Sorry to hear that Massachusetts is swimming in snow-- I'd happily send up some of this heat if I could. I'll bring some when I come back!
Have I mentioned recently how much I love travel? Last night, one of the hostel workers grabbed a bunch of alcohol and and told anyone who wandered by to come drink. I met a dozen new friends, talking late into the night, two of whom told me to stay at their houses when I next visit London and Germany.
I spent some time getting Santiago under my feet over the past two days. The city is peppered with parks, tripping over its trees, peddling in pedestrian bridges. And there are couples everywhere: smooching in the Metrored, or humping in the parques, or holding each other on the sidewalk-- I can only guess what they do behind closed doors! Don't these Chileans have any decency??? Not even in Verona have I seen such public affection. And I saw them everywhere drinking in the (ample) nightlife or just enjoying each others company.
A bar near my hostel in the student-heavy Barrio Brazil was blasting a Spanish version of the Pixies "Where is My Mind?". Dogs share the streets, in couples as often as the humans. There are minimarts and convenience stands on every corner, and food (stands, holes in the wall, tables outside) everywhere. And the whole place is also rather... pungent.
Yesterday I hit up the Precolumbian Archeology Museum, which was having a temporary exhibit on Sexo y Poder y Muerte (sex, power, and death) in Moche society. So I got to look at little stone figurines engaging in all manner of positions.
Santiago's other great love appears to be shopping. The city center is a maze of stores spilling into the sidewalks, . I went to my two favorite treasure troves of culture: the grocery store (very little readymade food; I had to try checking out three times as two of my three purchases needed little custom cost stickers) and the sex store (The biggest of the three I found had more dildos than I've ever seen in my life! Also in vogue appear to be underwear shaped into animal faces-- I must get myself a pair.)
Today I'm headed to the culture-hyped port town Valparaíso. Pictures uploading...