Tag Archives: personal

The Accidental Tourist

The nice thing about visiting someone in their exotic home country is that you see lots of things you wouldn't otherwise.

This always ends up a bit surreal, however, since you outsource the planning to someone who knows what they're doing.

You see their best places, but since you didn't do any research or logistics to get there, you don't know what you're looking at.

This is basically how I ended up in Valparaiso, Chile.

My Chilean friend put me in the car, drove, parked and told me to get out.

'We're here,' she said.

'Where?' I said.

We wandered around, the native leading the interloper.

People stopped us and told us to put our cameras away.

'Chileans will steal them!' they said.

'Damn,' I told my friend. 'Chileans are hella racist against Chileans.'

She started introducing me as 'this gringo', possibly as punishment for this remark.

Neither of us knew anything about the city, so we recklessly speculated about all the buildings. This is where Spanish colonialists watched professional wrestling, we decided.

The rest of these buildings are all former locker rooms, obviously.

This is where they fed Christians to lions. That was the Spanish that did that, right?

'How come the power lines are all over the place like East Baltimore?' I asked my friend.

'So Chileans can charge all the electronics they steal from gringos,' she replied.

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Filed under Personal, Pictures, Travel

Things You Can Tell About Chile Just By Looking At It

The best thing about traveling to another country is waking up before everyone there

and jogging through it while it's getting dressed for the day.

In developing countries, this is an incredibly efficient way to get gawked at.

My first day in Santiago, I ran to the top of a hill at 7 am

The road was so deserted I thought I'd missed an air raid siren.

Even the squirrels looked suspicious.

I was on my way down before I saw any other people. Dozens of joggers on their way up.

They nodded and hola'd, admiring my fortitude.

I yelled 'America!' loud enough for them to hear through their earbuds.

Based on the number of joggers, plus the rate of earbuds-per-jogger, I concluded midway through my run that Chile is less developingey than I thought it would be.

It looks more like the US from overtop than Mexico.

Aside from the language and the abstinence, you could mistake it for LA.

At the top of the hill the Virgin Mary congratulates you on making the altitude.

For a few minutes, it was just me and her.

Standing still and looking out at what we'd done.

She's been looking longer than I have.

I hope I have her patience to see what's below.

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Filed under Pictures, Travel

Chilean Food is Disgusting-Slash-Awesome

 

 

I still fucking ate the whole thing though.

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Filed under Food, Pictures, Travel