martes, abril 18, 2006

Ma and Dad in Chile - Part 1

Alrighty. A photo report type thing, mostly for my brother. Keeten, you missed a very good time. This is why you should've majored in any old thing and graduated on time :)

You could've stayed at a very nice hotel. It was like 2 blocks from my house. Here I am getting smooshed.

Mom and Dad meeting my housemates. Dad harrassed everyone with that camera. Here is Fabiola, me, and Ma.

Here is Nick. Nick and Fab are the couple I rent from. They're very cool artsy types with lots of artist friends. People who drop by on weekends have names like Monserrat. I don't know when Dad took this picture. I wasn't around to protect Nick. Poor guy couldn't even get a cup of coffee in peace.

We took 2 trips out of Santiago. The first one was to a vineyard called Concha y Toro. This place is very cool to me because in Singapore I was buying their exports at 3x the price. Cold Storage and Fairprice can bite me. The vineyard was in a town called Pirque. It was a long subway ride and a bus from Santiago. Mom and Dad were not thrilled with buses here. Once you get in, you'd better hold on for dear life. The only thing bus drivers hate more than speed limits is using their brakes. Many times you find yourself getting in and out of the vehicle while the damn thing is still moving. And if that wasn't scary enough, I'm sure they appreciated how cavalier their daughter was about not knowing where to ask the driver to stop. Anyway, it was all good in the end. What's that you say? Mom and Dad don't drink? You teenk so! After that bus ride, kiddo, it was like... bottoms up!

*Yeah, right! I downed both of those glasses just minutes later. They are just practicing their pompous sniff and twirl thang.

On Wednesday night we went to visit the family I stayed with when I arrived. From left to right that's Cecilia (oldest daughter), Cecilia (the lady that works for Cambridge), Mario (her husband), Ma, and me. Cecilia made dinner. It was sooo good. Paella - rice with a mixture of seafood and chicken. Jacinta the keety was there too, but Cecilia put her out on the balcony so she wouldn't spazz out and attack us for sitting in one of her favorite naptime chairs. If you look behind us you can see the paintings Cecilia collects. I really like these. They're oil paintings by a Chilean artist who paints kind of like a kid, but not exactly. I like the colors he uses. I think he calls himself Santa Guerra (roughly translates to Saint of War).

The day before I had decided to take da dis vuns on another trip out of Santiago - to Valparaiso. It's a picturesque port city 2 hours from Santiago by bus. Here is me confidently trying to reassure Mom and Dad that this is a good place to visit. I knew the city was a bit grubby but I thought it would be interesting for them to see something different. After all, they've been stuck in the bleakest corner of the most unimaginative country in the world for how long? I thought it'd be good for them! They barely lasted over 4 hours. We saw one of Pablo Neruda's 3 houses in Chile, walked about a bit, and they were squirming to leave. I couldn't even get them to sit down to eat lunch!

It's really not such a bad city. There are just a lot of stray dogs and, well, maybe it's not the cleanest place in the world. But seriously, how someone who grew up in a communist satellite state could complain about this is just beyond me. I'll betcha textbooks in schools here don't credit Kruschev with discovering penicillin! And do you see a bread line? I didn't! Dude, I mean, really...

The funniest thing was that once we got back safely from Valparaiso, Dad was obsessed with all the little souveniers that had pictures of the city. He was totally in love with this one wood carving scene-from-Valparaiso type thing we saw at a market. Unfortunately the thing was as big as me and he couldn't carry it home. It showed a city much like the one I took him to. The one he was dying to get out of. But he insisted it was totally different because there were no stray dogs or funny smells. It is a pretty city though, no?

More stories soon...