Patrick Dondlinger is Luxembourger. He has been in Chile for about a year. Patrick is an avid cyclist. Find more about him in the following interview.
Where are you from?
I am from Luxembourg, a beautiful small country in the center of Europe between France, Germany and Belgium.
How long have you been in Chile?
I arrived in Chile more or less a year ago.
Why did you choose to come here?
A multitude of reasons led my partner and me to the decision to leave Brussels in Belgium and come to live in Chile. We were looking for new challenges in our lives and wanted to experience a different way of life. After living my whole life in Europe in different countries, I was ready to make the move across the ocean to experience the Chilean lifestyle.
What other countries have you visited?
I have traveled mostly in Europe, visiting the countries of the European Union (except Cyprus), Turkey and Morocco. In South America I have been to Perú, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to visit Asia yet (except for one afternoon on the Asian side in Istanbul, where you can cross the Bosphorus to find yourself in Asia).
Tell us about your experience living in Chile.
As my partner is coming from Bolivia, I am familiar with Latin american culture. That’s why the cultural shock was not as big as it could have been. Although I love the Spanish language, it took a while to get used to Chilean Spanish. People here use a lot of Chilean expressions, which can be very confusing and talk very fast. For example “andar pato” doesn’t mean that you are walking like a duck but it means that you are broke. But people are very nice and welcoming and they don’t mind if you ask them to repeat, even a few times, until you manage to understand.
What's the best part of living in this country?
I love that Santiago is so close to the mountains. On many weekends I take my mountain bike and spend the whole day with a group of friends in the saddle, exploring trails in the precordillera and enjoying the nature. On one of the last weekends we even had the chance to see some condors circling above our heads.
Ruta del Condor
Tell us about your experience as an ESL teacher.
At Smooth Talkers I am not working as a teacher, but as Academic Coordinator. I am responsible, amongst other things, for the processing of the progress reports of the students and the recruitment of teachers from abroad.