Bumps, Bruises, and Small People in Santiago

Trip Start Oct 13, 2010
Trip End Jun 20, 2011

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Flag of Chile  ,
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

So Jill and I arrived in Santiago on the morning of Thursday, Oct 13th after an overnight connection in Miami. Since we spent only 3 days there (and the first one was mainly comprised of lazing around in our hostel room), we decided to just throw out some general observations & highlights of our visit.

1.       Chileans are small people, as evidenced by a bruise on my head after smashing it on the ceiling of the hop on/off tourist bus (see pics below) as well as  multiple other bumps and bruises from the bathroom stall in the hostel, the shower cubicle and various other entrances and staircases.

2.       Santiago was pretty "chilly". Jill uttered those words as soon as we walked off the plane and I shot a disgusted look at her & she immediately realized her transgression (i.e. groan-inducing humor) and promptly apologized. She later also told her Mom that we were just “chillin”, which also was met by with a raised eyebrow.

3.       Lots of people here “play in traffic”. There are jugglers in the middle of the street, candy and newspaper vendors, and stray dogs who obediently wait for the walk sign before crossing the street unattended.

4.       People like making out in the parks….Santa Lucia hill was like “inspiration point” on a Friday afternoon….and if you can weave your way through all of awkward groping sessions, there's some very nice views of the city & the Andes from the top of the hill.

5.       People here generally don’t speak English….that’s all we got.

6.       Drying off a 6-foot tall, hairy man with a dri-fit towel the size of your average face cloth is actually more effective than you could have ever imagined (yes, and we know that you don’t wanna actually imagine that).

7.       Santiago has lots of nice parks and squares scattered amongst some drab and dated architecture – lots of square, blocky buildings in disrepair (though some cool graffiti)….probably a reflection of the economic struggles of the country. The newer areas look more promising. Was also a bit strange to see a golf course right smack dab in the middle of downtown, though it looked pretty tiny.

8.       For those fans of the movie “Il Postino”, we had a tour of the house of the famous Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda. It was pretty cool – all in the style of a ship and a lighthouse, despite the fact that the man was afraid of the water and didn’t learn to swim until he was 48 years old. Very interesting fellow…go ahead and google him…3 wives, Nobel Prize winner, buddies with Picasso…oh…and he really loved watermelon.

9.       For the most part, Chileans seem pretty reserved, but on our last day in the city, we’re sitting on a bench in the main square when an older man approaches us and squeezes into a tiny space beside Jill. We’re both suspicious at this point and waiting for him to ask us for something, when he points to the bench beside us and says “You have to be careful…the birds on that bench do caca on your head!” We immediately struck up a conversation and found him very friendly & engaging…educating us about Chile…the history, economy, social issues, and many other issues. Was the beginning of a pretty cool day.

10.   The Mercado Central (central market) is a pretty cool place to hang out and people-watch on a Saturday afternoon. We spent a couple of hours here…checking out all the fresh fish before choosing a restaurant that the older man from the park recommended to us. We wound our way up this tiny spiral staircase to the upper floor, where we chowed down on a fresh fish lunch. As we left the market, some older Chilean dudes tried to tell Jill something but we didn’t understand what they said. As we walked off, one of them tapped me on the shoulder, winked and gave me the thumbs-up, so I’m guessing he thought Jill had a nice personality.

11.   Lastly, I’m really gonna have to get used to waiting in long, slow-moving lines at airports. This was the case on our arrival as well as our departure and I’m still trying to figure out what can be causing the huge delays. To add insult to injury, while waiting in line, I was just able to see the TV screen in a bar showing the Yankees getting humped by the Rangers in Game 2.

Oh well….enough whining….it’s off to New Zealand! Just about to board our 13-hour flight to Auckland. We leave Santiago on Saturday night and arrive in NZ on Monday morning…crazy time zones. Bye for now.
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Loved your Blog!! Loved the pictures..... Looking forward to more updates!
HUGS , Brenda

Stacey on

Wow! Besides the bruises, looks like you are having a great time! Look forward to NZ posts, and hope you get in touch with me for the Oz leg...looking forward to catching up when you get here!

Kiann on

I'm pretty sure the Chilean guys thought Jill had nice boobs -- even though she does, in fact, have a lovely personality.

Love your blog -- living vicariously -- keep it up

Aunt P on

So far so good . . . love the blog & the photos. Next best thing to being there!!!

Susan & Allen on

Yahoo!!! Can't wait to hear about New Zealand next! Have fun :)

Brenda on

Una mas cervesa por favor, Senor! Enjoy, just don't go mining in Chile.

maureenpatel on

Great photos, looks like a great place historically.

love hearing from you both. Enjoy this great time together.
stay savlove maureen

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