Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Amigos, Portenos, y Mas

Look at this guy.
   Hey, ya'll; Matt here.  Hope everyone had a good Easter weekend and/or Spring Break from teaching.  Things are progressing along just fine here.  It rained on Friday (WHOA!) and it's cooling down nicely as Fall progresses, which has been a big help on the sweaty-bastard front.
Free bikes = happy bikers
   Our friends, Davin and Molly, got into Santiago on Easter Sunday.  They'll be down in Chile for the next few months, so that will be a lot of fun.  They stayed in our apartment last week and did some exploring of the city.  We made sure to do/encourage some of the classic stuff: bike-riding, terremotos @ La Piojera, the markets, Cerro Santa Lucia, etc.  It was a tight squeeze with 4 people in our 1 bedroom apartment, but very nice to have friends staying with us.
A mural near our hostel
   Over the weekend, we took a trip to Valparaiso.  Davin and Molly have some friends who live there so they wanted to check it out.  Sara and I went with as we're always up for a trip to Valpo, the beautiful port city of Chile.  In Valpo, we had a whole bunch of fun.  We started the night Friday with a big Mexican (when in Chile!) dinner at a karaoke bar playing hilarious videos.  Later, we went to a party with some English expats who had a killer patio near the top of one of the cerros there; it had a great view of the port.  We explored the city on Saturday afternoon; Valpo is a great walking city, but a damn labyrinth.  Saturday night we had some home-made ceviche, box-wine (mmmm, cheap!), and several rousing games of Bananagrams before heading out to a party on the pier.  We got free entry to a beer-release party for a Tahitian beer that is just now being imported to Chile.  That was a late, but entertaining evening.
A bunch of Canadian boats.
   In Valpo, Sara & I stayed at a nice hostel that was conveniently-located, not terribly expensive, and had a HUGE breakfast.  Naturally, I was enthralled by the breakfast: eggs, fruits, breads, jams, real coffee, and interesting company from around the world.  A lot of people there seemed very interested in what life for expats is like in Santiago and things NYC.  Speaking so much about NYC did make me a little bit homesick, but then I thought of the taste of Rudy's hotdogs and got over it quick.
Picnic lunch, we could see +11 dogs from here
   Sara & I came back to Santiago on Sunday to get ready for the week.  Davin and Molly were staying in Valpo, for at least a little while, as they figure out which city they want to base themselves out of while here in Chile.  Sara & I are hoping they pick Santiago, but definitely understand the allure of Valpo.  After a weekend of little sleep, I managed to get to a good rock concert on Sunday night.  Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth) was playing with Kurt Vile and The Violators opening.  Many thanks to Richard for the good looks on this show, it was really good.  I spoke briefly with Kurt Vile post-show, nice guy.
2nd breakfast + Chilean semi-photobomb
   So we're back to doing our jobs and trying to soak up the city and country.  A very Chilean experience came last night with a 6.5 temblor (small earthquake) shaking us awake a little before 1AM.  You really feel the motion up here on the 21st floor.  We're most likely heading to a Los Tetas show Friday and then to a birthday party on Saturday for one of Sara's co-workers.  Busy busy busy.
Kurt Vile and The Violators @ Teatro Oriente
   We hope all is well for you and yours.  Keep us posted on how you're doing; we don't hear from you enough.  One final note, I just heard about this Chilean psych-folk group at the Thurston Moore/Kurt Vile concert, Los Blops; they're interesting.  God speed.

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