Tag Archives: South America

Coffee with Legs?

This afternoon we went on a Tours For Tips of Santiago’s main cultural attractions. These tours are always fun in any country: students picking up a bit of extra money lead you on a 3-hour tour (is the theme from Gilligan’s Isle going through your head right now?) complete with drinks at the end and fun insights into bits of local culture.

Today, we learned about Chile’s fairly unique coffee shops. I’m a big coffee folklore person, fascinated by all the stories and traditions that surround the caffeinated elixir of life, but this one… well, I was gobsmacked.

In Chile there are four kinds of coffee shops: “coffee with legs,” “coffee with legs dark,”  “happy minute,” and Starbuck’s. Tea is the preferred hot drink in Chile, so when a group of businessmen got together to try and promote ground coffee beans as opposed to the instant coffee most places prefer to serve, they fell back on a tried and trusted formula: use sex to move the product.

In Coffee with Legs shops, the windows are clear until about two feet off the ground, then frosted, then clear from about four feet up. This is so you can see the lovely legs of the waitresses wearing miniskirts as they serve the ground beans, roasted fresh. In the “dark” version, the windows are black, and the girls are wearing bikinis. In the “happy minute” shop, for one minute each day, the girls remove the bikinis. Santiago Countdown 1 069

I’m not making this up. The coffee with legs places are also about half the price of Starbuck’s. This is our tour guide standing outside one of the “dark coffee” places. While we were there, three men came out and had to walk through our group.

They had very big smiles. Unlike our tour group, who were staring in a kind of fascinated horror at the place…..

Santiago Countdown 1 068 So now you know. Coffee in Chile is kinda special. Me, I’m drinking tea. It’s good.

 

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Filed under Big Stone Gap, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, Wendy Welch

Jack’s Travels

chileI count myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel widely during my life, and mostly at little cost for various reasons. When I was a part of the folk band ‘Heritage’ from the late ’70s through the early ’90s we toured in France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. Then just before and after my retirement from the college in Scotland where I worked for twenty years, I visited Romania and Vietnam on business. Of course I came over here to the US every year from the late ’80s until I moved here permanently, and visited Newfoundland when Wendy was studying there.
I really enjoyed all of that, made some good friends, and experienced wonderful cultures that I would never have known much about otherwise.
Every year, of course, I get to go back to Scotland at the end of June when I lead a small group tour of my homeland. So I get around. But next Wednesday I’ll be going to a part of the world I’ve never been to – South America!
Our good friends Cami and Bill are coming to the end of an extended stay in Chile, thanks to a Fulbright Scholarship, we will be joining them for their last few days and then staying on for a few more on our own. I know very little about this part of the world, other than something of the troubled politics of the 20th Century.
If I can I’ll blog about my impressions while we’re there. Who knows, perhaps the Chilean tourism industry will employ me to lead tours there! (A guy can dream….)

 

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Filed under between books, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, Scotland, small town USA, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch