Sept. 11 Avenue

Trip Start Jun 03, 2006
Trip End Jul 05, 2006

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Flag of Chile  ,
Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Class was great today. I had been complaining that no one has just given us a straight, non-legal account of what had happened in Chile and what the experience was for the people here. The first lecturer gave us just that today. I was upset because I was too tired to enjoy it but I still got a lot out of it and enjoyed it thoroughly. The second class was about a very dry subject: Bilateral Trade Agreements. Indeed, the reading was the actual texts of the Chile-US BIT, the Canada-Chile BIT, and Chapter 10 of NAFTA. However, the teacher was amazing and really clarified the material and made it much more interesting than I would have imagined. I had a great time in class today. This even continued after class as some of us continued to discuss the subjects on the metro.

After class, a bunch of people had ventured to Marcado Central, an open air fish market complete with restaurants. My friend Erin and I lagged behind in the classroom but decided to follow and join them for lunch. We found our way there on the metro and ventured into the market to seek them out. Immediately upon entering and throughout the entire walk-through, we were assaulted at every step by men trying to convince us to eat at their particular restaurant. I'm not sure if any of them realized that we don't speak Spanish because they all continued to follow and talk at us. We walked through the entire place and could not find the group (turns out they never made it). So, we just picked a small place and sat down. The entire menu was fish. However, it was in Spanish. Erin ordered Salmon because she's boring. I ordered Coringo or something. I think it turned out to be Halibut. Whatever it was, it was delicious. Also, it came with rice. Mmmm, I like rice. Oh yeah, before the food, we got bread and a mayonnaise spread (everything here is mayonnaise based). This mayonnaise, though, was GARLICKY!!! It was good. The fish also came with cloves of garlic on top. Omp!!

After lunch, the class went to La Moneda, which is basically the equivalent of the White House and Congress put together in one building. We got a tour of the building and a rundown of the Military Coup that occurred on September 11, 1973 and ushered in Pinochet's Dictatorship that lasted almost 20 years. This Military Govt. was notorious for human rights abuses and Chile is still recovering. It is this tragic event that gives it's name to September 11th Avenue in Santiago and not 2001, as many Americans would assume. I just thought I'd share that information, since it is interesting to see the different cultural experience. I didn't get any pictures today because I left my camera at home, thinking I would stop back between school and La Moneda. I will post some when I get some pics from my roommate.

That was pretty much today. Oh wait. Tonight, the class had movie night, where we watched an awesome Chilean Movie, called Machuca, following two students from different classes about the time right before and during the Military Coup. It was somewhat intense, obviously, but really well done. You should check it out if you can.

Oh yeah, remember the group that continued on to that town with nothing on the weekend trip? They ended up making it back home at about 5 in the morning. They got the van turned in okay and apparently had a great time. I guess there wasn't much to do, so they walked around town and hung out until the nightlife started up. They then posted up at a restaurant and ate and drank the night away (except Mohammad, who drove back). I'm certainly glad I didn't go, but also glad that they all had a good time.
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