Monday, January 16, 2012

Dunkin Donuts in Chile

I've recently started teaching English to a CEO of a local university.  Classes are held at her house in Los Dominicos, an upscale neighborhood in Western Santiago.  She's a total Spanish type-A personality, always interrupting and interjecting her ideas when I'm trying to explain a rule or a concept.  We've had about 6 classes now, and I have yet to reach a verbal period on any sentence.

However, hanging out in the upscale part of town does have its benefits.  As I was wandering back to the bus stop one day, look what I found!

One of the funny things about living in a foreign country is you get excited about seeing common super-chain restaurants from the US.  And one of the funny things about seeing Dunkin Donuts down here was what was on the menu.  Or rather, what wasn't.
I always get a kick out of seeing menus like this, because they use the same symbol for the Chilean Peso as they do for the US Dollar.  I picture some ignorant tourist coming in and going "1,280 dollars for a latte?  So overpriced!"  But I digress.  Take a close look at the menu, with respect to the "Cafe" section.  I'll give you a clue, "cafe" is Spanish for "coffee".

That's right.  There is no coffee.  Dunkin Donuts in Chile does not sell coffee.  They have lattes, expressos, and every other kind of fruity, saccharine monstrosity that 14 year old girls love to pretend is coffee EXCEPT for the backbone of Dunkin Donuts.  The universe is clearly playing some cruel joke on me.

I asked the lady behind the desk about it, who seemed thoroughly confused that I could possibly want a coffee from Dunkin Donuts.  She went and asked her manager, who said that all she had to do was water down an espresso, and it would be the same thing.  I wanted to smack both of their heads together like a 3 stooges episode.

Anyway, I ended up getting my "coffee", and it turned out to be pretty good.  At least, it was as bad as a normal Dunkin Donuts coffee in the states.  A little burned taste of home.

Also interesting down there was the selection of Donuts.  They had some of the same ones as the US, but many donuts were different than their Bostonian counterparts.

This one in particular seemed quite Chilean to me - the "Chocolate Volcano"
Sadly, no Boston Creme Pie donuts.  Once my Spanish is up to snuff, the owner of this branch can expect to receive a VERY strongly worded letter from a frustrated patron.

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