Monday, May 26, 2014

Saturday, May 24

Today Katie and I woke up at 8 and we were on the road with my parents to Santiago by 8:30. We arrived a little before 10 at La Moneda, which is the White House of Chile.
Manuel used to be a Colonel in the police force, and he actually used to work in La Moneda, so he has special privileges. They let us into the Moneda to take a private tour with one of the policemen who was there guarding it. We got to see where Michelle Bachelet holds her press conferences, where she works, and the main courtyard where all the important events are held.
Katie and I were impressed with the lack of security (we didn’t even have to go through a metal detector to get in, and there are very few guards around and they are only carrying radios with them), but then again, terrorism does not exist in Chile, so there is really no need for any more security. After the tour, we stopped for a quick coffee, and then went back to the plaza of la Moneda to watch the changing of the guard.
It wasn’t exactly like Arlington National Cemetery because there was a band marching in and some people mounted on horseback, but it was still a pretty cool ceremony to watch. After it ended, we went around to the other side of la Moneda to take some typical touristy pictures, and then got back in the car to drive over to Patronato.

Patronato is this big street filled with hole in the wall shops and lots of street vendors selling cheap clothes. Clothes are so expensive here in Chile that everyone always goes to Patronato to buy expensive things like jeans and jackets. I really just wanted to look around since I didn’t need to buy anything, but it was still fun just window shopping and looking through all the clothes in all the stores with Lilian (who absolutely loves shopping) and Katie (even Manuel got excited about some men’s clothes he found).
I ended up buying a few cheap pairs of hippie pants to bring back to the US and shamelessly wear even though they are totally not fashionable at all there. We stopped at this little hole in the wall restaurant to eat the best schwarmas of my life (it’s Turkish food apparently).
After Patronato, my parents drove Katie and me over to Estadio Nacional while we put on all our layers of warm clothes in the car. We got out, said goodbye and thanks for the fantastic day to my parents, and went to wait in the growing line around the side of the stadium of people waiting to get into the Fall Out Boy concert.
We looked at the super punk looking Chileans around us and decided we were probably a little out of our league, but we still had fun laughing at ourselves and making jokes about the people in English with the confidence that they wouldn’t understand us. We met up with our classmate Anto and her cousin Fefe a little later, and pretty soon we were allowed into the stadium.
There were no assigned seats, just seats around the outside and a big open area in front of the stage. Obviously, we ran down to the open area to be closer to the band. The problem, however, was that everyone else had the same idea, and pretty soon we were so squished in that I couldn’t even fully expand my ribcage to get in a good breath. The warm up band, some Chilean bad I’d never heard of, came on around 8, and I could forget a little bit about being so packed in with about 500 other Chileans in about 30 square feet of space. They left around 8:40, and that left us with 20 minutes of nothing to do before Fall Out Boy came on.
That’s when the pushing started. One side of the mob would push the other, and I would almost be knocked off my feet every time, except there was no way I could actually fall because the bodies around me were too close to me. It was literally freezing outside, but with all the body heat around us, everyone started sweating a lot, and I wanted to take off my jacket and scarf but I literally couldn’t move my arms enough to take the jacket off. We decided to wait until Fall Out Boy came out, listen to a couple songs, and move to a place farther back where we could actually enjoy the concert. When they came out, the energy was exhilarating. Everyone was jumping up and down, and the crowd moved me too, so I had no choice but to follow suit. The band played The Phoenix, and we got some cool up close pictures of them, and then Anto, Katie, and I moved farther back where we still had an excellent view, but could also move around and dance and most importantly breathe.
I sang along at the top of my lungs to all the songs, we had a great time dancing and laughing and talking about how hot Pete Wentz is. It was really weird being at a concert in a Spanish speaking country though because all of the Chileans knew more of the song lyrics than we did, but when the band would make little jokes and comments in between songs, not many people understood or laughed. We kind of felt like it was our own private concert since we were some of the only people who understood everything Pete was saying.
The concert ended around 11, and we went outside the stadium to wait for Anto’s dad. He picked us up, and as we dropped Fefe off at her apartment in Santiago, she invited us up for dinner, so we ate a quick dinner with her, and then drove the hour back to Rancagua. It had been an exhausting day, and Katie and I slept in the car. When we got back to my house we didn’t even talk to each other, we just fell right into bed.

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