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where is laura? Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers. Rainer Maria Rilke

chile, very different

CHILE | Thursday, 25 May 2006 | Views [942]

Well aside from the comfortable, well organized buses, there are many new things about chile that I am noticing... the bread is awesome and crusty. they serve real butter (not the maragarine that most people didnt´know wasnt butter in ecu, peru y bolivia), lots of cars, houses that resemble US  developments,the coke is def not as good, and fresh juice is harder to find, people are stylish and professional, and most striking will go out of there way to make sure you leave with a good impression of chile... more on this in a second.ç

I´m staying a charming place called maria´s house.. which is exactly what it is. she greeted me with coffee at 7 this morning, as her son of 33  oriented me with maps and information, flavored by his quirky twitch. maria´s brother makes really cute shoes, his shop is adjacent to the house, and he has a small stand in the center of town... good music, big beds, if la serena was a bit more happening, I would  def stay longer... but alas it´s not... so tomorrow I bus it to santiago.

today I checked out the center of town..  la serena being the 2nd oldest city in chile, still feels very m odern in comparison to andean life. it´s not a tourist town, and so the shops are geared toward business.. and there is much business going on.. many prof people bustling aroun d.. lots of govt offices and social service type agencies... I noticed a radio shock and a casa & ideas (in the same style as crate and barrel).

ate some fish for lunch, and made my way down to the beach.. determined to be the only one on it.  a super cloudy day, but I collected lots of nice shells and trudged my way along the beach, all bundled up. the beach goes on for about 6km, I think I made it about 4.  on my way back, I stopped to buy a juice,and a older man at the counter engaged me in conversation. from there we talked for almost 2 hours about life in the us (fast, overworked, money hungry, etc is the perception, and usually  correct), chilean politics, history, love, ..many stories started by him saying´, there is a song that goes like this....´and above all, he wanted to make sure that I leave with a good impression of his country and the hospitality of the people. the second chilean to have gone out of his way to do this.. in 2 days. I´m impressed.... and  makes me anxious to return and measure up my sense of the US from this distance, versus living it again... it´s much more complicated than people make it out to be.. but at the same time, we make life much more complicated than it needs to be, so perhaps this is the problem.  It´s true latin culture is very conscious of maintaining it´s family values (not the ones made famous by bush), and sense of  time, as tranquil, to be shared with friends, family.. over food, or a drink, not to be passed over by work, or a sense of senseless business.

and yet they say there is no corruption in chile (not like it´s neighbors), they are very proud of their new president... people have a higher quality of life, more employment.. I still wonder what led to  this sense of stability, that its neighboring countries crave so badly.

I´ll see if this chilean spirit continues down the coast to the real big city....

Tags: Culture

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