Lots of people travel to the coast this weekend for vacation, so Santiago was completely dead. Pablo and I stayed and our family had a BBQ every day starting on Friday and including Monday with a different crowd of guests each day. I’ve never seen so much meat consumed in my life. I swear Pablo must have eaten at least 6 pounds of beef on Friday. We also had empanadas and mote con huesillos, which is a peach nectar drink with barley on the bottom and rehydrated dehydrated peaches floating around. It’s good. Everyone had to stock up on Thursday or Friday because all the supermarkets closed from Saturday to Monday, literally ALL of them. Give that, I was really impressed by the amount of meat and food that kept flowing out of the kitchen over the weekend, since everything had to be planned ahead of time, and if something ran out, there was no way to restock.
Anyways, I’m just going to share some events from the weekend in an unorganized pointless manner.
Thursday, Christian (the son of the girlfriend of Pablo’s dad) had his birthday so there were balloons around the yard on Friday and Pablo thought it would be fun to pop some in front of our dogs, which scared the heck out of Chica (our German Sheppard) and she ran to her bed for the rest of the night. There were also some fireworks on Friday night which freaked her out even more. When Pablo and I left on Saturday morning, she was trying to get though the gate when we were leaving, which she usually doesn’t do. When we came back, a hole had been dug under the gate and the ivy around the fence was torn down and Chica was gone. The hole wasn’t that big and it looked impossible that she could squeeze though it. Thankfully we had put name tags with Pablo’s number on both dogs’ collars 2 days before. Pablo had left his phone the whole time we were gone (only about 2 hours), so we grabbed it before heading out on our bikes. He realized he had missed like 40 calls. We called back the number and someone had her about a mile and a half away, so we went to get her. We brought her back and she saw a balloon and freaked out, so we made sure all the balloons were gone and tried to calm her down. We went into the house for about an hour and came back out to see that she was gone again, but there was no hole.
She somehow managed to squeeze though the vertical bars of the fence. So we took off with the bikes again but didn’t find her around and when we got back, we got a call that someone had her about a mile away. I swear she must have just escaped and ran as fast as she could in one direction. Anyways, identity tags in Chile actually work! So how come there are tons of signs posted around of missing dogs?! I think average Chileans lack common pet sense. This also includes feeling bad for fixed dogs, especially neutered male dogs, and thinking it shouldn’t be done to them. Chica didn’t escape again.
Next big event: Parque O’Higgins. This is basically a county fair gone bad. It involves tons and tons of people going around eating Chile’s typical foods (and churros!), drinking, and dancing. Things that stood out to me were:
Thousands of kites: Before even exiting the metro station, I could see trees covered in crashed paper kites. When we got to the park, the huge open grassy space (like 7 football fields big) was covered in kids flying their kites. There was literally almost no space for another kite. The best part was that there is a rule: if you kite’s line gets cut, and your kite flies free, anyone who can catch it first, gets to keep it. A free kite sounds worth the chase to me. So there were crowds of kids chasing stray kites like mad with branches connected to other branches to make long sticks that could reach the sting before it hit the ground. Pablo and I watched in amusement for a good 40 minutes.
Duck on a leash with traditional outfit: Unfortunately, I wasn’t prepared and didn’t have my camera to document all of these amazing sites. But, yes, it was a white duck with a traditional pancho like thing on a leash.
Stray dog passed out surround by meat: There was half of a sausage and a piece of steak next to this dog in the midst of all the crowds, but I’m assuming the dog had gotten so many left-overs that it was full to busting and was just passed out sleeping. Never have a I seen a stray dog sleeping when meat is right next to it.
Alcohol as the prize for carnival games: I saw like 6 kids paying to play the game where you throw beanbags at the pyramid of tin cans. Displayed on the ground in front of the pyramids as prize: bottles of rum. I’m assuming nobody won this game because it wasn’t cheap rum and it definitely wasn’t the super cheap, made-in-China, stuffed animals that you can win at fairs in the US. I did a double take, and looked around for other prizes, but rum was the only option. I asked Pablo if, in fact, they give alcohol as a prize for kid’s games and he said “Yeah, that’s Chile for ya”
I’m glad I went because I actually SAW culture and from my experience, Chile doesn’t have a very blatant, exotic, in-your-face cultural difference from the U.S. (I mostly notice culture as a way of life/social interaction type difference). But, what I described above definitely reminded me that I was in South American country.
That concludes a quick summary of my dieciocho.
A note on grammar: I start sentences with “And” and “But” because I like the way it sounds. And, this source says it’s okay.