Where you come from makes a difference

Knock, knock … Police.

This happened last year when we were open for Airbnb. I was just watching something just now on tele and Chile came up and it reminded me.

We live in a really safe area. The house is/was open 24 hours a day and we leave/left keys lying around anywhere for 30 years until last year.

So, at 3 am we were awoken by police knocking on our bedroom door. We’re sound sleepers and we had one of those old rattler air conditioners in the bedroom. They told us that our neighbour called them because thieves had tried to steal our car but got it caught on the gate post on the way out.

When we got up we saw that it wasn’t just the car, all of the cupboard doors were open and they had been in the office as well. We had a young woman staying in one room and a Chilean couple in the other room.

When the police were calling out to us from the hallway before knocking on our bedroom door the young woman had come out of her bedroom when she heard the police first arrive. The police were there for 20 or 30 minutes while we talked about things.

We were amazed at how the Chilean couple hadn’t woken up to find out what was happening. We discovered next morning that they had woken up when they heard “Police!”. His response was to brace himself against the bedroom door. Apparently he did that until things quietened down.

A memorable Airbnb learning.


wow that’s a story I hope to never experience


Where were the thieves from?

JohnnyAir is in OZ.

I had police here once to check on a guest of mine. I slept through it but it was unnerving when I saw the recording on my Ring doorbell.

That’s my response here in the US as well.


We actually know the answer to that because they were caught the same night. They’d successfully stolen another car and police caught them.

They were juveniles known to the police on bail for similar offences.

How scary for you all and how sad for your Chilean visitors. Some in the US, even with nothing to hide, have similar responses to police in their neighborhood based on experience. I have learned a lot from my guests about other places and cultures.

We have absorbed so much from people from all around the world sharing our life spaces. There is a sense of truth about it.


A friend of mine whose father was a US AID economist posted to Chile was going to high school in Santiago when the Pinochet coup happened. Five of his best friends (and he says, the best poets and writers in the school) were among the thousands gunned down in a soccer stadium. I can’t describe the depth of his hatred of fascists.

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These guests were from Arica in the far north of Chile.

Same thing. Formerly repressive regime with Fascist cops.