Working and Eating in Santiago

July 24, 2012

Hola Familia y Amigos,

Hope all is well. As you can see my spanish is improving! Today was an Awesome day. I woke up and the sun was shining. I had a tasty breakfast at the hotel.

They have a kind of guacamole at the break fast buffet so I made myself a nice sandwich with that, tomatoes, cheese, and salami and had some pineapples (pieces, not whole pineapples) on the side. After planning a skiing excursion for this weekend with the concierge, I set off for the first mall. This first picture is a view from outside of the mall in the afternoon when I was leaving. Gosh I love mountains. The mall was big and I didn’t have a problem in any of the stores, which was really fortunate. I’ve been explaining what I’m doing to the store people (in Spanish!) when they come up to me to see why I’m writing things down. Every person seems pretty satisfied with the explanation and walks away. I’m not sure if I do an amazing job explaining, or they just don’t want to bother with someone who can’t speak their language. Hopefully it’s the former! There was also a Merrell store in the mall and I didn’t spend any money there, a personal victory.

For lunch, I went to an Indian restaurant. Our company has started to get prices from Indian restaurants which is cool. After checking out the menu for the prices, I decided to eat there. I took a great HD video of the restaurant and my lunch for my amigo Alan, who is very enthusiastic about Indian food and travel (I’m also eternally grateful to him for introducing me to this job … Hi Alan!) but I wasn’t able to upload it to the blog. Damn. I’ll figure out how to format it correctly eventually.

After lunch, I worked more and then took a taxi home. I dropped my bags in the room and headed out to find some food and drink. I found a really cool bar (the second photo) but it didn’t have the kind food I wanted (light and seafoody) as it was more of a “pig” place, so I had a glass of wine there and then left.

I tried to pay for my wine for probably 20 minutes, asking the bartenders en espanol of course “how much does this cost” and “can I pay please”. They wouldn’t give me a bill or tell me the cost, and finally said something like “you’ve already paid” or “he has paid for it.” I can usually understand 60-90 percent of what people say. Less when they are speaking fast and it’s a loud bar. I’m pretty sure the bartender took care of my wine, which was very nice. I asked again to make sure… “are you sure I can’t pay???” because I wanted to make sure to NOT steal from the restaurant but they wouldn’t take my money. Nice!

It was a pretty huge glass of wine (Sauvignon Blanc from Chile to be specific) so I went on my merry way to find a place that had seafood. I notice that here in Chile they pour pretty big glasses of wine. After some more wandering, I found myself at the street on which I ate lunch yesterday. That street had a bunch of great restaurants. I picked one that looked fairly busy. By the way, the fourth picture is of the outdoor area near the food court at the mall, a lunchtime shot.

I sat down at my table and noticed some guys speaking English at the table next to me. The food was delicious. My ceviche is the third picture down. Turns out these guys are Canadian and they are here in Santiago for a meeting. They work in the Mining business. I took a little walk with them after dinner and pointed out the coffee shop that I liked because they were complaining that all the coffee they had had in chile was Nescafe. Now I’m back at the hotel and pretty tired.

By the way, the hotel is Nice! The lobby smells like the Lenox hotel in Boston :). It’s definitely not as nice as the Lenox but smells equally as delicious. They put some incredible thing in the ventilation system (I asked about it a while ago) so it smells amazing. My room is a good size, has a couch, a coffee table, and decent bathroom and amenities. The bed has exactly seven pillows on it, five to sleep on and two decorative that I flung across the room with joy.

The fifth and last picture is just a super cute doggy I saw outside the coffee shop yesterday. There are a lot of stray doggies here which kind of hurts my heart but not this one. I wish I could pet the stray dogs and give them treats and kisses but I’m advised not to mingle with the stray animals.

Looking forward to a great working day tomorrow!

Love, Annie

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