It’s easy to find marraqueta, hallula and dobladas bread in Santiago. Just go to the supermarket or to one of the many mini-markets that bake the Chilean classics several times a day and until late at night because Santiaguinos want it hot and fresh.
But finding bakeries is a bit more difficult. There aren’t as many as in Buenos Aires, for instance. Most minimarket’s also sell baked goods, but it’s always the same selection because they come frozen from one main supplier, BredenMaster.
I like bakeries that bake from scratch.
I found a few, including a Peruvian bakery in Barrio Brasil, three Colombian bakeries close to Plaza de Armas and one on Morandé with an Argentinian owner who sells Colombian, Peruvian, Chilean and Argentinian bread and pastries.
This owner is the chatty kind. He’s always hanging out with customers in front of the tiny shop. Tonight, he was talking to a forty-something couple and he introduced me. “See, she travelled all the way from France to shop here!” he joked.
Turned out the couple used to live in building right in front of the bakery and they were regular customers. Then they moved to another barrio, further East.
“I love our apartment,” the woman explained, “but it’s a new area and it’s…un barrio dormitorio. Just buildings, buildings, buildings and very few shops except for a supermarket. I miss the city centre, the people, the life here!.”
“Oh my God!” I said. “I know exactly what you mean! I grew up in France and I live in Canada, in the suburb. I hate driving and I walk to places, but I’m the only pedestrian in the street. And Canadians are friendly, but they tend to live their life at home, they don’t just go to public places and hang out for the sake of it. You party at home, smoke a home, drink at home… or in restaurants. But not in the street or in public squares. Strangers are strangers and shall remain so.”
“You know that moment when you’re home and everything is fine but you don’t feel inspired, or you’re bored, or a bit down and you go out and suddenly, lost in the crowd, you forget all your problems and just enjoy the city?”
“YES!” I shouted. “That moment when you don’t feel like talking or doing anything but being around other people, part of a crowd, a piece of the city’s life?”
“I need life around me!”
“So do I!”
I’m never going to see this woman again but she’s my soulmate.
I need people around me to be inspired.
Here are the last shots of the people of Santiago.
I hope I won’t feel too lonely in Canada.