Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Santiago is growing on me

SO I have to admit it, the city that I dreaded coming to is growing on me. i am not sure HOW MUCH, but at least for now, it is livable. It helps that I had my first real espresso, actually from Starbucks, in three months. ahhhh.... And also, I have been eating breakfast at this New York Bagel shop, so my tummy is very happy! IS that sad that I am here in this beautiful country and the only food I want is the comida gringa?
I have decided that basically anyone´s first day in Santiago is going to be a trying one, unless you are on a tour or something. The transportation system here is kinda like the people, very unorganized and messy but it works perfectly once you get the hang of it. The family asked that I be home for dinner at 8pm every night (8pm is actually early for Chileans to eat dinner). So at about 6pm, I decided to take a short adventure on one of the micros (the local buses). Unfortunatly I forgot to bring my map, so I ended up in some random part of the city with no clue how to get back. I could tell that dusk was coming and I was trying to find out what micro would bring me at least back to the part of Santiago I live in (keep in mind Santiago is a city of 6 million people- it is HUGE!). So I finally found my way home and after that experience for some reason, I feel so much more confident with the system here. It is a crazy system, but I think I will grow to like it.
The city just purchased these new really nice buses and is trying to reform the system and give it some order. Of course the people are all up in arms about it. The bus system right now is one where there is no set schedule, you just wait for the next bus and it usually comes within a few minutes. THe buses don´t necesarily stop at the bus stops, but with any way of your arm you can catch a micro from any spot on the street. That´s right, and you can get off at any spot too, just ask the driver to stop. Of course they never quite STOP, they just slow down enough for people to get in and out. You think I am joking but I am not. Also, the micros go so fast that I have literally fallen into peoples laps becasue I couldn´t hold on tight enough. And of course they smiled as I apologized in my broken spanish.
The new bus system has a schedule, the buses cannot go past 30 mph, and they cannot just pick you up or drop you off anywhere, only at designated stops. In a city this size, it is necessary, BUT the people hate it. It is kinda funny. It ia almost like Chileans don´t understand how to be metropolitan. I like it.
Tomorrow I start classes. I will be in class from 10am to 7pm with an hour for almuerzo (lunch). Long day. Gotta go.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

i love your blogs. santiago sounds like a lot of fun! glad you found espresso nearby, even if it is starbucks. and it sounds like you're finding yourself as well. lovely lovely.

have fun in the classes starting tomorrow!

love

mom

Anonymous said...

I was just re-reading this blog, and thought I'd have to comment about your assumption that you'd hate Santiago, and now you're finding the reality is actually much nicer than you thought.

I never thought I'd marry a golfer, for instance. Or live in a town like Lafayette.

The point is that to the extent that you believe your preconception, you can lose out on some wonderful experiences.

Given how much you love NYC and Chile, it doesn't surprise me that you're enjoying Santiago so much. (Of course, the starbucks cafe and NY bagels nearby has got to help)

Have a great time!!!

love

mom

beckalippy said...

mama, I lvoe you adn I lvoe the fact that you commented twice on one blog! It is true that I am doing oklay in Santiago, but just for a little warning for me, I was out with the rest of teh students here at teh school and one of the girls had her purse stolen, and we were all sitting there and didn{t notice anything! Isn{t that horrible? Okay, we are only on a five minute break so i gotta go. I lvoe you!

Anonymous said...

don't put your purse on the ground, even at your feet. just keep it on your lap. and don't carry anything in your purse that would be disastrous if stolen (e.g., your passport or credit cards)

you can carry a photocopy of your passport but leave the original in a safe hiding place.

love

mom