there was an earthquake here in chile! 6.0 off the coast of Valparaíso. I felt it as I was sitting here writing my post. Not extreme, just enough to make you notice that the curtains and the lamp and the mardi gras beads hanging on your wall are all shaking.
Still apparently made the american news though. Don’t worry we still have power.
I send my love from Santiago!
Some day, I will live in Buenos Aires.
After only 4 days, I fell in love. So quickly? Some might ask? Other might comment that I should not be making any brash decisions, but those some people have not seen the city of dilapidated elegance, south american luxury, that oozes the personality of the One That Got Away. The city, by day reminiscent of all the great europeans, Paris, Rome, London, Lisbon, and by night glamorous people glamorous clubs and glamorous tequila sunrises (I kid you not Porteños stay up until dawn every time they go out). Can’t you tell I’m in love?
Maggie and I’s last adventure on her last weekend in South America was to, you guessed it, Buenos Aires.
Side note: yea, yea, yea I know, I know. I am three weeks late on my BA entry. Listen, right after we got back, Maggie left (and to her credit I was appropriately miserable for 3 days), then I started finals (it was as if my university decided to compete with GT in the last 2 weeks), and then my friend Esmelín came and visited (another blog post entirely), which brings me to today. Today is cold, grey, and rainy and is a perfect day to catch up on emails and blog posts.
Ok, we had a connecting flight with one stop in Montevideo (Uruguay for those of us who are geographically ignorant americans) on our way to Buenos Aires, Argentina. It wasn’t until we arrived at the airport that we discovered our luxurious ride is no more than a puddle jumper, that they bussed us to on the tarmac. Bussed! Now normally I love flying, really. I am one of those kinds of people who never get nervous on a plane, but on our flight to Montevideo I could have convinced you otherwise. The bumpiest most turbulent plane ride I have ever encountered. I mean I was leaving my stomach 20 feet above us, and my neck felt like I was riding the Ninja Rollercoaster at Sixflags (for all you Atlantans). Point of all this is: scary shit man. White-knuckled, I gripped the arm rests on our tiny plane of 4 seats across. Maggie shrugged it off, laughed, and assured me that if our plane were to crash, then it must be our time to go. (Thanks Maggie, very reassuring).
We spent the night in the Montevideo airport. I’m going to go ahead and check Uruguay off the list. Mostly we slept awkwardly in chairs and lamented how cold it was.
Our hostal is like 5 stories tall, a renovated brownstone-like place with colorful hand-painted soft porn images all over the walls. After a quick nap and dinner, Maggie and I are invited out with the hostal owner and employees. First stop of the evening is a real-life speakeasy. We entered through a disguised telephone booth door. No joke, we had to pick up the telephone, dial a number, and say a secret word to get in. You know I loved it. Also met an argentine who had worked in “Kenso” Georgia (Kennesaw, haha. Small world huh?). Next was another swanky bar, followed by a rooftop swanky bar. And then home. A fellow hostalier from england (and friend of Chelsea Davy, no kidding) stayed up all night (dawn) and indulged all of Maggie and I’s questions about England and the British Monarchy. What a good sport.
Day 2 was sightseeing in the city center. La Casa Colorida and the balcony where Evita told millions: “Don’t cry for me Argentina.” At this point, Maggie’s stomach doesn’t feel well, but she is such a great sport and allows me to drag her around all day. For dinner we head to Puerto Madero and enjoy the lights, boats, margaritas, mexican food, and Puente de la Mujer.
Next day, Maggie still doesn’t feel well, but allows me to drag her around for a little more sightseeing. We attempt to find an amazing library that both of us had seen in friends pictures when they had spent time in BA. We hoof it out to the Biblioteca Nacional which was built in the 1960s, looks like a mushroom cloud and is ugly inside and out. Not exactly what we had in mind. On top of that, not a single person in the library knows of a single other library in all of BA. #bibliotecafail (Turns out the library we’re looking for is in the Fine Arts Museum, I mean, duh).
Cafe, hostal, Maggie naps, I shop a bit in a gorgeous street vendor conglomeration. Dinner, get ready, go out. I cannot exaggerate what a good sport Maggie is this whole weekend. And I cannot thank her enough for it (thanks again doll). Her stomach felt like it was simultaneously doing backflips, frontflips, and rejecting all contents at the same time. How do I know how her stomach felt do you ask? Just wait…
We head home early. Next afternoon all we do is tromp around Calle Florida looking for my leather jacket and leather boots. Both of which I have wanted from Argentina since I decided to study abroad in Chile. Maggie still feels like shit and still follows me around and adequately inputs on what jackets look good and which ones don’t. Got a jacket, very Janis Joplin in Me and Bobby McGee, and I love it (and I love that my mother won’t). Quite unfortunately, my feet are too big for any boots sold in Argentina. You think I’m kidding? I wish I wasn’t. Size 9 is the largest shoe size available. I’m a 9.5 or 10. #tootallforsouthamerica
Nighttime finds Maggie curled up in the fetal position at the hostal, so I go exploring alone. I wander around the gorgeous neighborhood of Palermo Soho, drinking in the general splendor and window shopping. The amount of cool design shops, stores, and offices in Buenos make NYC’s Soho look so totally mainstream, dude. I stop for dinner at a cute corner pub. My stomach is making funny noises, but I ignore it. A few beers and plate of fried food later finds me hurling it all back up in the pub bathroom and rushing back to the hostal. I had considered myself impervious to Maggie’s debilitating travelers sickness (I am, afterall, very experienced in all things south america). Boy was I wrong.
As Maggie recovers from her version of the End Of The World, I spend the night in our (super fun, but not super clean) hostal’s bathroom with my version of the End Of The World. I have never in my life (at least to my recollection) felt such a terrible combination of hungover-flu-fever-weakness-wracking-stomach-pains as that night. Not even the sweet relief of fitfull sleep will toss me a bone. All of this compounded with the lurking fear of what the morning’s bouncing flight back to Santiago will be like.
Lucky for me I caught the short version of the End Of The World and had mostly gotten over it by our 9:30am flight the next morning. Maggie however did not get so lucky and I’m sure did not really get over hers until she got back to the states after 2 more days and to a real doctor. Like I said, what a sport.
So, Buenos I understand that our relationship hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies, but I still love you. And I will be back.
I send my love (yes I have some left) from Chile!
Is National Geographic’s succinct description of the desert in the north of Chile.
NASA and NatGeo claim it is the driest region in the world and studies have shown that the soils in the Atacama are so dry and antimicrobial, that they resemble the soils on the surface of Mars.
So, of course, it would come as no surprise to anyone that the Atacama was one of my top destinations when I decided to study in Chile (being that I have been an avid National Geographic reader since high school).
If you imagine me (and Maggie) stumbling, with shirts wrapped around our heads, delirious from thirst, and imaging mirages of fountain-like oasis in a background that somewhat resembles this:
then you’d be wrong. Instead we spent our time the worlds most arid wasteland doing things like Sandboarding. That’s right sandboarding. Like snowboarding, but on sand. Way cool, huh? The main downside to sandboarding (as opposed to snowboarding) is that there are no ski lifts in the Atacama desert, meaning that you have to climb back up the enormous sand dune to board down it again. With the added hindrances of altitude (the Atacama lies on the South American Plateau) and arid climate the oxygen levels are about two thirds what most people are acclimated to. In laymen’s terms, it’s really hard to breathe. Still, I managed to climb up and board down 5 times which was plenty of time to become an expert sandboarder:
(I mean, duh. Do you know me?)
Maggie and I also indulged in other extreme desert trekking adventures like:
desert horseback riding. and:
subzero geyser watching. Seriously subzero, -18 celsius, I swear I’m not being dramatic. Coldest I’ve been in chile with like 11 layers on. Also:
Cold Beer Drinking. Our most extreme adventure (obviously). And now I’ve added another gold star to my bragging rights (in addition to farthest south) which is driest place on earth. Once again, Aslee’s the name and #winning’s the game.
Buenos Aires post to come soon. Finals week is draining my spare time and energy. Today marks my 5 month anniversary in South America (and 1 month until my return). Things to look forward to in July: Melyn Roberson visiting (!!) and my trip to Macchu Pichu!
From the Southern Half to the Northern Half, I send my love from Chile.
Big red hair, tease-rare,
Jenna won’t let me touch her
bonny big red hair.
Santa Cruz de Chile. Surprised? You would have guessed Moe’s Burritos or Chick-fil-A sweet tea? Well, then you will not be surprised by this Fun Fact: Santa Cruz de Chile is commonly referred to as Wine Country. And believe you me, it is wiiiiineee cooountry. (Imagine me cheesily winking at you after saying that).
Onwards. For Marvelous Maggie’s first weekend in Chile, my good friend and fellow expat Carol and her visiting friend Amelia, Maggie and I headed south of the city to Santa Cruz for some rambunctious wine tasting.
The first winery we visited was Lapostelle. French in Essence, Chilean by Birth. In reality the winery is just a hobby for the Marnier-Lapostelle Family (as in Grand Marnier). Obviously SOP (standard operating procedure) for a blue blood family with a liqueur fortune is to open a winery. Obviously.
The architecture of the winery was gorgeous, with all the technical wine making operations fully functioning via gravity. In other words, the winery was 7 floors tall and each level represented a different part of the wine making process with the bottom floor representing the aging cellars (and bellow that the Lapostelle 7,000 bottle private collection).
Day 2 brought us to our favorite winery, Montes. Gorgeous, I daresay my favorite. Also, they took us on a safari ride up to the mountain viewpoint of the vineyard (and improvised photo shoot). Also, our guide spoke perfect english and was significantly less awkward than our guide at Lapostelle.
Day 2 night found Carol, Maggie, and I at the Santa Cruz Casino (not the cafeteria kind, the gambling kind). After another (like our 5th) cheese plate, Carol apologetically departed. Maggie played $20 for like 2 hours on the black jack table. I played $20 for like 10 minutes on the blackjack table. Gamble fail. So instead I sampled several of the casinos rich, yet surprisingly affordable drink specials and spectated.
The bus ride home was a little nauseous (drink specials), very early (school work), and crowded (chile), but eventually we arrived in Santiago and both spent the rest of the day in bed.
I send my purple-tongued love from chile (along with another cheesy winky face).
equals BIG NEW post soon, like beginning of next week soon! start the drumroll please.
No, silly, we are actually from los Estados Unidos, but we tell all the taxi drivers we’re from Canada. And creepy men at clubs.
There’s just something about Canada. Nobody hates Canadians. No one assumes all Canadians are like the cast of Jersey Shore. And nobody expects Canadians to dance. Obviously.
My biffle (bffl) and Self Appointed Wingwoman, the Illustrious and Strikingly Gorgeous Margaret Purcell, arrived yesterday in Santiago to visit me for a month.
We did some touristing things like climb to the top of Cerro San Cristobal, you can actually see the smog sitting over the city. It’s just lovely.
Anway, I’m SUPER excited to have her here. More updates of our hilarious adventures in South America to come soon.
I (we) send our love from Chile!
Rachel’s coworkers were asking her about all the great “casinos” in the States. Rachel repeatedly told them (in spanish) that they are mostly illegal, and there are none in Atlanta.
She did mention that some states have lax-er rules on “casinos” and that usually they are owned by native americans. Her coworkers seemed very surprised and disbelieving of this fact, and she repeatedly reassured them that they were dumb chileans, and she knew what she was talking about.
“Casino” means cafeteria/restaurant in spanish. #spanishfail
This time my love goes out to all my girls abroad (aka in europe) this summer! Expat love!