Friday, February 24, 2012

Day One: Siestas and Supermercados

After 18 hours of traveling,  I reached Santiago this morning at about 10:00. Today was just a whirlwind of lugging my seemingly endless pile of luggage through customs, trying to get back into my Spanish-speaking groove, and staring wide-eyed out the car window at Santiago. Claudia, my host mom, and her friend Felix picked me up at the airport and drove me back to Claudia's apartment, which is located in an area of Santiago called Providencia. It's super close to the Metro and also to the center of the city.
Claudia is an older woman with 4 kids and 5 grandchildren who she is super proud of and talks about all the time. She's been hosting AU students for a while and seems to really love the company and also learning about us all as people.

When I arrived at the house, Claudia's maid Maria was also there. Maria is very friendly and she and Claudia interact more as friends than as employer/employee. The three of us sat down for a drink called a "terremoto" which means "earthquake" in English. It gets it's name because like an earthquake, the "aftershock" can be strong. Basically, it tastes good so it's easy to drink a lot of quickly. It's just sweet fermented wine (called pipeño) and pineapple ice-cream so of course I was all about it. 
This is just a picture from Google but it definitely does it justice...

Then we had lunch which was a little confusing because Claudia kept saying we were having "pastel" which means cake, but it turned out to be a casserole type thing made mostly of corn, with beef in it? I'm assuming that it is actually pastel de something but I just missed that word? 

Our other adventure was to the supermercado where I picked out some foods I like for breakfast and just got the lay of the land. 

Heading home, I couldn't stop looking around because the Andes are everywhere, even when there are clouds or smog, the mountains just rise up all around the city. I don't think I'll ever get used to that or become immune to its beauty. 

My room! Super cute and comfy! 
I'm exhausted and ready to go to bed for sure, but all I feel is anticipation! Claudia seems really fun, with a great sense of humor. I had no idea what to expect out of Santiago, whether it would be more European or be similar to Mexico City or far I can't really characterize it, but that may just be because it has a life of it's own!


  1. Love the bedroom! Sounds like a great home to get settled into. I'm fascinated by the cityscape with the mountains all around it...I'm gonna have to look it up and learn more about it. I know that when we visit Oregon, you can be in a town or out in the middle of no where...but if you turn around you'll always see a huge mountain peak - there's nothing like it!

  2. Terremoto sounds wild and probably really shook you up. Have a blast, Megan. Your grandma has asked me everyday whether I have read your blog yet, so now I can tell her yes! I plan to follow your adventures in Chile just as I did in Mexico. Be safe but have fun -- such a great opportunity for you and for them to know you. XO