Friday, November 11, 2005

bienvenidos a santiago

Contrary to popular belief, I have actually made it to Santiago, although the sim card for my phone did not, and I am now incommunicado. It's like being in the dark ages. Well no, not really, and it will save an awful lot of money, not having the temptation of constant communication available. C'est la vie.

All the guidebooks rave about Santiago's "European"ness. Well, I guess. Yes, there are some beautiful squares, with amazing buildings, and I saw a fantastic open-air photography expo, but it was still extremely grimy, smoggy, with a distinct lack of signs, anywhere. This didn't detract from my pleasant wanderings of the city. I did it in what I call Cara style. Vaguely point myself in the right direction, and wander along stopping at whatever takes my fancy, and hopefully I'll end up at the right spot. It worked very well indeed today, and like I said, I happened upon a great photography display, a school singing pop hymns at San Cristobal (the sight of a very big Virgin Mary, on top of a hill overlooking the city), and some very interesting cafes. The cafes intrigue me no end. There are two main chains - Cafe Haiti, and Cafe Caribe. They both seem to be the same as each other, so far. Anyway, neither of them have anywhere to sit, instead you kinda hover at a counter. So much for relaxing the afternoon away, thinking deep existential thoughts. And even if you did have deep existential thoughts, you would be distracted from them by the waitresses, whose uniform consists of the shortest skirts I have ever seen. No wonder the majority of the clientele was male.

So, the Lonely claimed that I was staying in the "boho" part of town. This morning, I thought that was a stretch, to say the least. I have however, kind of found the cool, studenty part of my wee area, and yes, I do rather like it, although to call it boho is still pushing the boat out. Ah, the Lonely. Sometimes it misses so much by trying so hard. Something I have learnt not to fall for is anywhere the Lonely says "has charm". It's a translation for "is crap, but I'm a traveller, and I love slumming it".

Something has been confusing me for a while, and whilst I am sure it is perfectly simple, I just cannot get my wee blonde head around is the whole crossing of the international date line. I mean, how did I go from 12hrs ahead of my parents, and being awake when they are asleep, to somehow being 5hrs behind them? And how did I get two Wednesday, 9th Novembers? I can't live a day twice! (To make up with this grave error in the universe, I slept through the second one). But seriously, when I was on the plane, what exactly happened. I know that I was alive, and only for 10hrs, but were other people living more? So confusing. Does time really stretch? Someone please help me out on this one.


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