Ciao, Santiago

I went out last night with Marisol’s sister’s friend’s daughter and her friend (I know, it’s complicated). They were definitely caught off-guard by how reserved and curious I was. However, we got along well and I learned a lot about upper-crust Chilean society. Their community is akin to the 1920’s Hampton’s being right in the middle of Manhattan, without the same level of ostentation and excess. Allegedly, there are about five bars where these kids go before heading to five other dance clubs. Connections are everything and these kids are blue-blood to the extreme. It doesn’t matter where these kids go to university or how intelligent they are — they can work for their family’s business. Obviously, this is a gross simplification, but I have confidence that you can extrapolate. I might post more details later.

I had trouble booking a cata bus ticket this morning, so I hopped on the metro and found their office by Universidad de Santiago. I bought my ticket and then simply started walking. I walked for the next six hours, only stopping in Bellavista for a  delicious fillet of $6.40 salmon ceviche with a $1.20 glass of vino tinto. I ended up walking all the way to my host’s apartment in Las Condes. Basically, I walked the length of Santiago proper, with some sight-seeing in between.

I spent the evening drinking wine and conversing with the Madariagas. I learned how hard it is to say goodbye to great people — something I am going to do a lot of on this adventure.

My bus leaves for Mendoza in less than ten hours. The drive is supposed to be stunning. We climb out of Santiago, into the Andes and reach well over 3000 meters.

I’m not sure what my internet situation will be for the next couple days, but expect some updates when I get to Buenos Aires on January 10th.

Finally, I want to thank the Madariaga’s for being so generous and making me feel like family. I believe I have a pretty good handle on Santiago thanks to their hospitality and interesting introductions/conversations. Tata es mi amigo.

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