Not So Chilly in Chile

Trip Start Mar 11, 2009
Trip End May 06, 2009

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Flag of Chile  ,
Friday, April 10, 2009

He was stuttering in Spanish when he jabbed his finger in the air at me but I understood his happy exclamation, "I know her!!" Then he tripped over his own feet and happened to fall against me when he spun away from the tree in his path. Being between him and a gate, I stood patiently and waited for him to stop melting against me. The stench was a bit unbearable and I was beginning to wonder if Iīd need to set fire to the clothes he was leaning against. Gently, I pushed him upright and smiled while his...wife?...screeched back "HOW could you possibly know her?!" Or something along those lines. I gave him a wink and continued on my way as he grinned at me toothlessly. Because, he was right, he did know me. Heīd seen me at least three times the night before in the same area.

Unfortunately, itīs Easter weekend, being in a busy city on a Friday when Jesus is supposed to be rising from the dead means that there is no one around and nothing is open. Good planning on my part. Thanks Big J. Though, to be fair, there is an abundance of cheap chocolate to be had right on the street. Easter Bunnies the size of my torso are selling for the equivalent of $5. SWEET. Just the bus buddy I need to get me to the beach and keep creepy strangers from sitting next to me ("uhh sorry, canīt you see my BUNNY is sitting there. GEEZ.") Though maybe not the best buddy to keep a beach figure. So, alas, I leave those bunnies for the beady-eyed kids running around with chocolate moustaches already solidifying around their mouths.

Instead, I lost myself in the Mercado Central (one of the only things open) and spent a good long time staring, open mouthed, at massive fish heads ("what the hell IS that??") and slimy-looking seafood salads. Opting for the lazy manīs lunch and grabbing an armful of vegetables to create a lovely feast of greens my body has been aching for. (Iīm sorry, rice is NOT a vegetable!!) Ahhh avocado, beets, I love thee.

By happy accident, we ended up in the "culturally bohemian" area of Santiago. A very colourful area, both metaphorically and literally with almost every building painted a different colour. Exactly the sort of spot I love to be in. Walking around among the buskers, random people selling handmade jewelry, cafes, bars and restaurants, I feel homesick for my Toronto neighbourhood and the feeling of belonging Iīve always had there. This is where I thrive.

Tomorrow Iīm headed to Valparaiso (with or without the Brazilians, they donīt know what theyīre doing yet), a port city that was once ransacked by pirates; namely, Sir Frances Drake himself. ARRRRGGGHHH!! Where be me eye patch nīpeg leg?! From there, I will be headed to Vina del Mar - a beach town that is ridiculously expensive to stay in but only twenty minutes away from Valparaiso.

Ocean, here I come! 
xox K
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