The walls of Santiago are interesting. There are beautiful artistic murals on some buildings, like around Barrio Brasil. Other messages are more political and express anger, hope or relief. They are the pulse of the city, of the country.
Here are my random thoughts on Santiago. No, I didn’t write them on the walls.
Thought #1: There is a long street in Santiago that is called “Call Mac Iver”. Every time I take it, I chuckle and the MacGyver theme song plays in my head. Yes, I am a child of the 1980s.
Thought #2: The whole hot dog mystery. I guess foreigners could say that French survive on kebabs and Canadians on Tim Hortons… Still, why so many hot dog “restaurants”?
Thought #3: Why are they so many blind people in Santiago? It’s crazy, every day I saw at least ten and no, we weren’t by an hospital or an institute.
Thought #4: Wait, this may be the reason why there is an entire street dedicated to optometrists and optical products (incidentally, part of the above-mentioned Mac Iver Street).
Thought #5: If Mark asks “why?” one more time I’m going to scream “BECAUSE!”. No, seriously, I don’t mind explaining where the salt comes from, why cats lick their legs, why the subway is under street level, why I’m not drinking Sprite (nothing personal, just too sweet for me), why we are buying food… Hell, I even explained why Mark couldn’t fly, I made up a lovely story about the fact that when we chose all the options (a little boy, with two arms, ten fingers, one nose, two eyes and so on) we forgot to ask for wings. But I can’t explain why dogs aren’t human and why the sun is hot. Not until I get more coffee, anyway.
Thought #6: I love the weather in Santiago. It’s hot but dry so even though you do feel like you are baking under the sun, it cools off a bit at night and you aren’t sweating too much.
Thought #7: I love withdrawing 150,000 Chilean pesos at the ATM. It makes me feel like a millionaire even though it’s only US$200.
Thought #8: I was waiting for a fresh batch of marraqueta the other night at the supermarket and another customer and I talked about our love for bread. “I can wait for hot bread just out of the oven!” I stated. “Hot bread is so good…” she agreed. “But do you know why the supermarket bakes several batches a day? Hot bread is heavier, we pay more!” I had never thought of that before and I found her observation interesting (and probably true, since bread is sold by weight in Chile).
Thought #9: I went for a waxing session in Santiago, the city that introduced me to bikini wax. As I was laying there on the table, my legs spread wide open, the esthetician and I chatted casually, because what else are you doing to do when you are showing your most private parts to a stranger? She asked me why I liked Santiago, a question locals often ask me. “Me gusta la cultura y la gente,” I replied. “The people? Why? La gente es muy ordinaria!” she laughed. I paused. “I guess I like regular people,” I shrugged. It’s true: I enjoy Santiago because no one is trying to sell me the city, people just mind their own business.
Thought #10: It’s amazing the number of immigrant from Venezuela and Colombia who adopted Chile. There are many gay folks as well, they seem to find Chile a more friendly place to live.