Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Year, Old (insert something clever)

@ Ciudad Vieja in Bellavista, killer sammies.
@ Cerro Santa Lucia by the Neptune Fountain
Hey ya'll, Matt here.  It's been a while since I rapped at ya' so there's plenty to report on from the Southern Hemisphere.  First of all, Happy New Year to everyone and a rousing "Screw you, 2011!"  We were able to send off 2011 and see in 2012 with our friends, Millsy & Danielle, from the US (G-Town).
Costillar w/ mashed potatoes & onion/tomato salad
  It was very nice to have the opportunity to show off what we know of the city to others.  With trips to the parks, restaurants, and nightlife we had a fairly full schedule.  We made excursions to the major lookout points of the city, Cerros Santa Lucia and San Cristobal, which provide great views and a load of sunshine.  There was also a good amount of eating out at great Chilean food-spots.  We had some of the classics: 

@ Le Petite Frances

  • lomitos (sliced pork w/ avocado)
  • completos (hot dog w/ mayo & tomato)
  • chacarero (sliced pork, aji chiles, green beans)
  • pollo asado (grilled chicken)
  • costillar (pork rib)
  • pastel de choclo (corn pie)
  • mote con huesillo (peach juice, peach, barley)
  • @ Le Petite Frances
  • leche con platano (milk & banana shake)
Millsy & Danielle seemed to take kindly to the mote & completo.  I believe her comment on first having a mote was something to the tune of "this is exactly what I wanted."  Of course, we had some of this great stuff at La Vega, where a random Chilean repeatedly (approx. 6x) told me that there is where Chileans eat.

These were seriously everywhere.  Panties, panties, panties!
 We also made an excursion to Cajon del Maipo to spend a night in the Andes.  We stayed at a nice little place called Le Petite France, which was in the style of a French Mediterranean villa.  Between swimming, taking in the views, consuming an immoderate amount of wine, and having a great meal (I had boar, like a king!) it was an excellent way to spend the last day of 2011.
  We made our way back to the city for New Year's Eve.  One item that should be noted, Chileans have their own distinct New Year's traditions such as:

  • wearing yellow panties (sold all over the streets)
  • really fun confetti blasters (80cm popper tube)
  • putting money in your shoe
  • eating 12 grapes
  • Do I have to?
  • eating lentils
The roof of our apartment (26th floor) was packed with people taking in the view of fireworks going off all over the city.  The main display was from the Entel (a telephony co.) Tower.  The show lasted about 1/2 hour and had fireworks shooting up, sideways, and down (I had never seen that before); it was pretty cool.  Most people in Chile ring in the new year with their families and then go out after to party into the night.  We went to sleep at a reasonable 2 or 3am.  When we were waking up on Jan. 1st, we still heard revelers until about 11am; people here take their partying seriously.  

Terremotos @ La Piojera

  On their last day here, we did try to cram as much as possible into the final few hours.  By that, I mean we went to La Piojera for some terremotos and then to the SoHo-esque Lastarria neighborhood for some Peruvian drinks & snacks.  In an interesting turn of events, right as Millsy was getting money at the ATM for the airport taxi, someone was creating trouble a block away throwing molotov cocktails at a policewoman (How about that?).  For more pictures from Millsy & Danielle's trip (non-explosive), check Millsy's facebook.
The Rio Mapocho & La Bicicleta Verde across the river
Making sangria.  Thanks, Chi & Gabby!
  In other new year news, I landed another job, and this one I have more interest in.  It's at a place called La Bicicleta Verde (The Green Bicycle).  You may have heard of them in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, or on TripAdvisor.  They provide bike tours of the city; it is a nice intersection of my interests: being active, history, and food/drink (every tour has a snack and/or beverage).  I'm in training right now, but hope to be leading my own tours soon.  Downside: it takes away my weekends currently, so I'm not sure when I'll be able to get back into the mountains for another high altitude trip (bummer!).  
Ocarinas at a craft fair.  The sign says don't play as it will
spread colds and HERPES!
  Sara is still working like crazy tutoring English.  She has started attending professional development and planning sessions at Santiago College and says the people are very kind and helpful.  She seems very optimistic about the coming school year.
One very happy kitty atop Cerro Santa Lucia
   Oh, yeah, yesterday we had our first Chilean tremblor (earthquake below 7 on the Richter scale).  It was a 5.1 (pretty small), but we felt the apartment shake a little bit.  I'm not too worried about a big one as those are generally about 10 years apart (last big one was in 2010).  Another "oh, yeah," you should tune in to "CashCab" on Jan. 26th (I think, ask Brandon for details) to see your favorite tall, smart, handsome (and slightly tipsy) hero try to make some easy money.
  So with that, I'll close out.  All is well and we hope all is well with you.  Shoot us an email and let us know how you're doing, post pictures, do something because you know we miss you.


  1. Ah! Our friend Katherine has been making me stuff 12 grapes into my mouth at midnight on NYE for most of the past decade and I was never really clear on why (because usually by that point in the evening, I am not clear on much/have been vomited on, depending on the year). Now I know it's a Chilean thing -- which doesn't explain why us gringos do it, but never mind. What I will tell you is that trying to substitute grape tomatoes because you forgot to get actual grapes... is not as tasty as it sounds. Hello acidic.

    Your bicycling tour guide job sounds awesome and tres Matt. And I continue to be excited about all of the food we are going to eat when we visit you! xoxo

  2. Can't wait for the cash cab episode, and congrats on the new gig, Matt!