southof30

Nichol and Matt go to Chile!

Archive for February 27, 2012

Despues dia seis.

Hola!

We find ourselves at the end of day 6 in Santiago. The past couple of days have been a continuation of our neighbourhood exploration (we’re  currently at a 10 block radius…we’re playing it safe thus far). Santiago (Providencia)  is an interesting place. It seems to be inundated with Americana. There are 2 Starbucks within 4 blocks of our apartment (shamefully, we have been to both… it takes the sting out of the toilet paper incident, “cafe latte” is universal…), KFC, Pizza Hut, multiple McDonalds, Burger King, and various posters for movies (El Kill Bill anyone?). Almost all of our TV channels are dubbed/subtitled American shows (we even get HBO) and it’s mostly American music playing on local speakers; strange since there doesn’t seem to be many Santaguinos that understand more than very basic English. We aren’t complaining about the lack of English, it just gives us more incentive to learn Spanish!

Chilean Walmart, or “Lider” (translates to Leader in English, which seems a little presumptuous) has been more successful than Ekono and we’ve been able to acquire most of our basics (i.e. $8 Coronas and $1.50/kg avocados).  An interesting thing we’ve found is that Lider doesn’t have much in the way of produce. There are a few hole-in-the-wall produce markets, but locating one-stop shopping has been difficult. Luckily we’ve stumbled upon a “Santa Isabel” which is akin to a North American style grocery store (i.e., it has produce, meat, groceries, bakery, etc.), which is conveniently even closer than Lider. Exploring the side-streets has been fun, you never know what you’ll come across and we’ve found that some of the nicest Chilenos are found in the smallest shops.

Breakfast is minimal here. Our next mission is to find bacon (Por favor!). There is a good looking butcher down the street; however, we’re currently a little intimated with our basic Spanish. We’ve read of a place called Cafe Melba, a place that serves “gringo breakfast”. As bacon/brunch deprived Victorians we might check it out in the next few days (no Benny and no hashbrowns make Nichol and Matt go something something…). Speaking of Victoria, we tweeted Victoria’s local modern rock station “The Zone” and got a shout-out on the air (we’ve been streaming it online in the evenings to ease the transition). They even played some Foo Fighters for us! It turns out that the Foo will be headlining Lollapalooza Chile in a month and when our RUTs are secured wethinks we’ll be getting tickets. 🙂

Tomorrow we plan on climbing Cerro san Cristobal, where a gleaming “white chick” (as per Matt’s supervisor, Thomas; actually a statue of the Virgin Mary) overlooks the city amongst what we’ve been told are stunning views of the city. We’ll be sure to bring our camera and will post photos in the next few days!

Cheers!

-N&M