Monday, August 18, 2008

Teaching is always an adventure

My first class of the day is about 15 blocks away from the Los Leones metro and because I hate the buses. I walked. Nearly 35 minutes later I arrived, slightly winded, with an aching shoulder from carrying my book bag. The doorman let me in a pushed the button for the elevator.

I knocked on the door for her apartment and heard a bunch of scrambling on the other side. She finally answer the door and looking slightly frantic said in Spanish "Oh, they didn't tell me that you were hear. You see they have to notify us when someone arrives and I am still cleaning, well, sweeping. Can you wait for me and I'll tell you when I'm done?" She asked breathlessly.

"I should go back downstairs?" I asked perplexed.

"Yes. Sorry. I mean, please! I'll call."

I went downstairs and I kid you not, a minute later, the doorman signaled to me that I could go upstairs again. I got back in the elevator, and knocked on her again. This time she answered and apologized again.

I saw that she had a stack of newspapers (at least two feet high) behind her organized with different colored little post-its. This lady, I thought, is neurotic. Nice, but slightly nuts.

This afternoon I had a class with one of my other students. He is usually busy and has problems scheduling things. I've had to run errands with him before (to the jewelers, to the notary,etc.). Today, he told me that he needed to buy a present for a friend.

We walked around as he debated between cologne (not good, I told him), wine (super), and a tie (ehhh...). Finally he picked out a belt (whatever, it's not my friend).

Then, he invited me to have some coffee because as he put it "You're always so nice and you run my errands with me." We went to a cafe con piernas. For those not down with the lingo that means a coffee with legs. Think Hooters, but in a Starbucks kind of way. The one we went to was tame, the women had on tight little dresses, but it covered everything.

"I'll show you another one" he said.

We walked a little while down a street and all the sudden he said "Look to your right." I looked and saw as a waitress in an impossibly tiny skirt bent over to pick up something she had dropped, giving everyone quite the view and I'm sure guaranteeing a fat tip.

"That's still not so bad. A little worse than the others, but I'll show you the best." He took me to a little underground mall and showed me the cafe con piernas (there where about five in the little mall) with blacked out windows. No one could see inside.

"Sometimes the chicks are naked." He said. I know he should be calling women "chicks" but I thought it was funny so I didn't correct him. My bad.

"That sounds like it might be kind of dangerous. I mean coffee splatters."

He looked like he didn't understand, then "Naaaaaaah. They're good."

"Right" was my only response.

"Want to go in?" He asked.

"NO! I mean, maybe next class."

Who knows... it keeps the class interesting, right?

Pictures from the Teleferico





Sunday, August 17, 2008

Barack in Chile? Possibly

El Mercurio

Domingo 17 de agosto de 2008

Primeros contactos:
Posible visita a Chile de Barack Obama, en gira a América Latina
Viaje sería antes de las elecciones estadounidenses e incluiría además Brasil y México.
El candidato presidencial demócrata de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, realizaría antes de noviembre una gira a América Latina, en la que incluiría Chile, Brasil y México.La posibilidad se conoció luego que el embajador de Chile en Washington, Mariano Fernández, compareciera el miércoles ante la Comisión de Relaciones Exteriores de la Cámara de Diputados.Los informes señalan que dos influyentes políticos demócratas, el senador Chris Dodd y el gobernador de Nuevo México Bill Richardson, coincidieron en recomendar a Obama visitar los tres países.

Google translation (it's a little rough, just go with it):

Sunday August 17, 2008

First contacts: Possible visit to Chile of Barack Obama, in turn americas America Travel would be before the U.S. elections and also include Brazil and Mexico. The Democrat presidential candidate of the United States, Barack Obama, conducted before November americas a tour of America, which included Chile, Brazil and Mexico. The possibility was known then that the ambassador of Chile in Washington, Mariano Fernandez, an appearance on Wednesday before the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Chamber of Deputies. Reports indicate that two influential political Democrats, Senator Chris Dodd and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Obama agreed to recommend to visit the three countries.

El Subterraneo

Yesterday, as I was walking home from the mall, I got a text message from my friend Kelly "WHAT ARE YOU DOING TONIGHT!?!?!"

I texted her back as soon as I saw it. "Nothing. Why?" Then, no response. I decided to call her and we called each other back and forth for about a half an hour before we finally got a hold of each other.

Kelly: Everyone I know is out of town. What are you doing?!?!

Me: That's weird everyone I know is out of town too. Why? You wanna go out?

Kelly: YES!

Me: Okay, how about I just walk over to your place about 9:30 and we can talk about it then.

Kelly: Sounds good. See you then!

Then, of course, because I'm in Chile, I didn't even start putting on my makeup until about 9:18 and then promptly received several phone calls from friends, at which I stopped everything and left the house running at 9:30 (it's at least a twenty minute walk to Kelly's apartment.) I sent her another message. "Running a little bit Chilean. See you in about 20." Then, as fast as my heels could carry me, I booked it down Avenida Providencia to Kelly's apartment.

When I finally arrived, nearly exactly 20 minutes later, Kelly greeted me with "Sweet text message."

"Thanks, I thought it fit the situation." I replied.

We started munching on some peanuts she had in her pantry because even 10:00 is too early to go out in Chile. It had been over a week since we had seen each other and we caught up quickly, talking about our jobs (she teaches English as well) and about everything else in between.

At nearly 11:00, we ran out of the apartment and caught the last train to Metro Pedro de Valdivia. Kelly took me down a little alley way that opened to a wide terrace with outdoor cafes and we chose a little bar with happy hour and good sushi.

Since, I am not really good at budgeting, I quickly ordered some drinks and sushi then only later thought "Wait, I only have 16,000 Pesos, and this is going to be at least half of that. Crap."

Needless to say, by the time we left, and due to check splitting problems (which is nearly impossible in Chile) I had 10,000 but I still owed Kelly over 2,000 of that.

We walked next door to the Subterraneo disco and they told us it was a 5,000 peso entrance. I handed her my 10,000 pesos. She took it and gave me two tickets. I looked at them kind of shocked "I think I just paid for you. Ok, you can't leave me all night 'cause you have all of our money." Kelly agreed.

Before we knew it, it was almost 5:00 in the morning and the club starting turning on the lights to kick everyone out. Kelly and I assessed our money situation. "We have 2,000 pesos. That should be enough for both of us to get home, but just in case, I'm gonna walk a while and smoke this cigarette and then we can get in a taxi." We ended up walking all the way back to my apartment.

"You gonna be ok to cross the street and get a taxi?" I asked Kelly.

"Uh, yeh. I don't attract creeps like you do. I give off a different vibe. Don't worry. See you soon!" She waved as she crossed the street.

Now, I have to get going because I'm going to climb the Cerro San Cristobal (in the daytime and hopefully get pictures to put on this blog.)