After my first blog about settling down in Santiago (if you have not read it yet you really missed something) it is now time for some extra fun and get to know the surroundings and show you me life in Santiago. Santiago has more neigbourhoods than Las Condes (where I live) and Vitacura (where I work). I have the activities I did listed for you and I hope that you get as excited as I am when I am rereading this text.
Skiing in El Colorado
Yes, you read that well! I went for skiing, on a Saturday to be exact, with my supervisor from work (Christian) and two friends of him. On Friday we went to the ski rental because on Saturday morning 7:15 Christian picked me up. It took us around one hour and 15 minutes + 41 harpen bends. They warned me already and asked if I have a weak stomach; and yes oh I really do have one. Gladly, I survived without getting sick. The drive to the top of the mountain was so extremely beautiful with the dawn. I really wanted to make pictures to show you, but I also really needed to think about myself (at those moments I can get sick from looking on my phone for one sec).
Don’t worry, I will make it up to you, because I took some amazing shots on the top of the mountain. But first the area. There are like three or four different area’s there. We went to El Colorado, because it is the less busy one, and indeed it was. I think that until 11:00 we were the only one on the slopes which is quite a big difference for me compared to Austria and Italy.
This picture you see here below, I just really wanted to show you. I was smiling when I saw this, because in Austria and/or Italy I have never seen that before. However, I could really use one from time to time. I think it is very nice that they provide this for us.
Further, I just found it so nice and magical to be there. Although, it was also sort of weird because I expected totally something else than in Austria and Italy. Besides the smaller area, tissues provided and a beautiful view, it was all the same. The kids’ classes, the lifts (although they were a bit old), the restaurants plus singer, and the whole atmosphere. I had an amazing day!
A night out
Although I am working and sort of getting into that lifestyle, I am still 21 and super young. Jep, I went out. On a Wednesday night to a student party called: Miercoles Po.
So, back in the time when I was younger we (my parents, brother and sis) used to go to the camping for some years in Spain with different families from our village and with one of the families we also used to go on wintersport every year. One of the sons, Jesse, studies here in Santiago until November and we decided it would be nice to meet. We first just thought about a drink, but then Jesse asked if I wanted to come with them to the party (he is here with three friends from school) and had dinner at their place. The plan was made!
Until now, I have not really thought about missing home, because I found my place here and everything is good. However, I liked it so much to have some Dutchies around me and especially Jesse then of course. At home, we do not see each other or talk a lot because we have our owns lives now you know, but I just find it so incredible that when you meet, it is like nothing ever changed.
Before we went to the party, we did a pre-drink at a house of their friends. Lots of new people, lots of new names, don’t know any of theirs anymore of course, but they were all very nice and I felt welcome! After a while, the Latino’s grabbed a guitar and started to play and sing. Yeah, can you imagine. It was magical. For them like almost the most normal thing to do, but for us, not. Those moments that you will keep with you forever, this is one of them.
The party was also nice. I liked the music and place itself. Woman get in for free in nightclubs here and men sometimes. Besides that, did Jesse tell me that I should take care of my belongings because there usually are a lot of pickpockets. So, for the first time in my life I put my phone in my bra and all my cards in another part of my bag. Gladly, nothing happened and everything went well!
And yes, I needed to work the other day (slept 3 hours) and yes, I needed until Saturday to recover. But, all worth it people, all worth it, only not for every week haha.
The neighbourhood Santiago (Centre)
Santiago has totally 33 neighbourhoods and even in those neighbourhood there are different parts. Some are very big (like Las Condes), but some also very small.
This last weekend I went twice to Bella Vista which was between 30/40 minutes by Uber. Lots of people told me that it is very “a life” over there and I cannot say they were not right about that. I went twice for dinner (Friday and Saturday) and on Saturday we (Jesse, his friends, and me) also went to a karaoke bar. We laughed a lot!
The reason why I like it so much, is because everything is so close to each other with many restaurants, bars, and little shops. There is a place, called “Patio” (totally called Patio Bella Vista) where those three come more together. On Saturday, there was even a small dance show going on in the middle of the Patio. It was such a very nice and calm atmosphere and the food I ate was delicious, too!
On Saturday, before we went to the karaoke bar, we already had a drink together and later went to a restaurant where we had a special guest. See Cees with his eyes closed on the picture below. Cees is 72 years old (with wife and children/grandchildren at home!!) and Jesse knows him from his work in the Netherlands. He always worked on a ship and travelled around the world. Because it is such a passion of him, he still does it sometimes and helps a bit with the navigation.
This time the ship went from Rotterdam-Hamburg-Antwerp to Cartagena-Panama-Lima to Valparaiso. In Valparaiso he took the bus to Santiago and stayed here for a few days before he was heading back home (by airplane). He even also went to Patagonia, all by himself. It was such a nice dinner to share with everyone and Cees is really inspiring. I hope that he is able to continue to do this as long as he wants to.
On a Monday evening I went to Barrio Lastarria, the bohemian/hippie part of Santiago. I cycled home very fast and immediately took the Uber to the metro station Santa Lucia where Belen and I were meeting. I wanted to have a look for some new rings and earrings and because we have the same taste, she showed me lots of different stores.
After we did a bit of shopping (bought in total one tiny ring haha), we took a walk through the neighbourhood and Belen, as historical lover, told me lots of things about the buildings etc. Very interesting and funny to know. A great tour guide!
Are you ready for the sort of Monday cheat day and something which is probably going to amaze you? Yeah great, read further!
We had not eaten much that day and didn’t have dinner yet, so when Belen saw Buffalo Wafels she asked me whether I wanted to try. I had tried the typical sweet waffels with Nutella and strawberries some time, but waffels with vegetables, chicken, serrano ham and cheese not. I was/is still so weird for me to eat something like that. Still, I thought why not, I should try it once. So, I took the “Vegetarino” with tomato, lettuce, goat cheese and pepper. Besides that, do all the waffels have fries chips as topping. Really had to think of my dad, he loves them! And believe it or not, it was quite nice! Still weird (“Muy raro” in Spanish), but nice.
Playing paddle with Sebastian
Lots of people who read this blog know that I have been playing tennis throughout almost my whole life. So, when Sebastian asked me whether I wanted to play paddle with him I could not reject of course. Besides that, we paddle at home, on the beach, only call it beach tennis then haha.
How to play paddle?
I am not sure if I am giving you the exact, right explanation. However, for me, it is a combination between tennis and squash. The court is much smaller than a tennis court and you are able to use the blue walls (see on the picture). Although, the ball must first touch the ground. The counting system is the same as with tennis. The serve with paddle is not as with tennis, you first must bounce the ball on the ground and then you have to beat it cross to the other side of the field and the rally starts. Besides that, you always have to be on the same line as your partner. So, when you serve, you always have to come to the net and when the other serve you both stand on the baseline.
Another thing, it is impossible to use spin with paddle. Everything is in the volley grip. Because paddle rackets are much smaller than the one from tennis, it happened to me (too often) that I totally missed the ball because I thought he was longer haha….
I did really enjoy it. Although, using the wall was still very difficult and every time I forgot that is it possible. It is a very dynamic game and if you get the game, you can use lots of strategic tricks to make it more difficult for the other.