People of Santiago (And a Plan for When You Miss Them)

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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?”

“Exactly!”

“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.

Calle Catedral

Calle Mac Iver

Teatro Municipal

Alameda

Plaza de Armas

Calle Mac Iver

Calle San Antonio

Alameda

Alameda

Alameda

Alameda

Alameda

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Calle Catedral

Calle Catedral

Centro

Alameda

Alameda

Bandera

La Moneda

Cal y Canto

Cal y Canto

Cal y Canto

Plaza de Armas

Ismael Valdés Vergara

Ismael Valdés Vergara

Ismael Valdés Vergara

Miraflores

Catedral

Catedral

Santo Domingo

Quinta Normal

San Pedro

La Mercede

Santa Ana

Plaza a la Aviación

Santa Lucía

Barrio Lastarria

La Merced

Calle Amunátegui

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

2 Comments

  1. Martin Penwald on

    Funny typo : “smoke a home”
    Is it a home made of weed?
    I’m not really a social guy, but I see this impersonal side of the Canadian culture. In fact, I can see why western Canadians have a grief against some immigrant communities that are more solidary for each others. Which is ridiculous, because nobody prevent them to be more solidary with “their own”. But it would be communism!!!!11!1!!

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