if i could spend a few more saturdays like last night, i would be forever happy.
last night was a blast! after surviving 27 hours of andesmar semi-cama buses (you get what you pay for) and being squashed next to a larger man and drinking gross nescafe for most of the trip, i was ready to be in santiago.
i arrived at the bus station around 8 at night. it was dark, and i was so exhausted and confused i could barely navigate the station. i managed to find a place to exchange money (the chilean peso is SO confusing), use the bathroom (which they charged me $200 chilean pesos for a little wad of toilet paper) and giving up on trying to find the right bus, i hailed a taxi.
i arrived at the apartment i was going to stay at without further troubles. inside, i met shannon, one of the tenants, phillipe, her roommate, and amanda, another couchsurfer like myself. right away, amanda and i began bonding and talk of going out to a club began. shannon suggested club blondie, some place with lots of britpop and trashy club songs. i was so in.
and thus began the craziest night of my life. amanda and i got dressed up and headed out around 1:30am. we decided that we needed something to drink, so we went to the local mercado and got a nice little bottle of wine. and then we realized that buying a bottle of wine at that point was dumb; we had no glasses or anywhere to drink it that was remotely socially acceptable. so we threw out classiness and brown-bagged it through the park, all the way to the bus stop. ha.
at the bus stop we soon made friends with a paraguayan man and his chilean girlfriend. soon we were sharing our drinks and laughing. they gave us directions to the club, and we all boarded a sketchy looking bus for club blondie.
at the club, amanda and i checked out coats and checked out the dance floor. it was disappointing. about 20 people, tiny floor, and stupid, dark electronica. we tried to dance, and soon two "joshua-version-two" types, most likely gay (it was a gay club!) were flamboyently dancing with us. it was okay, but amanda and i wanted some better music. then, one of the guys mentioned another dance floor, so amanda and i absolutely fled the scene, turned a corner and squealed; here was a GIANT dance floor packed with kids and franz ferdinands voice blared through the speakers. we laughed and jumped up on the stage and danced our little hearts out.
after a bit we befriended this photographer guy who kept taking photos for us. soon we were all dancing and being crazy. every song seemed even better than the last, the lights were great and somehow (who knows?) four hours passed. the club was closing, and we all gathered outside the club. german (the photographer guy), amanda, her friend martin and i all attempted to figure out what to do. while amanda went to go eat some bread-with-salsa thing she had purchased from a street vendor, german grabbed my hand and said in english, "let's run away right now!" next thing i know we are laughing and dodging seven lanes of traffic, running to who knows where. we didnt get very far, and both of us ended up tripping over a small fence in the grassy median. laughing, we decided to get in the next taxi. amanda and martin ran over and joined us, and soon we were off to some underground club.
by the time we got there, i was so tired i could barely keep my eyes open. german didnt have enough pesos to get in, and within 5 minutes i knew that this was pretty lame. amanda and i left around 6, exhausted from our crazy night.
after waking up at noon, i did a little emailing and a little grocery shopping (i bought an avocado, just like i said i would!). i explored the neighborhood, and discovered a great place called plaza de armas, with a big square, beautiful buildings, outdoor markets and lots of artists and musicians.
walking around santiago has been funny, because although i know it is not buenos aires, i still expect to see the same types of buildings. the architecture is just slightly different, the climate is a tiny bit cooler and most of all... the people are way different than porteños. i have never seen a people group more physically recognizable than chileanos. generally, these people are smaller, stockier and have very young looking features. in buenos aires i fit in, or at least could pass. i have never been more aware of my pale skin and gawky features. and the language! i feel as though it is not even spanish. but my version of spanish, castellano, is barely spanish. my ear is so acustomed to the double L's and flowing sounds of argentine spanish that it is shocking to hear the dut-da-dut-da cadences of chilean spanish. i honestly dont understand anything.
i feel as though i could go to bed now. but i need to wait a few hours. maybe i will prepare some sort of sandwich de falta (avocado) y tomate. or go buy myself a completo italiano. mmm.
words / concepts of the day:
south american buses: they come in several categories of nice-ness: super cama, cama, semi-cama and ... clasico. ew. clasico is the equivalent of a off brand, broken down greyhound bus. semi-cama is a little better but you might still find mysterious black goop on the back of the chair in front of you, inches from you leg, haunting you for all of the 17 hour journey. cama is great. big comfy chairs, lots of free drinks, food that is okay or not that great.
chilean peso: i am still so confused about this. there are 420 chilean pesos to one US dollar. there are 3.1 argentine pesos to one US dollar. how many chilean pesos to argentine pesos? this i would like to know. and its weird to buy a hotdog that costs 400 pesos.
completo italiano: the most amazing thing ever! a santiago specialty, it is a hotdog loaded with totatoes, mustard and avocados. but why they call it a "complete italian" is beyond me. i dont know the last time i associated italy with avocados.