I met up with my good friend Camila again today. I'd been back in town for nearly a month, yet somehow we didn't end up seeing each other until just a few days before I leave for Argentina.
Well, I'm going to have to make up for lost time... by moving in!
It was a tricky decision, especially because I'm still technically renting a room back at the hostel, but ultimately, I was swayed by the fact that Camila's place has a dedicated water heater, so I will have more than 2 minutes worth of hot water for my showers!
So now I'm renting a room at Camila's apartment for a couple of days... which I arguably should have done when I first got back to Santiago; Camila is one of the best anfitrionas I have met. Some lessons I have to learn the hard way, I guess.
We celebrated by breaking out a couple of hammocks and relaxing by her pool for a few hours.
Lying in a hammock is surprisingly comfortable, and mine was large enough that I could make a little cocoon for myself while I was lying in it.
Swaying gently in the breeze, looking up at the Santiago sky, listening to the sounds of children laughing and playing in the pool nearby... it didn't take long before I drifted off to nap land.
I awoke about an hour later, and a soaking wet, goggled face was staring down at me.
Well, if you're going to set up your hammock on playground next to a pool where children are playing, I suppose you can't complain when a few swimmers come over to investigate.
This evening, I had a meetup with my other friends in Santiago. We all met up at Sur Patagónico (which for some reason everyone keeps calling Patagonia by mistake), where we were attended to by one of the rudest servers I have ever experienced in America (North and South!).
In Latin America, tipping is handled differently than in the United States. In the US, a 15% tip is customary, but the customer is free to leave more or less depending on the quality of the service. In Latin America, a (usually) 10% tip is expected regardless of the level of service, so there's not much of an incentive for the servers to go "above and beyond".
Our server might also have been annoyed that only 6 of us showed up since we had reserved space for 10. Ok, I'll grant him that, but he could at least have offered to move us to another table. Scowling and being curt with us was not exactly what I would consider a diplomatic substitute for directness.
At least the company was infinitely more enjoyable. Tonight's conversation was about 70% in Spanish, and I learned a lot of vocabulary... including a few words that I'll probably never have a use for in polite society.
After dinner, we transitioned to a trendy bar called Berri. Allegedly there were a few famous Chilean television actors at the table next to ours. None of them asked me for my autograph, however, so I wasn't that impressed.
Eventually, it was time to say goodbye. This was the last time I will see many of my friends here for awhile; much care was taken to ensure that we had each other's contact information.
I am looking forward to returning to Chile someday; I still have yet to explore the far north and southern parts of the country, and I love Santiago. But for now, I must move on.
Tomorrow, I will finish making the arrangements to go to Mendoza. But there's still a couple of days left before I leave... plenty of time for a few more adventures!
|This time, I'm not wearing my blue shirt!|
I wonder if this counts though since you can't actually see which shirt I'm wearing....