Sunday, July 31, 2011

Chilly in Chile

Friends, countrymen, Russians who may or may not read this:
I laugh in your face, North American heatwave!
I have been MIA for a very good reason!  I am spending my summer in Chile, in winter (you know, opposite hemisphere and all) doing science, trying to figure out how cold the human body can get indoors without heating before said heating is justified for its life giving values. Or something like that.  Actually, I¨m leading a service and cultural exchange trip down here.  But the cold part is not an exaggeration.  There. is. no. heat. in. house.  Allegedly, it never gets cold enough for it to freeze, so there´s no need to keep the pipes warm.  But what about my pipes, ¿Chile? They´s soooo cold.  It´s like being trapped inside the crisper drawer of the refrigerator all the time.  It´s just warm enough to keep you alive, but cool enough to keep you from wilting.  Or if you are a gringo, ever really being warm. But other than the being cold all the time, and the testing out the Chilean medical system with my minor league accident prone kids (they´re all fine), it´s been pretty fantastic.  Allow me to take you on a tour of the places we´ve been so far:

The Andes

People like to make snowmen and put them on their cars.  Since it apparently only freezes here, most Chileans have never seen snow, and were way more excited than the Northern gringos, who were in turn way more excited about the cactuses.  Sadly, none of the cactus snow pictures came out.  So hard to be you!

The Ocean
Toolbox, of course I didn´t get in.  Didn´t you read the part about it being winter and cold and spending a lot of time in the Chilean hospital already?  
Chilean Baywatch

We are staying in Viña del Mar, and thusly have seen a fair bit of ocean.  Including lobos del mar.  Aka seawolves.  Aka, sealions.  So fat! So massive!  So cute!
Valparaiso: shipping capitol of South America.  Those boats are BIG.

What a terrible view.

Lobos del mar!  Gringo translation: sea lions.

Plus, this is the sea base for the Chilean navy.  Aka, the Armada.  An armada, you guys! 

The Fútbol

Um hello excuse to set things on fire, whip the opposing teams hooligans with belts, set off smoke bombs, tear up barbed wire fence, chant, froth at the mouth, assault police officers in riot gear, etc.  Totally an experience, totally worth it. 

The opposition.  They also had colored smoke cannons.  And drums.  Lots of drums.
Latin American sporting events are filled with pacifists.  

This is my coleader.  He narrowly avoided death when he tried to sit in the section seen behind him, aka the opposition, wearing that scarf.  Thankfully, the Chilean ticket people saved us a belt buckle whipping.  Also, this computer is in Spanish, and refuses to switch my pictures to the right direction.  You´ll survive.  

 Thankfully, nobody scored, so things kind of fizzled out.  If they had, I had plans to stick with this lady.  
The best little Santiago Wanderers fan of them all!

The Food

OMG.  So much of it.  Clementines are in season down here!  I´m going to need an extra plane ticket, partially because it is winter and I¨m eating to compensate.  While this winter theory explains why I put aji on everything, it doesn´t explain the massive ice cream intake.  But you try saying no to lucuma!  It´s also partially because I discovered Sahne-Nuss.  Partially because manjar is a staple.  Partially because all bread is white bread, most meals are starch based, and most other things are fried.  Or gigantic.  But generally for the following reasons, some of which will be inspirations for further adventures with in Le Creuset-land.  
Chorrillana, a Chilean midnight snack.  I prefer to think of it as Chilean Poutine.  With chunks of meat.

The best part?  The restaurant was called Mastadonte.  Gringo translation: Mastadon.

The national Chilean delicacy: a giant completo.  Cross section below.
Guacamole, relish, onions, a giant hotdog, other things, and yes, mayo, Chile´s preferred condiment of choice.


Lentil soup

One of my kids and I were feeling kind of under the weather while we were doing community service.  Naturally, the Chilean solution was for us to share my germs by helping prepare lunch for the soup kitchen!   

Una parrillada, a meat mountain over a charcoal grill.
Confession: I ate blood sausage and I liked it.

More later (possibly in America, considering my kids get back from homestays tonight, there are 15 of them, and Facebook is as much of a human right to them as oxygen), including fashion, street dog fashion, earthquakes, alpaca wool, and street art.  Until then, as we say in Chile, ¡Ciao pescado!

Valparaiso street art and my arty kids on the street.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...