I grew up on the flat plains of Illinois, so living near the mountains in Santiago was a thrill for me. When I was a young girl, I was drawn to life near sandy beaches for their exoticism, the alien texture of fine sand between my toes and the menacing sound of waves pulling the rocks back into the sea. When I visited family in San Diego, I had aspirations of settling in southern California and becoming a surfer princess on the weekends.
I can now see myself living near mountains, especially ones covered in snow in the winter. For me, they symbolize a more powerful force, like living below the lair of gods.
Here are some photos of our flight from Santiago to Buenos Aires.
Filed under Argentina, Chile
Photo Credit: Matt.Hintsa
It has been six months since we moved to Santiago de Chile. We are moving to Buenos Aires on July 15 again for a short time.
After reading my Some Things I Miss post about expat life, Tee from Adventure Journalist asked what I’ll miss about South America when I return to the United States. While the South America question is a much larger explanation, I’d like to offer some things I’ll miss about life in Chile.
Filed under Chile, Santiago
Photo Credit: magical_world
The Chilean Nobel Prize winning poet Pablo Neruda owned three homes in Chile–two outside Santiago and one in Barrio Bellavista in Santiago. His home in Bellavista is named after his third wife Mathilde: “La Chascona” which pays tribute to her unruly hair.
Neruda was one of the strongest influences during my graduate studies in poetry. His use of the sea, death, harvest, and light is potent. I always imagined that his home would be full of pretty odds and ends like the lyrical inspirations that poets often collect for their work. We are like scavengers, often with a penchant for eccentric collections outside of language.
Margaret at Cachando Chile wrote a great piece on her first experiences in Chile. She’s been here for 18 years now. Since she invited others to share their impressions, I thought it would be a good opportunity to write a less structured post than I usually write. Perhaps a more open post since I’m typically not a candid writer on the blog. These were my thoughts in the first month in Chile after arriving at the end of December, 2008.
E. and I arrived in Santiago after crossing the Andes by bus. About the moment we crossed into the Chilean side of the mountains, I started experiencing post nasal drip which by the time we arrived in Santiago turned into a full blown sinus infection. I knew to expect more pollution in Santiago, but I wasn’t expecting to get sick so quickly! (I have to admit to inheriting a poor excuse for sinuses.)
The first couple months, my lungs hurt certain days. This has stopped, which is probably a bad sign. My body has succumbed to the pollution.
I had a low week last week. I’m not normally a superstitious person, and I don’t think horoscopes are credible, but I felt like my cosmic mojo was all off. Perhaps the moon was in the second sun and Jupiter wasn’t aligned with Mars. All I wanted to do was surf the net with a hot cup of instant coffee in my hand. (Alas, we have no coffee machine in our apartment.)
Last Thursday night I decided to watch the movie Yes Man despite my usual reluctance about Jim Carrey.
Filed under Chile, Santiago
I don’t know much about gardening. My mom has always had a green thumb, kind of like Mad Faffer. My grandparents also tended to a huge garden and fruit orchard in their back yard, but my sisters and I were never expected to cultivate the vegetables and fruits–only to pick them. The only way in which my grandparents spoiled us was with the amount of canned fruits, vegetables, and jams they gave us. (Not to mention my grandma’s otherworldly fruit pies.) As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more interested in gardening. If E. and I had a yard, I think we would start a humble huerto with at least carrots and potatoes.
Today, I attended a small organic garden fair hosted by Huerto Orgánico Hada Verde.
On Easter Sunday, Eileen of bearshapedsphere accompanied E. and I on an urban adventure. We hiked in the foothills outside of the La Reina section of Santiago. The park is called Parque Mahuida, and you can take a city bus to its entrance. I was so happy to be able to arrive at a hike without a car. It’s also a great feeling that the park is accessible to so many different people.
Our trail was quiet because of the holiday. The cacti started appearing a couple hours up. They always seem like lonely sentinels to me.
The hike up wasn’t strenous–uphill but not too steep–but the walk down was difficult. Very loose and gravelly. Grabbing thorny bushes during the descent–not so smart. I am still sporting several bruises from when the trail took me down. This sign is fitting:
Take a look at Eileen’s beautiful photos of the day. She took a photo of a giant purple winged bug dragging a spider into his den. She also took a photo of a snake which she saved me from walking into. Thanks again!
On a different note, Diann at Eat’n Veg’n inspired me to take a photo of a dinner I made the other night. She is always sharing her meal ideas and food experiments on the site. I admire that her writer’s voice is always positive and inquisitive.
I’ve been in the mood for a black bean burger and sweet potato fries, so I did a take on an Epicurious.com recipe. Recipe after the jump.