After another long, hard day of lazing around the house with our families, Colin and I decided to go out and experience some Chilean food in downtown Viña. His family recommended a few restaurants, among them the deceptively-named “Africa.” So since we knew where that one was (it’s hard to miss with the giant elephant outside the second-story window), we headed that direction.
While we were standing outside examining the menu, a waiter opened the door and said “Buenas tardes, ¿como están? …Do you guys speak English?” It turns out Camilo is Chilean, but lived in Virginia for 15 years until he moved back down here with his wife and one-year-old son. He was super nice and talked to us the entire time we were eating and we all ended up exchanging phone numbers so we could hang out sometime and so his wife could have some English-speaking friends.
If you’ve ever been in a foreign country, you may have noticed that the fashions are often very, very different than in the States. And if you’ve ever been to Latin America, you might have commented on the fact that some things (like the music, occasionally) seem to be on a 10ish year delay from our culture in the US. So what, you may ask, is in style in Chile? None other than the Fanny Pack!! Perhaps just because they’re highly practical in a crowded city environment, but it seems that at least half the people here are rocking this ‘80s fashion statement. And one of our own has joined their number… Colin now sports a Chilean banano!
|Colin's super awesome banano--all the rage in Chile!|
Student Metro Card Part One: There is always an insanely long line at the Viña metro station customer service desk, and since that’s where I have to go to get my student discount card, I decided it would be way better to take a buddy.
|Hilary Gibson is also from OU!|
So Hilary and I went Friday afternoon and when we had figured out what we were going to say, we walked up to the desk to ask what in the world we were supposed to do (since there was no apparent line, but a LOT of people waiting around), and the guy told us that there were no more numbers (Whatever that means?) and to come back very early the next morning. To be continued…
Friday was also Sidney’s 27th birthday! He invited me and Colin to his party, so we got to hang out with my host brother and four of his best friends all night. When I say all night, I mean the US version of all night (like til 2am), not the Chilean version, which is until 5 or 6am. All of his friends were very nice and tried to include us in their superduperfastSpanish conversations, but Colin and I mostly listened and learned since we couldn’t quite keep up.
|It also goes down the stairs, curves around a corner, and along a wall, then into the office.|
Student Metro Card Part Two: The customer service desk opens at 9am, so Hilary and I figured that would be a good time to show up there. When we did, this is what the line looked like:
It did, however, move surprisingly fast, and within 45 minutes, we were again at the desk, handing over our passports and certifications. This time the lady asked for our phone numbers, gave us a slip of paper, and said they’d call us within 15 days. Fifteen. Days. ...So Hilary and I have learned to laugh at our adventures, but we hope this one will come to a close soon.
Saturday evening, all the international students met up and went to a fútbol game together. While I think we were more excited about the churros we got to snack on in the stadium than the actual game, we did get to show our spirit when Everton scored two goals!
Colin and I got to hang out with our new friend Camilo, his wife, Jennifer, and their precious son, Leo on Sunday evening. We took the metro out to Villa Alemana, where they live, and spent the evening playing with Leo, then sharing drinks in “downtown” Villa Alemana, then delicious Chilean food at their house, followed by watching Contagion til one in the morning. (As a side note, I’m never touching anyone or anything ever again.) Afterward, Camilo drove us to the bus stop so we could take a micro back home. It was a little scary standing outside by ourselves in Who-Knows-Where, Chile at 1am, but we’re pretty sure we were sent an angel in disguise. This precious vago showed up at our bus stop when sketchy people were driving by, and waited there with us nearly an hour until we finally got on the micro. We named him Angelito.
|We're pretty sure Angelito was an angel in disguise.|
I hope every weekend is as exciting as this one was!