Thursday, December 15, 2011

Back to Summer

Inside Estacion Mapocho, designed by Eiffel.
Once a train station, now a cultural center.
Hey, everyone.  Matt here.  Not too much has been going down around here.  We've been trying new foods, seeing some sights, and trying to keep breathing.
@ Ciudad Vieja, an excellent sandwich shop
   Sara continues to work like a mad(wo)man, making a lot more money than me.  She is also palpably excited for her work to start in March.  I had a few interviews last week for some jobs that didn't go so well.  One was at the local dive bar, Mano Manja (Not Mano Monja as in earlier posts.  Thanks, Charlie.), where I was told directly that they didn't want an American.  Another was for a study-abroad program, which I didn't leave feeling particularly strong about.  Lastly, and this was a real pisser, one for a guiding company that was called off after a 3 week delay because they had all the positions filled.  However, I do have one more sweet, sweet paycheck coming from the NYCDOE, so I'm not in too much danger.  Also, I'm actively working to concoct as many get-rich-quick schemes as possible.
A very busy beverage
   The time off has been nice as every day is getting warmer as Summer arrives in full (students are already off for break).  Most every day is sunny, dry, and about 80-something degrees.  The arrival of summer has also brought some great deals on fruits and vegetables at the open-air produce market, La Vega.  Just a few deals:

Pichinga: cheap, salty, and greasy
  • 1Kg (2.2Lbs) Apricots - $500CLP (Approx. $1USD)
  • 1Kg Cherries - $500CLP
  • 2Kg Watermelon - $2.000CLP
  • 1Kg Lemons - $300CLP
We've also been able to try some new foods and drinks that one doesn't see in the US.  One particularly excellent one is very common streetfood - the Mote con Huesillo.  This is basically peach juice, mote (a grain), and a halved huesillo (dried peach).  A 12oz. cup is $450CLP, refreshing, and damn delicious.  It is a serious must-have in Chile.  A dish that has proven a little less delicious is called pichinga.  It is basically a mix of mortadella, ham(s), olives, pickled onion and cauliflower, and cheese ends.  It is very salty and greasy.  I imagine drunks living on the cheap off of this with a loaf of bread.
Terremoto in a cleaner part of La Piojera
   Another distinctly Chilean institution, in the sense of place and custom, is La Piojera.  This bar is very close to our home and serves a crazy beverage called a terremoto ("earthquake").  This bar was once referred to as a "flea's nest" by a Chilean president; this is not far off.  It is a pretty dirty place that sees a lot of people getting seriously mangled.  Our first time there, within 5 minutes, we saw an old lady getting carried out on a chair.  Seeing people get taken out is fairly common.  This is more understandable after 1+ terremoto.  Here is a quote about the place & drink from
A creepy clown at La Piojera
This traditional restaurant and bar is known for it’s home-cooked meals and variety of  drinks that will knock you on your ass.  The most famous, the Terremoto (or earthquake), is a combination of Pipeño (a Chilean wine), ice cream and liquor that tastes like a sweet mixed drink but hits you like a booze train.
We've always stopped ourselves after 2 of these, which seemed like enough.  I imagine that 3 or more and you are really banged-up.  Hence, all the jack-asses getting dragged out of there.
Moonrise over Cerro San Cristobal
   In other news, Universidad de Chile won the Copa Sudamerican soccer tournament last night in their final versus Liga (from Ecuador).  We were watching the game at a bar, which was very fun; the people were very into it.  After the game ended (about 11:15), the city erupted into celebration for hours afterward.  People were honking their horns and waving flags into the wee hours.  

A vegan protest.  I feel bad for these people.  They're standing
in direct sunlight for hours holding dead, rotting animals.
The stench is pretty bad, yet I'm surprisingly hungry.

   That just about does it on my end.  I hope everyone is feeling Christmasy and doing well.  Drop me a line if you are/aren't.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Matt -- So sorry to hear about the job hunt frustrations, but at least you are NOT a vegan holding an animal carcass under the hot Chilean sun. Good lord, that makes me want a hamburger. Anyway! Very jealous of the fruit/tasty alcohol options/amazing weather. We've been scraping frost off the car every day this week. Bah.

    Miss you guys! xo