Sunday, April 2, 2017

More from Santiago, Chile

A few photos from a chilly day in Chile.  BTW, while I was wandering around for several hours yesterday, I encountered five blind people out walking.  Is it just me or does that seem like a lot?  When I commented on the large number of albinos in Malawi I was told it was because they were considered cursed in other countries and murdered, so albinos came to Malawi for safety.  I doubt if something similar is happening with blind people in Santiago.

I experienced my first rude behavior today.  Most of the time people have been very friendly, although a bit pushy when walking around, which I think is more indicative of big city dwellers than Chileans.  Today I was checking out of the grocery store and the clerk said something about the apples.  I didn't hear her.  The older clerk next to her said "Panaderia" and made a motion as if weighing.  She had to repeat panaderia a couple of times before I got the drift.  I ran back, got the apples weighed at the bread counter and returned.  Luckily the store wasn't busy.  After completing the transaction I looked at the older clerk who'd "explained" what I needed to do and said "Muchas gracias por su ayuda."  I believe that means "Thanks for your help."  She ignored me.  No customer, she just sat there staring past me.  The young clerk said "Ella dice "muchas gracias por su ayuda"...basically calling her out for being rude.  Finallly the older woman said "de nada" and the younger clerk rolled her eyes at her.  One rude (sort of) person in three days in a big city?  Pretty good, I'd say.

And now, the photos:

And here I was, worried that I wouldn't be able to find Tiger Balm (or its no-name cousin) in Santiago.  There are quite a few Asian stores in the area but I have yet to see anyone who looks Asian.

Same fountain, different day.  Yesterday a man was bathing.  Today, a dog.  After a few minutes he hopped out and strolled off.

He seems to belong to the lady on the bike.

This man was demonstrating knitting outside a yarn store.  There were about a dozen people watching.

Nearby, this guy was selling "yarn" that looked more like thick thread.  He had samples of things made from it.  It looked warm and beautiful.

A dollar store!  Except it's $1 and more - does that mean they just don't sell anything under a dollar?

In case you've always wanted a butter dish with a cow.

Lunch was seafood stew from the fish market.  It was bubbling hot and filled with whole shell fish.

These people are eating seafood next to guys selling seafood.  Be sure to wear shoes that you don't mind getting covered in water, melted ice and seafood remnants.

I was so surprised to see some empty sidewalk space I took a photo.  The area around Plaza Las Armas and Mercado Central was PACKED with people on a lovely fall Saturday afternoon.

This store reminded me of Buenos Aires.  They sell freshly made raw pasta.

These shoppers were waiting to get in the pasta store.

There were several "mote de huesillo" stands around so I figured I should try it.  One of the things I enjoy most about travelling is trying new food and drinks.  The kid in line in front of me was literally jumping up and down he was so excited about getting one.

This "drink of Chile" is made from wheat and peaches.  Seems to be a popular non-alcoholic summer time drink.  Copihue is the brand name, I think. The drink was both a snack and a drink since it comes with rehydrated peach halves in it, along with the chewy wheat.  It was tasty but a bit challenging to enjoy as I strolled along with 2,000,000 other folks.  And that number is not an exaggeration.  That is the average number of people using this pedestrian walkway every day.  Bottom line, glad I tried it but won't be having another.

Another thing I love when I travel is checking out the street vendors.  I've been greatly disappointed here.  They are selling junk.  Literally, junk.  Used items, hair bands, belts, watches,  hand lotion.  Not quite a flea market and definitely not the original art I've seen for sale in other countries.  And, not cheap.

This guy was demoing a product used to grate vegetables.  A crowd had gathered.  It seems people gather whenever anyone demonstrates anything here.

See how hot my lunch was?  Muy delicioso.  They brought a plate of lemons to squeeze over it.  I passed.  I thought the only thing it needed was a dollop of brandy.

Even this short video does not adequately express how crowded the streets were.  BTW, I seemed to fit in since several people randomly started chatting with me in Spanish.  One lady seemed a bit surprised when I couldn't give her directions.

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