The DougBlog
"Et sans savoir pourquoi, disent toujours: Allons!" —Baudelaire

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Rapa Nui Blog, Part 1: Santiago

Well, here I am—well south of the border. After a crazy and emotional few weeks I was more ready than ever for a vacation. That said, I still found myself leaving with some hesitation as I headed off to places I never thought I would go….but once I got here I was nothing but excited.

First, for those of you who asked about flying on Halloween, here you can see Delta’s standard-issue Halloween flair—scary antennae!! (they also gave out candy):

I enjoyed the announcement that “Due to the length of the flight, our crew members are required to take breaks. But rest assured that even if you see a crew member sleeping in one of our seats, there is someone in the cockpit flying the plane.” Also, the pilot made a big deal about the fact that we were flying over Cuba as if flying over it is one of life’s greatest experiences. I did see the lights of Havana, but it could just as easily have been Cleveland. Although I guess it did feel a little bit naughty. But I digress…

The next morning I arrived in Santiago. After paying my $100 reciprocity fee and being searched for food products, I was accosted by hundreds of taxi drivers and finally arrived at my hotel. I had to wait another hour for a room to be ready (it was only 9AM) and couldn’t wait to hit the sheets. And like my first day in Cornwall, I ended up spending the whole day in bed. At least this time I didn’t get a “we’d just like to be sure you aren’t dead” call from the management. I felt a little guilty, but I needed it.

The next morning I was awakened by loud noises outside my door. I pulled the covers over my head and joked to myself, “it sounds like someone is ripping up the carpets”. Well sure enough, when I left my room, I found they’d done just that!:

Now on to the sights…To quote Mel Brooks’ History of the World, Part I, Santiago is best described as “Nice. Not thrillinnngggggg,, but nice.” One day of hoofing it about town was enough to see what’s worth seeing, such as the Plaza de Armas, Santiago’s main square:

Check out my little ass:

The Palacio de la Moneda is Chile’s version of the White House. I might add that Chile has South America’s first female president (Michelle Bachelet) and that la Moneda is surprisingly open—anyone can wander through the various courtyards of the building:

This is the Cerro Santa Lucia, sort of a hill and a park and a castle all in one:

There’s a 72-foot Virgin Mary looking over the city…if that doesn’t keep a 99% Catholic population in check, nothing will:

A few other random shots:

So Santiago is nice, but not worth traveling half way around the world. Then again, it’s not the reason I came, so I guess that’s all right. I should point out that Santiago is a very clean and cosmopolitan city, and it is best known for it’s stunning setting at the base of the Andes. Unfortunately, the mountains also trap the pollution so you can rarely see them! Here was the best view of them I ever had:

A few parting shots:

But, does it contain corn syrup?:

This is a big chain down here in Chile. I guess you concentrate really hard and the pizza appears at your door?:

You too can look like a dead celebrity! I’m guessing this isn’t officially endorsed by her estate; that must be why the man in the window is telling you to “shush!”:

I have no idea what this man was doing:

This random dog was sleeping outside la Moneda. I would later discover in Valparaíso that this was only the beginning:

It’s bad enough that America’s most popular export is McDonalds. But McDonalds Fashion?!:

It’s also nice to see that the “Nuts 4 Nuts” cart has caught on outside of New York City…especially in a country where the word “Nuts” exists in neither sense:

The Yankees might have seen better days, but they’re still the only US team represented down here:

I don’t know what this company is, but I see their billboards all over and their name, quite literally, translated to “Super Chicken”:

Next stop, Valparaíso…



    By Anonymous mbl, at 7:52 PM  

  • nice ass.

    ps> bsjck: bjork's kid sister

    By Blogger Colleen, at 8:50 AM  

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