Time for some updated obsessions! I believe we left off with Argentina. For those who are new readers, for each country we decide, in our sole discretion, what that country is most obsessed with. If you are from that country and disagree, we don't really care.
Argentina- Uruguay. We thought long and hard about this. From what we can tell, Argentina wants to be like Uruguay in almost every respect. They also like cow products. They also like Italian things. We ran this idea by some Argentineans and they seemed offended, but we're sticking to it.
Chile- Receipts. A typical exchange to get an ice cream cone in Chile goes like this: 1.) I tell the person behind the counter that I would like an ice cream cone (or more likely a gallon). 2.) That person prints out a receipt saying what I want. 3.) I take this receipt to a cashier who fills out a form in triplicate stating what I want and the price. 4.) After I pay, the cashier keeps one copy and gives me two. 5.) I walk back to the original guy and give him both copies. He writes that I have given him this receipt on both of them, returning one to me and keeping the other. 6.) He scoops my ice cream. Anyone who wonders why carbon paper is still produced need only visit Chile.
Bolivia- Stealing from tourists. We actually believed this long before our bag was stolen. It is part of the culture to take as much as you can from tourists. I don't think people gave me correct change when changing anything greater than a ten ($1.50) ever. At first you think they are honest mistakes, but they always have the extra money ready if you ask so that it looks like they just hadn't finished counting. We also met more people with stolen stuff in Bolivia than anywhere else. We understand that it is a poor country, but theft is not a good development plan.
Okay, that's all. Now it's time for us to go eat some dinner.