Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thursday, October 31

Today we woke up around 10 and ate a big breakfast (it seems that every single meal in Cata’s grandma’s house is some big production with lots of treats and lots of tea) and then got ready for a big day of touring. They wanted to make sure that I got to see everything that Vina has to offer. First, we drove to a little city slightly north along the coast called Renaca. We walked along the beach, took some gorgeous pictures of the landscape, and then went to the little Renaca mall. We wandered through the stores, and then stopped at a tea shop to sit down and drink the best tea I’ve ever tasted in my life. Then we drove home and ate a huge lunch with both of Cata’s grandparents. Her grandpa seemed to really like me, and kept trying to talk o me and compliment me on my blue eyes, but he muttered a lot and  I couldn’t really understand him and he was hard of hearing and so he couldn’t understand my accent when I answered his questions. Overall it was a slightly awkward lunch. After lunch, Gabs and Rosario wanted to rest for a while, but I was excited to keep seeing the rest of the city and really didn’t want to waste any time. So Mary, Cata, and I walked into town to the Vina mall to look for a warm jacket for Cata (it was actually pretty cold and we were in jeans even though we were at the beach) and to buy candy to pass out to kids since tonight was Halloween. When we got back, everyone was ready to go on our next field trip to the port of Valparaiso which is like a 5 minute drive along the coast from Vina. I got to see the port, La Universidad de Valparaiso, the famous hills filled with little colorfully painted houses, the building where the Chilean congress meets (they don’t meet in Santiago because they want the government to be more decentralized), Pablo Neruda’s house, and the famous Vina del Mar flower clock (which is a giant working clock made out of flowers and built into the hill—basically it’s a popular tourist destination). It was like a crazy reality check to be in Valparaiso because I remember learning about it in Spanish class last year, and I never thought that I would actually see it. It is a super cute, colorful, artsy, hippie town filled with gorgeous graffiti, people playing instruments in the streets, and lots of really big boats (the navy is stationed there). We went back to the apartment and ate dinner, and then we broke out the face paint that we had bought at the mall and we all painted our faces to look like skulls.
Then we went down to the beach where there is like a big artisan market and we walked around scaring people and passing out candy to the little kids who were dressed up.  I was sad to learn that Halloween is not at all an important holiday here. Kids over 10 do not dress up or go trick or treating, people do not decorate their houses, and nobody carves pumpkins (in fact, pumpkins don’t even exist here—or at least I’ve never seen one). My friends here only dressed up because I complained that they were losers until they gave in to appease me. Anyway, it wasn’t the craziest Halloween ever, but I had a lot of fun with them, and seeing Renaca and Valparaiso was an amazing experience. We got back to the room around midnight, and then watched a scary movie and went to sleep.

No comments:

Post a Comment