Yesterday I was walking down 11 de Septiembre and a journalist from TVN (the national TV station) with a camera man approached me and asked, “Sabes lo que es un ‘pinpas’?” (Do you know what a ‘pinpas’ is?) I said no and continued on my way. I asked F., who was with me, if he knew. He didn’t. At the time I thought maybe it was a type of animal that inhabits the Pampas, but I really had no clue.

Then I promptly forgot about the whole thing.

I was just eating lunch when I got this text message from F.: “Ya sé que es el “Pin Pass!” (I now know what the Pin Pass is!)

This was my response: “Quee?” (Whaaaat?)

I had NO clue what he was talking about. I thought maybe he had made a mistake and sent the message to the wrong person. Then I stared at the words “Pin Pass” and said them quickly, as if I were a Chilean. What do you know? Pinpas. This made me remember yesterday and the questioning TV journalist.

Wouldn’t you know, I can’t even recognize my own language. I go around imagining small animals that inhabit the plains of Argentina instead of a way to pay with a credit card without having to show your ID and sign, which, by the way, I think is a great idea and one step towards more efficiency in Chile.

I’m all for the Pinpas…err…Pin Pass.


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