Sunday, October 16, 2011

Stepping into the (wo)Man Pants

The view from our new apt. (doesn't do it justice)

Aunt Teri w/ Mike sneaking
Que tal?  It has been a while, hasn't it?  We've arrived in Santiago just in time for Spring and it has been beautiful down here.  Everyone we've met has been incredibly kind and helpful.  We knew that we would need plenty of help after we left Aunt Teri's for the airport in Miami and couldn't understand a word that was spoken at our flight's gate.  After a long flight to Santiago w/ a stop over in Sao Paolo, we arrived on 9/28 (about a day later) at noon.  Our Chilean contact and good friend, Will, had his mom, Mariana, and her friend, Gino, pick us up at the airport.  They provided us with food and place to stay for two weeks; muchas gracias a uds.
We've spent the first 3ish weeks exploring the city, looking for work, and going to a bunch of carretes (parties).  A few things that one must understand about Chilean nightlife:

  • People smoke a ton of cigarettes
  • Booze is cheap and plentiful
  • You don't go to dinner before 10pm
  • You don't show up at a party until 1am at the earliest
  • If you want to leave a party at 5:30am, you are a chicken (according to Charlie)
That being said, we've spent some very late nights out and about.  This is particularly true when we've been out with Charlie, Vale, Ina, & Mashini (Will's friends).  If you've met Charlie, you understand what I mean ("Catorce!").  Those nights/mornings and following days have been fun, but painful.  We thought we left that kind of partying behind us.
Apart from all the late nights, the exploration of Santiago has been challenging (language, lack of letter/number street grid, sun on the other side of the sky) but very exciting.  This is a beautiful city, despite pollution which can obstruct the view.  Two things that we did not expect but have found a lot of here are graffiti and marches (related to recent educational reform protests) and stray dogs.  There are stray dogs EVERYWHERE.  They are not vicious and people tend to pay them no mind.  Interesting side note: lots of stray dogs, but not lots of stray dog sh*t ... strange.  
Us w/ Charlie & Vale
Awesome seafood @ Mercado Central (ignore the face)
The biggest and best developments thusfar have come only in the past few days.  For one, we found a killer (mostly) furnished apt. in Santiago Centro.  It is on the 21st floor of a doorman building across the street from a police station and near many stores, bars, cafes, metro stops, and restaurants.  Best part, the living room has a floor to ceiling window wall that leads out to our balcony.  The panorama above is of that view.  From our apartment we have incredible views of Cerro San Cristobal, eastern Santiago, and the Andes.  When we first saw the view, we both knew this was exactly what we had been looking for (it helped that we had a few beers beforehand).  The apt. also has an exercise room, bike rack, laundry, and a rooftop deck/patio (quincho) w/ swimming pool and grill.  The view from the roof is 360 degrees of pure Santiago.  
Cajon del Maipu
The other goods news involves jobs, but we'll hold off on that until the jobs are landed.  Apart from jobs, hopefully this week Matt will finally get into the mountains which have been torturing him so.  They are so close, yet he hasn't been able to get to them yet.  Now that we have a more permanent home, it seems to be the appropriate time to put a bunch of stuff in a bag, stick out his thumb, and get the hell out of there and into those mountains!  We did make it out of the city one day to Cajon del Maipu, a massive canyon system southeast of Santiago.  The bus ride out there was crazy: speeding driver, bus never fully stopping, swerving, etc.).  That taste of the outdoors made Matt hungry for more and bigger.  The first trip out will have to be solo, but hopefully he'll make some contacts while in the mountains (it's surprisingly hard to make friends as a 27 y/o male who doesn't speak the language well, "Quieres ser amigos?").
We think about our family and friends Stateside a good amount, but we are definitely enjoying our gran viaje so far.  Until next time, "Ciao!"

Would you believe this old man performed our marriage ceremony right inside his old man bar that was full of old men?


  1. Dude did I just read what I read ab0out old men performing your marriage ceremnoy in an old man bar with old man things? If so .... CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! si no pues I jumped the gun. Still love you and miss you. XOXO from all of us

  2. Tai- The rings were made of soda bottle rings kept on with tape, it was 1am and that man is no priest. If that answers your question... Besos!

  3. Now that the marriage ceremony question has been settled (thank you Mommy Tai), my next question: Is 27 too old or too young for making friends? Just so us 30-year-olds can plan accordingly when we visit.

    I will also start practicing now to stay awake later than 10 PM so I can eat dinner. Because I really like dinner... and parties... I don't know how I feel about 5:30 AM because I have never experienced it. But I'm game if the booze is cheap!

    And most of all -- hooray apartment!!! That view looks unbelievable, and the whole place sounds RAD. I am so excited for you guys!

    Many besos! -VA

  4. what great news-apartment-nice area-great view- possible jobs!it looks like you two are enjoying chile.we miss you guys awful but we are happy for you! thanks for the contact info! love, mom and dad xxxooop.s. matt get up into those beautiful mountains!