Thursday, July 8, 2010

Finally in Concepción

So, after a six hour bus ride from Santiago we are here in Concepción. We are staying with a friend named Oscar, who did an exchange semester in Albuquerque last fall. Yesterday (Wednesday) we went to check in at the Office for Foreign Exchange Students, all is well there. We also went around to look at apartments. We saw one yesterday that was amazing, 4 blocks from school, 24 hour concierge service, completely furnished (with all new appliances), two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a little balcony. We've also found an exchange student who needs a roommates and a place to live. His name is Yann and he's pretty cool. He came over to Oscars house last night for Oscar's birthday party, which was really fun. There were about 15 people over here eating snack and drinking pisco, whiskey and beer.
Today we are going to look at another apartment or two, and then hopefully we can make a decision by Friday.
The weather here is a trip, it's downcast most of the time, and raining off and on all day and night. On Wednesday we found out quickly that rain boots and rain jackets are a must. Within five minutes our shoes and ankles were soaking wet.

A note on the earthquake
There isn't as much damage from the earthquake as I thought there would be. We have only seen three buildings that were completely destroyed. One was a 20 or so story building that had basically snapped in half and the top half had fallen so the top of the building was on the ground, yet somehow still connected to the rest of it. We will take pictures of it soon, probably once we get an apartment a little more settled. While there is lots of visible rubble on the streets, most buildings are doing pretty good here. Just the side walks and roads are a little rough still.
I will also load a video of the apartment we saw yesterday, let us know what you think.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Por Entro

Joder este humo! I am so done with the pollution here in Santiago, I feel like I've been smoking 5 ciggs a day. But we are going to concí tomorrow, so I think I have good timing. We went to the immigration office and waited in line with all of the peruvians for like an hour only to find out we were in the wrong line, and the line we needed to be in only really took about 5 minutes to get But after that we exchanged the last of our US dollars at a bank. Came back to the apartment ate lunch with the kid....better meal so far at home, soup with lots of beans and tomatoes and vegetables. Then we went and got cell phones at a mall looked at clothes/motorcylces. I could get a moto here for like 500$ brand new....its tempting, but I think I should pass on the whole owning to many posessions that I have to sell before we leave.
Anyways we walked across the city and ate dinner at this place a friend suggested. Mostly grilled meat with french fries....lots and lots of french fries. At the end of the meal it didn't even look like we ate
So all of that took 8 hours...suprisingly, and now I am back in the apartment and exhausted. Probably from all that walking. I mean it wasn't a gigantic amount but with the smog and all, I think it takes more of a toll.
Next time I will take photos, I don't know why I haven't yet. Probably because a lot of the things I want to take pictures of aren't totally appropriate. There is a very poor migrant population here, you can walk down the street and see in their rooms....I feel like taking a picture would make me a peeping tom. But as a little time passes I feel more and more comfortable.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Purple Octopus

Today we went to a Peruvian/Chilean restaurant that had delicious seafood. We had purple octopus that was amazing. If you would have asked me four years ago if I was ever going to eat octopus I would have said no, more like hell no. But it was delicious!! Suction cups and all. We ate some super yummy cold-water white fish, squid, shrimp, all with delicious citrus sauces and potatoes. All of it was amazing and I think that if you think you don't like seafood (like I thought for a long time) you must come to Chile.
Before almuerzo (lunch) we went to this huge outdoor market with some crazy fruits and vegetables. The carrots here are the size of my forearm, i kid you not, the same size as my forearm. You can buy a kilo of avocados for 2 US dollars.
That's all for now,
yours truly,
Hunter Spice
p.s. sorry there aren't pictures of the food. next time I will take some with my phone.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Un Chupito De Cultura

We are here acá, not aquí...for whatever reason. And the smells and smoke and everything flows over like a maremoto. Here is the start of it all. La empieza. Y vosotros vaís con nosotros.