Friday, 11 January 2008

Excerpts from the ‘Gentleman’s Encyclopaedia Chile’ by Mr. Reginald Greenleaf

(The) Mullet

It’ll be of some comfort to the citizens of Alabama, that the Mullet, a distinct and somewhat uncouth hair fashion, which can best be described as, to quote a devotee of the style, “business in the front, party in the back” has been embraced whole-heartedly in the more urbanized areas of Chile. Sported by youths and bucks, I have no doubts that it is an attempt to keep up with the dandys' of local fashion than any public statement on the political origin, to wit, the United (Revolutionary) States.

One cannot expect far-flung countries to keep up with the latest European fashions so do not be too judgemental.

Pisco (Sour)

Considered Chile’s national drink next to the newly established trade in wines, Pisco is made by fermenting grapes. Depending on the quality and strength, Pisco can taste like anything from Whisky to Tequila, horse piss to ambrosia.

In a sly move, worthy of Bonaparte, the Chilean government named a particular region, ‘Pisco Elqui’ in order to ensure the naming rights as the drink originated in neighbouring Peru.

The ‘Pisco valley’ if you will, is a strange place where man has staked his claim firmly against nature: lush green valleys where rows upon rows of grape vines can be made to look, if one has the imagination, like meadows in England.

On either side stark, otherworldly mountains of crimson red stand imposingly over the delicate frameworks below. To be constantly aware of one’s own frailty and mortality must in part be an explanation to the very reasonable price of Pisco (in the region) and if I were one of the denizens I would partake in a glass or three.


By the end of my stay in Chile I had almost tuned out the near constant backdrop of whistling. It is astounding. Despite the ever present crashing of the sea, cawing of seagulls and barking of stray dogs, a steady stream of whistles can be heard throughout the day. As far as I could determine, Chilean’s use whistling for three things:

1. To whistle at attractive ladies (a mating ritual perhaps?)
2. To whistle to attract a friend’s attention (imagine wolves howling)
3. To remind themselves they exist (a useful philosophical tool)

Join us again tomorrow as we publish more excerpts from Mr Reginald Greenleaf’s, Magnum Opus.

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