Friday, January 14, 2011

Hello Chile

I arrived safe and sound on Wednesday. I got into the airport at about 6:30am and made it to the apartment by 8am. I am renting a room from a couple who lives in a decent sized apartment near my favorite neighborhood.

I spent my first two days walking around, buying things I need, and enjoying the city.
I put together a little list of the things about Chile that I love. This list is in no way exhaustive, but to give you a little taste of my life here.

Most condiments come in little bags. Jam, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise. At first this was awkward to me. My little bag of jam would spill out in the fridge and I was left with a gooey raspberry mess to clean up. But I learned to appreciate the little bags. I especially appreciate the fact that I can be very lazy and only use one knife to spread all my condiments without worry of double dipping.
I love the bread here. It’s fresh. You buy it from these big wood basins and you pick out whatever pieces you want, put them in a bag, and pay less than 10 cents per roll.
Families spend a lot of time together here. With all the intense heat, the streets are filled with people trying to get some relief by sitting in the shade. The streets here are truly a public hang out place.
My last point leads me to think about all the benches in the streets. There were almost no benches in Seoul. Sure, a park might have one or two, but here the streets are lined with them, and they are covered with people. Everyone from young families playing with their children, to grandmas and grandpas eating ice cream, to my favorite, the unmarried couples who still live with their parents and hence use the public benches to make out.
I love the eye contact everyone makes here. I love how much I get to look people in the eyes and smile at them. Sounds silly, but it’s true.

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