WTF is going on in Chile?

Posted: November 16, 2019 in News, Stupidity, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

According to international news, “Piñera has been having some problems with protests.”

In reality, criminal vandals have destroyed the metro system, looters have smashed and stripped clean countless places of business, and riots of arsonists have been rampaging through cities, setting fire to businesses, churches, and residences.

Police headquarters and personal homes have been attacked, army bases attacked, and roadblocks are set up by “vigilantes” who think it’s fun to force drivers to get out of their cars and dance for the mob. If they please the crowd, they are allowed to pass. If not, the mob smashes or burns their car.

It all started about a month ago because of a 10-cent hike in the public transit fees. People began protesting nonviolently at first by either boycotting the metro or jumping the gates. Then they decided to take it to a new stupid level by wrecking and setting fire to the metro stations.

Supposedly the driving force behind these protests is that the people want constitutional reform. However, of all the people I have asked, “what needs to be changed about the constitution?” not a single one could give me an answer.

Essentially, people are just looting and burning shit because they can. There is no reason to any of it. Every single night, the trash piles are dragged into the street and set on fire by arsonists. The dumpsters are long gone– they burned those the first day. The metro remains closed, and the storefronts that did not get looted or burned remain barricaded and closed. What businesses are open are shuttered up and you have to enter and exit through a tiny opening in the steel plate. Everything closes at 4pm so that people can get home in order to hide from the mobs.

I can’t keep my windows open because tear gas and the smoke from burning trash will waft through.

There is no mainstream media coverage of this at all. And I really don’t know why.


2017’s US taxes got borked and the IRS sent me back a notice that I owed them A LOT OF MONEY™ the reason for which THEY WILL NOT TELL YOU™ so you simply have to figure it out yourself and redo everything, paying interest penalties on money you never owed in the first place because it took them 9 months to get back to you because they are slow and they suck.

Anyways, in dealing with the fallout, I found a neat thing called the US/Chile Social Security Totalization Agreement which pretty much absolves you of the need to pay self-employment tax if applicable. 

There is no official tax treaty (yet) between the USA and Chile, but fortunately this agreement, in combination with the FEIE, should help eliminate a good deal of your tax burden if you are a self-employed vagabond in Chile.

Long time since I have posted anything.

So many people have written in or told me how much they enjoyed my writing and how much they miss it. For which I am humbled. Unfortunately, it only came out when I was angry. And I’m just not angry anymore. Nothing in Chile has filled me with the pure, seething, all-consuming anger that seeps from every pore in the same way that Uruguay did.

I deal with anger, awkwardness, and general malaise by trying to bury/hide it in wit and sarcasm; maybe it’s age, maybe it’s environment, maybe it’s the fact that I have stopped watching the news. I’m just not a fission pile of daily rage anymore.

So, what’s been going on with me? Things have coasted along more or less smoothly bouncing back and forth between the USA and Chile over the past few years. I’ve gotten to the point where I am applying for Chilean citizenship. Still waiting on the t’s to be crossed and the i’s to be dotted regarding my Chilean tax situation, which got botched, but it’s nothing that cannot be corrected, and as soon as it’s rectified I can submit all the requisite poop to become an official Chileno.

The tax stuff came down to the SII (Chilean IRS) not having any idea what to do with my situation as a digital vagabond with so many different flags in so many different places. It took them a year to get back to me regarding just how to file, but here’s the cool thing: Unlike the US IRS, who is content to jail you for even a minor breach of rules they do not even understand and cannot (proven time and again) even supply consistent results for, Chile’s IRS will write you an official signed, stamped resolution about exactly how to file, with which you can show them if any issues arise. They just take their good sweet time doing it.

End result is that because of a combination of me paying taxes to the Empire, and because of a neat new loophole I found, my tax burden in Chile is pretty well negligible. I will pay more in accountants’ fees than taxes. Which is fine by me.

What are my plans for the future?

I’ve got a thing in progress with Polish citizenship by ancestry which may or may not bear fruit; I’ve located the missing link, and I merely need to find a record of his birth in Poland. Therein lies the challenge, because Nazis. I have no plans to live in the EU but you can’t ever say no to an extra passport. Well, maybe summertime in Berlin would be nice…

Puerto Rico is the next destination of choice after my Chile chapter is done. For an American digital vagabond, the tax breaks simply can’t be beat, and you get so much more benefit to much less time put in. 6 months of exile per year, right next to home, without technically “having to leave home” in order to absolve you of your US tax burden, plus no more capital gains taxes— where do I sign and how much of my blood would you like? One mortal soul, coming right up.


On Wednesday, Venezuela decided to finally pull the trigger on leaving the Organization of American States. This is the first logical thing the Venezuelan government has done since Chavez took power.

Gee, I wonder if they will be missed.

Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Dear Mr. Trump

Posted: April 21, 2017 in News, Politics, Stupidity
Tags: , , , ,

This is your chance to prove to everyone that businessmen are not scum-of-the-Earth evil masterminds who wring their hands in quiet mirth as they rain destruction down upon the dirty brown people of far off lands, and that we are, in fact, the source of jobs, investments, prosperity, and a welcome benefit to mankind and its quality of life.

It’s hard enough as it is to tread against the mindless current of the media and popular leftist business-hating culture.

You’re starting to fuck it up for all of us. Think about what you’re doing, man.

Shia Leboeuf’s celebretard art installation “He will not divide us” has finally divided us.

It started with Shia himself attacking an attendee and being arrested for assault. Originally created as a “peaceful protest” to “bring people together” where anyone was encouraged to record their statements on a camera which would repeat the video in perpetuity, the street found its own use for things and soon crowds of people started showing up, including those with opposing views.

“The installation created a serious and ongoing public safety hazard for the museum, its visitors, staff, local residents, and businesses.” – Museum of the Moving Image

Opposing views are not welcome in the world of political correctness, and so Shia physically assaulted an exhibit attendee, and, as he was carted away in handcuffs, his parting words of tolerance and peace were, “How are we going to make this shit okay to be a Nazi out here?”

“Over the course of the installation, there have been dozens of threats of violence and numerous arrests, such that police felt compelled to be stationed outside the installation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” – Museum of the Moving Image

Opened on January 20, the exhibit ran a mere 5 days before Shia’s arrest and was shut down less than 2 weeks later.

“The Museum Has Abandoned Us.” Shia tweeted after the exhibit’s closing, completely ignoring the fact that it is his own fault, and it all went fine until he attacked someone.



Bobquest 2015 1/2: Patagonia

Posted: February 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

dscn0450Or, shall we say, epic fail 2015: Chile.

In some ways, it was great. In so many ways it was a failure. Anyways, this is the short version of how the trip went.

It took a full year for me to grind my teeth and forcefully extrude all the vein-popping constipated rage that built up over this trip. I just didn’t want to talk about it. And for a vocal misanthropic grump like myself, well, that’s epic.

February 2015: I arrive in Chile, a month ahead of time, for a planned road trip from Santiago to Torres del Paine in the southern end of Patagonia. MomBob was joining me in March, and we had planned, loosely, a 2-week trip down and back, with a week in there for assorted noise and general South American Plan Derailment™.

First thing on the task list was getting the BobMobile’s inspection done and having all its paperwork up to date in order to foil any Surly Argentine Border Guards™. In Chile, this is usually a painless experience involving getting a cheap SOAP (obligatory insurance policy, which you can buy online), getting the official inspection done at a government facility (which is the wildcard), and pushing your papers through your municipality of choice (also a painless online 5-minute process).

Since the BobMobile is old, it burns some oil on startup. This is a very common thing in older engines, caused by worn valve guides which seep a bit of oil into the top of the cylinder head. It’s nothing harmful, not even a full drop of oil among all the valves, but there is a not-quite-enough-to-be-dramatic puff of blue smoke out the exhaust when it first fires up, which goes away after a few seconds as the parts warm up, the oil burns off, and the seal tightens.

This causes Chilean heads to explode at the inspection station, despite the fact (because I take good care of the car) that the emissions, when measured, are so clean you could literally breathe deeply from the exhaust pipe with no ill effects. Anyways, they fail me every time, I go put in an anti-smoke additive, and the next inspection they are flabbergasted that there is no smoke on startup. Dios Mio! Milagros! How did you rebuild your entire engine so quickly?! Please tell me who your mechanic is, because he must be using some form of Gringo Magic!

These are people who see cars every day and should know better. I chalk it up to the fact that car ownership among the Chilumpen is a new thing and the culture of common knowledge of this stuff has yet to sink in. That, or I didn’t leave bribe money on the front seat. I’ll take the risk of leaving a ten or twenty next time and see what happens.

Anyways the rejection would not have normally been an issue, but the wait was. It was an especially busy season and lines were formed around the block to get cars into the inspection station. Even if you arrived early, before they opened, there was a line around the block. I burned one entire day waiting for nothing; they had to close and divert the remaining cars away. So basically I wasted 3 entire days of my time sitting there waiting for assholes. All those idling cars, emitting for the sake of reducing emissions… Bienvenidos a Chile.

Actually, BobMobile’s inspection woes were not really the first things I had to deal with. I rent my place out when I am gone, and there were so many things wrecked and missing… My collection of fine whiskey glasses: 4 out of 6 missing, presumably broken. My entire collection of fine whiskey which had been locked away: consumed and not a drop left. The curtains in the guest bedroom ripped out of their concrete anchors in the ceiling and never put back. Just… hanging there by one hook. Diagonally (maybe he won’t notice???). The window locking mechanism in that same room broken off (this is a piece of stamped aluminum, not a fragile thing, just cleanly shredded from its mount, as if the Hulk got angry he couldn’t get the window open and just forced it with a few tons of effort). A whole frame of photos from my travels just missing, and the hole in the wall where the hook held it spackled and painted over as if it were never there. Two gouges in the granite countertop in the kitchen, as if someone had been sawing something and gone WAY too far into the stone. Like, half an inch. You have to work hard to cut half an inch into granite with ANYTHING. Stereo rewired completely wrong to the point of unusability. Not just that, I had secured all the wires for the TV and internet and sound system stuff to the back of the TV shelf with cable clips so as to make it nice and clean and organized, and they ripped all those out in order to wire it all wrong in a rat’s nest of cables. You don’t get any more intensely South American than that!

The power cable to the security camera was gone but the security camera was still there (who steals a device-specific power cable?) My printer so badly dropkicked in some fashion that the print head was permanently lodged into one side of it and I could not pry it free. Footprints on the wall. Like, someone walked sideways. High up. In shoes. And a myriad other WTF moments to go along with those. I am probably remembering only half of it.

I thought renting out a furnished place to higher end international travelers would have gotten a little more respect for the environs, but I was incorrect. So I spent the next few weeks fixing/replacing all the broken stuff and making solemn vows never leave anything nice around for strangers to use ever again.

Next up: the internet turned to shit. When I first moved to Santiago, my place had 6MB download speed, which was adequate. It was what I had a contract for. Well, now I was barely getting dialup speed. So I called Movistar and they sent a tech down and he did some fiddling, and then told me that I only had enough connection for 2MB. No, I told him, it has been 6 up to this point and now it is not even 2. I showed him the contract for 6, which confused the hell out of him, because, well, how could this be? You have a contract for 6 and you can only get 2, this must clearly not be the fault of the line, it must be some fault with the office giving you the wrong contract 3 years ago!

Anyways, he did some more line testing and went outside saying he was going to check the local station, and then he just disappeared. The speed did not improve.

So I called Movistar again, complained about the internet. I made up my mind that I would do it every day until the situation improved. Turns out they could not find any report back from the tech they had sent out, turns out he didn’t do anything to the line at all and filed no report about the inspection. They sent him back again, which made him mad at me for his lack of doing anything (Viveza Criolla Uruguayo PTSD surging back again). He told Movistar that the situation was hopeless and left again without fixing anything.

During this time my cel phone sim card, which I had had for years, decided to stop working. So I went in and got a replacement, keeping the same phone number. That took a whole afternoon. Then within 24 hours the replacement chip died. I went and changed to a different provider (Entel) because it had more reputed coverage in Patagonia for the road trip I was about to go on. (yes, we will get to the road trip eventually but first, a month of misery!)

Entel worked fine.

Advancing forward some days, my phone was stolen by a pickpocket in the subway, quite literally the day before MomBob and I were scheduled to get in the car and go. So I had to go get a new phone, get it set up with ANOTHER Entel chip, reload all the maps and everything for the trip, etc. which took pretty much another entire day, and for which we had to reschedule our departure.

I would later receive weird messages over Whatsapp in Chilean Spanish, from someone who thought I was his cousin and was playing a joke on him. I told him to ask his cousin why he is a flaite piece of shit ladron who steals phones on the subway, and that was the last I heard from him.

So, going back to the internet thing, it all became irrelevant because my laptop died. It would not boot. Well, thank the heavens I had a working cel phone to do things like keep track of family arriving from across the globe, right? Hahahah you know how that went. Really all I could do is laugh to avoid going on a killing spree. This is how supervillains are made.

I went and bought a new laptop and set that up, and fortunately all my data was intact on the old hard drive, so I managed to get all of that working, but that consumed another 2 entire days of being hunched over the keyboard.

Movistar still wasn’t fixed. Now, my place is quite literally in the center of Santiago. If you threw a dart, it is the bullseye. Just a couple of blocks from the Casa Moneda where the President, I am certain, has decent internet, and right between in the banking center of Chile, which, once again, I am certain, has decent internet, and the Universidad Catolica, which, I am certain, has decent internet, and right over the subway tunnel, which, I am certain, carries fiber optic cables through Santiago. But no, there is no decent internet to be had in my building. Movistar is the only link, unless I get even slower service through a 3g Entel connection. No fiber, no cable, nada. Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.

So, once I had a computer again, I kept calling and kept calling and kept showing up in the office so much that they finally relented and sent a new technician upon my request because I had finally proven to them that the previous weon was, in fact, a weon, and they should send a non-weon to check the line.

Miracles of miracles, it was sort of fixed the next day, but only to 2mb worth of signal, if that. Enough to keep tabs on my life but not really enough to live on, considering I require it for work. Unless it improved, I’d pretty much have to move somewhere else.

Finally about the time I got all the shit fixed, working, and situated, MomBob arrived…

(to be continued…)  Oh yes, dear reader, the “vacation” hasn’t even started yet!