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Monday, April 03, 2006

The Beach, Penguins, and Chileans

It will soon be clear how these three this are related...they were all part of my weekend.

On Friday, I went to Algarrobo, a beach town about an hour and a half outside of Santiago, with Sasha, a friend of mine from Berkeley High who is also in Santiago for the semester. After very little sleep the night before, I woke up at 6 to get to the metro by 7 and get an early start. We were on one of those big tour buses and it was completly empty, only two other people were on it the whole ride. We didn´t really know what this place was, we had just heard there was a beach, some waterfalls you could walk to, and lots of penguins. We ended up not walking to the waterfalls because we weren´t sure where they were, and there were no penguins (at least not that were around this time of year and that we could see), but there were lots of beautiful beaches. Since both of us were exhausted, we found a beautiful deserted beach and we both took a nap for a while. It was so nice to wake up and feel sand on my feet and hear waves crashing and birds.

More rested than before, we headed out to some rocks on the water to look through the tide pools. There were some other people looking around at the tide pools and they seemed to know what they were doing so we went over and asked them about what they were finding...and that is how we ended up spending the whole day with three Chilean guys, Claudio, Marco, and Fidel, and a French girl, Claire. It turns out they are all students at the University of Chile and they study natural resources. They were there because that day was the lowest tide of the year and they were supposed to meet a professor later who was going to talk about the tide pools and sea creatures. So far it has been difficult to meet Chileans. There are people I talk to in classes but no one who I have really got to hang out with. Usually when you meet the Chileans who want to hang out, they are kind of sketchy. These people were all really nice and not sketchy at all and we all went to the beach together to eat lunch. Although the water was freezing, me and Sasha decided to go in, and after a while convinced all of the rest of them, except one, to get in too. After getting thrown down by two giant waves, I came out covered in sand. For the rest of the day my hair was filled with sand and my whole body caked in salt...fun.

The whole group of us then headed over to the tide pools so they could meet their professor. I ended up not going with the professor but just wandering around the tide pools on my own, occasionally running into someone who would explain to me what the things I was finding were. Here is some of the stuff in the tide pools and some of the seaweed I just thought was cool.

As they finished up their talk with the proffesor, me and sasha created some modern art with seaweed while we watched the sunset over the ocean and the waves crashing over the rocks.
In case you couldn´t tell, this is me lying next to an octopus sitting on a peace sign...

Our new Chilean friends offered us a ride back to Santiago and so we all piled into a tiny little car for the ride home. Before we left, we stopped to get seafood empanadas and ate them on the beach where there was a new moon that was a perfect crecent over the water. On the ride home, 2 km from the Santiago exit, the car ran out of gas (or at least that is what we thought happened). We pulled over to the side of the road and called the highway service. After sitting on the side of the road, in the cold, singing songs with our new friends for over an hour, the highway service came and gave us some gas but the car still wouldn´t start. After fiddling around with the engine for a while, some phone calls to Claudio´s parents who´s car it is, it finally started and we got back on the road. When we were safely back in Santiago we went out to Suezia, a neighborhood filled with a slightly touristy nightlife where you can´t walk down the street without every single bar and restaurant trying to get you to come to their place. Since we were with Chileans we didn´t stand out quite as much as the other times I have been there and so it wasn´t that bad walking through.
At the end of the night we all exchanged numbers and emails and hopefully we will all hang out again, maybe a hiking trip near Santiago, maybe camping...we´ll see. Anyway, very exciting to have met really cool Chileans and spent the whole entire day talking in Spanish which was really great since I speak all in English when I hang out with the people from my group. Me and Sasha decided that you meet cool Chileans in cool places. Rather than meeting these people in a club or bar, we had met them in tide pools which made them much cooler and more interesting people.

Saturday I did absolutly nothing which was really nice since the past couple weekends have been busy with traveling and constant plans.

Sunday, for the first time really, I went out with my host family. We drove fairly far away to go to an Argentinian restaurant. It was a huge place with about six different giant rooms and it was still hard to find a table. Every Sunday they have people in animal costumes with giant heads (kind of Disney Land style) walking around talking to all the kids. At tables where there are kids, the waiters bring out big bouncy balls with the drinks for the kids to play with. I didn´t quite get that because it seemed dangerous to have tons of kids with balls in a restaurant...but there didn´t seem to be any problems.

After lunch, we went to see March of the Penguins (Marcha de los Penguinos) which I hadn´t seen yet and just came out in theaters here. We saw it in Spanish and it was very different than what I had expected. It turns out that was because it was very different than the English version. I haven´t seen the English version, but from what I have heard, it is just Morgan Freeman narrativing about the penguins. The Spanish version there are three narrators, a woman for the female penguins, a man for the male penguins and a little kid for the babies. The narrators talk in first person like they are the penguins which was fairly corney. Like when the baby penguins first start to walk, this little kid voice says something like, ¨look, my first steps, oops I fell, look at me I´m walking.¨ Through this first person narration they still talk about the penguins but it gets kind of silly. I don´t know if the music was the same in the English version but they played really bad music with corney words in English at a bunch of points. Despite all that, I still really liked the movie because the actual footage of the penguins was amazing. So even though I didn´t get to see penguins in person at the beach, I got to see lots of them in the movie. Plus, there are lots of places in Chile with penguins so hopefully I will get another opportunity to see some in person.


At 8:00 PM, April 03, 2006, Blogger Becca said...

I love you Sari! And I enjoy that your blog posts are as much novels as mine. Smile. I also enjoy that we are on opposite sides of the world (despite both being in the southern hemisphere) and both enjoying sand and salt and waves. And, I'm glad you got to meet smoe cool Chileans! Good times! XO

At 9:39 AM, April 10, 2006, Blogger sonja said...

you got ripped off with march of the penguins...be sure to see it when you get back to the states. morgan freeman is far superior to whomever was narrating, i'm positive!


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