Sunday, April 11, 2010

My weekend in Santiago/Curico

Two weeks ago I missed school on Friday, and went to the south with my family.

We woke up at 6 and left the house by 6:30. My host dad works in Santiago and he sleeps there during the week. So we drove into Santiago to the apartment. I was asleep for almost the entire time, since it was still dark when we left the house. We arrived to the city at about 8:00. We went straight to the apartment and my dad headed off to work.

Gaby, my mom and I got on the subway and headed the the "clinic". I think it's like a hospital/doctors' office combination. The reason I say this is because there's meetings with doctors, but you don't have to make an appointment, and there's also an emergency room. So we went up to the second floor, where Gaby needed to talk to the doctor about some pain she's been having in her arms. So we went to the waiting room, and took a ticket. At almost any place where there's a line, you take a ticket, like you would at the deli in the U.S.

After we finished there, we headed out again to do some errands. We went into a book store and bought the novel I had to read for my "leguaje" class. And then we were walking down the street and heard music. At first it was just drums and trumpets. We turned the street corner and saw at the other end of the street that there was a parade. So we ran to catch up. The music then turned into a full on marching band. It was actually a military band, marching to "La Moneda" for the changing of the guard. The band was pretty good, and had every normal marching instrument, plus a bassoon. I'm not sure how that man managed to march with a basoon, but kudos to him. We walked along side the band to "La Moneda" where the changin of the guard took place. It seemed pretty cool to me. My family says that it happens every other day, however it is basically for the tourists. I enjoyed watching it, anyway!

Afterwards, we went back on our way to shopping. I bought minutes for my cell phone, but that was it. We went into a store and bought some nice glasses and plates for my host mom's family, who we were going to visit. They live much further south and I think some of their glasses broke during the earthquake. So we got a new set of glasses and a new set of plates, I believe. Gaby got some more school supplies and after, we went to the pharmacy. We headed back to the aprtment to put down our purchases and sat down. Gaby and I promptly fell asleep.

When we woke up in a half-hour, we went to the super market, where there is also a food court. I ate a really yummy pasta dish with scallions and soy sauce, I think, at least that's what it tasted like. And a side of tomatoes. And an ice cream for dessert, of course! Chocolate and Lucuma soft serve, with strawberry sauce. So yummy. And we bought a few things to bring with us to the family.

We were running a little late, so we got a taxi to Gaby's orthodontist appointment, which was actually an appointment. It was just a check up on her braces, I think, so it only took about 10 minutes.

Afterwards, we still had some time to spare before my papa finished with work. So we ambled down the street, in and out of stores. We went into Casa Ideas, which is a store I love. It has home accesories but also lots of cool random things. Everything from shower curtains to bedroom slippers and photo albums to stuffed animals. That is where I found measuring cups during my first trip to the mall in Vina del Mar. This time I only bought some nail files and a new travel journal, since my current one is filling up quickly. When we arrived back at the aprtment, we headed up to the 25th floor. And then climbed up to the roof, where there was a great panoramic view of Santiago. There was also a pool, but we weren't there to swim. I took some pictures and then sat down at a table with Gaby and my mama while they read and I wrote in my journal. Then we heard from Papa, who was on his way, so we went back down to the fifth floor apartment to wait.

We hopped in the car and drove for two hours. I tried to be productive with the time and write in my journal, which takes a surprising amount of time. But I also didn't want to be antisocial, so I spent a lot of time singing along to music with Gaby. When we got off the highway, we arrived in Curico (there's supposed to be an accent on the o, I just don't have it on my keyboard). It seemed like a pretty city, but there was definately much more earthquake damage there then in my town, Curauma, since it it much closer to the epicenter. About every fifth house was basically rubble. And most houses had a big crack or two or a broken roof or windows. We drove to my mama's brother's house. He lives there with his mom, his wife and their two kids, Daniela, who is seven, and Gustavo, who is 16. I was introduced to everyone, and they were all super friendly. We all went to the back patio to chat for a while. After a bit I walked to the market with the other kids while the adults started preparing dinner. When we got back, the grill was fired up. I went inside and watched my first Chilean futbol game. My family's team, Universidad de Chile, or as they call it, "U", was playing. So I watched the begining with Gutavo before we were called outside to eat appetizers. Everyone else had these typical sausage like things with salsa and bread. I just had the salsa and bread. It is so so yummy here, with lots of fresh tomatos, garlic, hot peppers, cilantro, and I don't know what else, but whatever it is, it's great. We all talked and I explained some cultural things from the U.S, like peanut butter and Thanksgiving.

Afterwards, we went inside to eat the actual dinner. And I had some fish rather than the meat main course. Afterwards, we all sat down to watch the finale of some Chilean game show. But I was fading fast, which tends to happen. I get worn out from all the Spanish and then I can't keep myself awake in front of the TV. So I went upstairs to bed. But Gaby and Dany came up, I got a second wind, and we watched half of the Hannah Montana movie, in Spanish before going to sleep.

The next day I went with my parents, Gaby, and "la mita", my grandma, to Itahue, a small town outside Curico. On the way, we first stopped at a vineyard. I took lots of pictures, knowing mhy dad must be jealous, being a wine conoseur! We went to Mama's sister's house, and her other brother was there with his family, also. At this particular house lives the two parents and their three sons. And the other family had two sons. We(the kids) played UNO for a little while. And then some futbol in the back yard, which was big since we were in the serious campo, before lunch. Again, lunch was meat. There was a big fire pit roasting an entire carcass. I know I sound like I'm judging the culture. I'm not, I think that's gross even in the U.S. But I just chose to ignore it. But I just ate the rice and veggies. After lunch, I went walking with the cousins. We headed down the road to a river. Aparently there used to be a really pretty bridge, but it collapsed during the earthquake. So we skipped stones and talked there for a while. And two of the younger cousins went swimming in the frigid water.

Afterwards, Gaby and I hopped in the car and went 5 minutes down the highway to another house, this time of my dad's family. I'm not sure exactly who, since it was a realllllly quick visit. But Gaby and I walked down the road with some cousins to see the old church. I say "old" because it now isn't really a church, just a roof and two walls filled with rubble. And then I saw a really beautiful sunset/moonnrise over the mountains.

After we said goodbye to everyone, we returned to Curico. When we got there, we went out to the street wine festival. Which was more than just wine. There was tons of food and vendors and music. But it was insanely crowded, so we decided to eat somewhere else. We went to an "Italian" resturaunt. It didn't seem too Italian, but I enjoyed it, none the less.

In the morning, Gaby and I went with Dany and her parents to a big hill overlooking Curico, with a virgin statue. It was a great view. And we drove around Curico, while they pointed out lots of things. Then we all had empanadas before we left. I LOVE CHILEAN EMPANADAS. So delicious.

Anyway, we headed back to Curauma, and la mita came with us. The ride back was pretty non eventful. Except for right after the sun set, we went through this massive thick fog. It was extremely erie. And then the full moon (or almost full) came out.

Anyway, that's my trip to the South. I had fun. =D

Love always,