Monday, October 21, 2013

Tuesday, October 15

Today Daniel, Katie, and I met at school in normal clothes because we were going to ditch school that day and go to Santiago together. Antonia couldn’t come because her parents thought it would be too dangerous, and I had to listen to a long safety speech from my parents because apparently Santiago has a reputation for having lots of robbers and thieves. We walked from school to the bus station, and took an hour long bus ride into the city. Then we took the subway (called the metro) to Costanera Center, which is the biggest mall in South America and the sixth or seventh biggest building in the world. We got Starbucks for the first time since I arrived in Chile almost two and a half months ago. That has been one of the things I miss most. I was happy to finally get my frappuccino, but incredibly disheartened to find that pumpkin flavored things don’t exist in Chile, which means neither do Pumpkin Spice Lattes. (sidenote: other things that do not exist in Chile include licorice, Sour Patch Kids, graham crackers, goldfish, cheez-its, and pretzels) After walking around in the mall for a while without buying everything because it was all super expensive we jumped back on the metro and went to a little market of artsy hippie stuff that was super cool. There were a lot of little Chilean souvenirs, and I had to resist the urge to buy them all. I’ll have to go back there before I leave to buy gifts for everyone back home. After that, we walked up this big hill called Cerro Santa Lucia.
Apparently it used to be a castle and it was a pretty hike and an amazing view of Santiago at the top. Later, we met up with Jaimee, another exchange student from New Zealand who has been here for about 9 months, and her boyfriend and we took the metro to another area to eat a late lunch. We were all kind of starving, so we went to this burger place where the burgers were absurdly huge (mine was a turkey burger). As we ate them, we talked a lot and it was really interesting to hear the experiences of Jaimee and Daniel. It made me more and more excited about exchange and all the amazing things that are bound to happen. It also made me want to come to Santiago more often to hang out with the exchange students there. After lunch, Daniel, Katie, and I said goodbye to Jaimee and her boyfriend and took the metro back to the bus station (Katie and I were really excited to buy our very own metro BIP cards) and took the bus home to Rancagua.
Overall it was an incredible day just walking around and kind of doing nothing in Santiago because the city is so alive and there are like a million new things to see everywhere I turn. I also really enjoy spending time with Daniel and Katie (and Antonia too—we missed her a lot today). I don’t know if it’s because we all speak English and so it’s a lot easier to make friends, or because we are all sharing similar experiences as exchange students here, but we get along great. When we got back to the bus station in Rancagua, Katie’s mom came and picked us up, but when she got to the gas station near my house she realized that her gas cap was broken and they couldn’t take it off to put more gas in, so she had to leave Daniel and I there and drive straight to the mechanic before the car ran out of gas. We walked to my house while Daniel called his parents and asked them to pick him up. They said they were busy and couldn’t come for him and told him how to take a bunch of different micros and collectivos to get to his house. I walked him over to the Jumbo to catch a micro. I may not have the perfect relationship with my family, and I may get pissed sometimes that they don’t let me go out as much as I would like, but I am really lucky to have them because I know they care about me and would do anything to make sure I’m safe and comfortable. I feel really bad that Daniel doesn’t really have that. Anyway, we said goodbye when he got in a micro, and then I went shopping at the jumbo and bought a cute new skirt and shirt. When I got home, the Chilean soccer game had already started. We were playing against Ecuador, and we had to win this game to advance to the world cup. It was incredibly important, as I quickly figured out when I walked into the house and found Maxi running around the house wearing the Chilean flag as a cape and screaming “GOL CONCHA TU MADRE” at the top of his lungs.
We ended up winning, and I went to sleep to the sound of people yelling and horns honking out on the street as people celebrated Chile getting into the world cup.

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