bring a cache of these items with me through customs
as they were viewed as my personal property and not commercial items.
I made a
nice living doing this. How did I get the idea for this? Well, I was working
on a web project for a client and my printer ran out of ink. The cartridges
in the U.S. would cost about $45 dollars for all the colors needed including
the black, so like a dummy I assumed they would be cheap in Chile also.
So I got in my car and ran downtown to my favorite computer store and found
that the exact same cartridges were nearly $110 dollars! I also found out
most people buy generic cartridges and not the proper company cartridges
for the printer necessary because no one can afford true Epson, HP, or
Canon Cartridges or any of the other name brands for that matter.
when I got the idea that if I could bring over a bunch of actual brand
name cartridges and sell them for a little more than what I paid, I could
still beat the average prices the stores were selling them for and make
a nice profit. Printer cartridges are a valuable commodity here; in
fact the name brand cartridges are in some places almost non-existent because
people cannot afford real Epson, Lexmark, Canon or HP cartridges.
When I ran
out of cartridges, I would simply pick up the phone and call a buddy in
the U.S. and tell him to buy some and send them to me. He already knew
the procedure for sending items to me that we worked out before so I got
the items with no Customs fees and I would then have the ad placed in the
local paper a few days later. I would sit back and take calls on my
prepaid cell phone and of course any incoming calls are free as explained
in the previous article.
Once I sold
to a few clients I found my cell phone rang off the hook for people wanting
cheap, real name brand cartridges. Yes, it did become a nightmare as
I was getting calls late at night also, remember Chileans are nocturnal
people. I eventually got out of that business but itís one business you
can always get in with a minimal investment.
Making a living
in another country is not hard. You just have to be resourceful and observant.
things you see in everyday life will give you ideas for ways you can make
money based upon the differences of one country versus your country of
If youíre a
gamer then you know that the Playstation One is no longer the popular Playstation
but rather the Playstation Two now is. You can get a new Playstation
One for $45 dollars now but when they first came out they were costing
$199 or more, but hereís the kicker; that very same Playstation One that
no one is really playing with anymore since the big boy Playstation Two
has come out, is still $110 dollars in Chile.
A smart man
could buy ten of them and run an ad in the paper selling them for, $75
dollars a piece and make a nice profitable business out of it, not to mention
a nice profit per unit. Just remember to include voltage converters
with them as a courtesy.
good business is a mail forwarding service. Take advantage of the fact
that youíre not in Kansas anymore. Hey, who wouldnít want to have an exotic
mailing address in another country? You can become a mail service,
accepting and forwarding mail for people, or even a virtual office, complete
with fax and phone services and you can run it out of your home easily.
out a small ad in an American business magazine and just see how many clients
youíll get who want an exotic address in another country.
Are you bilingual?
Great, so open your own translation service and charge people a nice fee
to translate letters or documents. Youíd be surprised how much money
you can make doing that and working from the comfort of your own home,
on your own terms and on your own hours.
do you have? Donít think for a minute that you canít make a living using
what you know how to do, because you can. Donít think that people will
not pay for your knowledge because they will! I make an excellent living
right now with a new company Iím working with to produce instructional
videos based upon what I know and have learned about traveling and other
countries. The company is howtwovideo.com
and you can find many of my instructional videos there. Such as How to
get a passport in 72 hours or less or How to stay safe when traveling abroad.
to making money in a another country is in the ďdifferencesĒ between the
two places, and its economies, the differences between what people buy
and want and then being able to transfer the differences of one to the
other. Itís the differences that will help you to make a business to generate
no limit to what you can do to make a living for yourself thatíll allow
you to live the life you have always wanted and desired. Think outside
of the box, be imaginative!
Chile has a
great deal to be proud of, and yet Chile also has one thing it should be
ashamed of; the men and women who make up the fire departments are all
volunteers. Not one of them is paid. They risk their lives everyday
saving others for absolutely no money at all, and thatís wrong. In the
States firefighters are some of the most well paid workers, but in Chile
theyíre all volunteers. Most work regular jobs in addition to their duties
as firemen. They are truly Chileís unsung heroes. So if you ever go
to Chile, take a firefighter to lunch and show your appreciation, after
all if your house catches fire, theyíre going to be the ones youíll count
on to save your bacon.
that, Chile is a wonderful place to call home, a place where true freedom
does exist. If youíve gotten to the point where you are tired of so-called
ďlifeĒ in the U.S. then look abroad, open your eyes, dream it, think about
it and then find a way to make it happen. One of the most legendary commando
units in all the world, the famed British SAS, have a motto they live by,
and that is; Who dares wins. Take a dare. Take a chance on winning
a new life. It may not be in Chile, it could be anywhere, but donít allow
yourself to feel trapped behind the invisible prison bars that are surrounding
your emails. Email me with your questions, and if I can help I will, and
for those of you that asked for more direct help in coming to Chile the
answer is sure, I can gladly assist you in starting a new life here.
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