Monday, August 25, 2008

Santiago

Chileans function on a very relaxed schedule. I was told we would be departing for Santiago at approximately 11am since its about a 6 hour drive from Los Angeles. However, we did not wake up until a quarter after and didnt eat breakfast until nearly 11:45. It has been rather easy to adapt to this lax lifestyle and I think Im going to enjoy it. Once we were finally packed and in the car it was four in the afternoon. We drove north on Route 5, which spands the entire length of the country, for about 4 hours until we arrived at the grandparent´s house, or "El Campo" as they call it. There to welcome us was Ricardo´s father as well as three of his brothers and their families. In El Campo, there was a sense of the country side and the tradition of the Huaso-the Chilean cowboy- and, although it was dark, I was told the property sat just beneath the Andes Mountain Range.
Over dinner, my host father pointed at the man sitting at the head of the table and said, ¨this is my father¨, which I had understood clearly when first introduced. Then, my hostmother acknowledged the woman sitting beside him, his wife, and said, "this is my mother¨. Now I was confused. I nodded my head with little reassurance as they all laughed at my perplexed facial expression. Over dinner, desert, and several cups of tea, my host mother and grandmother struggled to explain to me that both sides of the family had gone through divcorces and that Vici and Ricardo werent actually brother and sister. Shortly after dinner, we boarded the family´s four-door Nisan pick up and finished the remaining 200km distance to their apartment in Santiago.

Living in Santiago were Nacho´s older siblings Daniella and Ricardo, who were both studying at Universities in the city. I was particually interested to hear that Daniella´s boy friend was the director of the Spanish copyright of TV show The Office. The next day, we attened another family reunion, but this time I was prepared with the knowledge of their unique family tree. That afternoon we drove Nacho to the Santiago International Airport to catch his flight to Stateline, Nevada and his new home on the coast of Lake Tahoe. We arrived a safe 3 hours before departure and Nacho proceded through checking and security with no issues. The plane was in the gate and the weather was clear, but the family insisted on waiting until it took off. Two and a half hours later... the departure screen for AA flight 954 changed from "On time" to "Boarding" to "Last Call" and finally to "Departure" and then we hurried outside to watch the plane take off. It seemed a little excessive, but the family was pleased to stay close until the last moment.

Despite being one of the most polluted cities in the world, Santiago was interesting. Although we were in a urban setting, I enjoyed the picturesque view of the Andes which could be seen perfectly outside the apartment´s balcony. Before daprting, again behind schedule, we ate at a traditional Chilean restuarant, where we all shared empanadas with pevere (a tipical salsa), and an array of surf and turf. We arrived in Los Angeles at around 1:30am and I had to wake up for school the following morning...

4 comments:

McCurdy said...

Taylor, I already hear the story on Skype but enjoyed reading it too! Your observations as so fresh and entertaining! Keep it up! Also, link the site to your facebook. I miss you and now you know why I was sad to leave you two days before your adventure! It was hard not to be part on the send off! Love you and I am proud of you, Mom

slice1010 said...

Hi Taylor!
I am so excited that you are writing this blog so that we can experience your great adventure along with you! And most importantly, keep in touch with you! Have fun, study hard(of course)and keep the stories coming. I'm missing all of my "other sons"! Love, Mrs. Garcia

Molly Mc C. said...

bro bro. youre learning to chill out I'm sure. I had a little dinner party at my house last night and told everyone your stories I've heard second hand from mom or from your blog. Everyone at the table was at different stages in his or her college career, we all envied your choice to take a year to breath and grow. I miss you and am so proud of you! The girls think the pigs are weird but they make me smile everyday. Audrey took the pig out of the ice tray because she said it was "gross" she put it ontop of the toaster oven and it melted. I want to send it to you because its really funny actually. pig-morpheus. woohooo!


k. lets make a skype date.

Fabiola Lucay said...

Hi... I read your blog and I liked it a lot! I'm Chilean, from La Serena.
I just wanted to write "pebre" that's the name of the sauce we put on some of our dishes... :)

Good luck here in Chile!