27 Sep 2011

.My love is Physical.


Short working week passed faster than you could have ever imagined. It seems I only went to work once and it was already Friday. Oh well. What are you going to do.

I decided it is time for me to explore some of Chile and see if I can actually survive in here with my tiny knowledge of Spanish. I woke up early in the morning, walking silently at home, hoping not to wake anyone up, since I heard everyone coming back pretty late, packed a little bag with my camera and some water and left.

It was the day for Valparaiso. A `must see` place, comparingly close to Santiago, Unesco [I forgot the second word that goes with Unesco] thing and, well, everyone told me I should go there. So I did. I always listen to what people are telling me.

I took metro, went to the bus station, asked for the ticket in Spanish, was understood [!!!], got my ticket and managed to find the bus with no problems whatsoever. Just before I entered the bus, one of the drivers asked me where I was from, told me I am very pretty [but of course I am :D] and very tall and let me into the bus. It took me almost 2 hours to get to Valparaiso, which from the looks of it, looked a little crowded.

At the bus station I managed to find tourist information office ask for the map and mark the `must see` points in it. And here my tripping started. I decided that I am still young and strong enough, I can walk. Besides, it’s not that much of a walk anyways. To go throw the whole city, if you go straight, it takes no more than 30 minutes.

I should mention probably, that Valparaiso is famous for being very hilly and colourfulness and bohemian atmosphere. The hills were actually killing my feet, colours were making me more cheerful and bohemian atmosphere made me realize that it actually reminds me of the Republic of over-River [Užupio respublika] a little bit.

So, I went down the main street, found cathedral and moved up to the first hill. My oh my, that was a challenge alright. Streets are insanely steep and there are no people and the map only shows the hill, so which way to go to find `the spot` - I had no idea. But it was a pleasant walk. So many graffiti pictures, colourful houses, cats and dogs around – I made some great pictures. Even at some point I found a map on the wall and found my `spot`. Turns out, spot was a museum, not something I wanted to go into. But they had a nice terrace with a pretty view of the city, so I took my moments there.

Walking down, as always, was much easier and faster. On my way down some workers started shouting something like `hello` and `pretty girl` and etc. they told me to take a picture of them, but I already learned this lesson – never do that or later they can ask for your money. Maybe not here, don’t know, but did not want to risk.

I walked a little around, took another hill. I mean, all of the best things here are on the hills, so you either climb up or you end up seeing nothing. I was basically just walking around and taking pictures, taking unusual sometimes turns, taking small empty streets. Tiny and narrow streets. 

Looking for something nice to take pictures of. Of course, walking back and forward ended me with another view of the city, touristy part with millions of souvenirs to buy and restaurants to eat it. I kind of got lost at some point, but at the end I found my way down. I took a break here.

Afterwards I went on one more hill. Here it started to be more interesting? I’m not sure really, but anyways. There was a choice – steep stairs or funicular which seems to be not working. I took the stairs. I would have taken the stairs anyways. I had my camera in my hands. I mean, it sucks taking it out of the bad every single time I want to make a picture. To I climbed up thinking which way to go when some guy from the shop told me to come to him. Not sure why I did that, I usually don’t. he asked me if I spoke Spanish and after he got an unsure positive answer told me that it is ok for me to go to the left, because there is a museum in there, but I should not turn to the right, because it is dangerous.

I took it as a normal, not fake warning, because he seemed sincere, he had no reason to lie to me and.. I don’t know. I felt I could probably trust him. So I went into the museum area, took some pictures and went out, without taking right. I was just about to make a decision to go downstairs or walk a bit on the hill when some touristy looking girl came to me. She also told me that it is dangerous in here and that I should keep my camera in my bad. Ok, two warnings on the same hill – can’t be coincidence. I put my camera in. I walked a little bit around, but decided to go down. Just in case.

There were several people on the stairs but all – in front of me. I hurried to be closer to the last one of them, because there was someone sitting at the end and he did not look harmless at all. I walked past him as if he did not exist and then I clearly heard a loud whisper: `girl`. That freaked me out. And for those who know me, I am not that easily to be scared of. I went without looking back, not speeding as if I did not hear anything. I looked at him the one part of the second, when I turned myself to go to the left, he was showing some strange thing with his hands. Creep. But he did freak me out, so I found a little square and sat down.

It was a freak hour, I am guessing. Because some homeless ass came to me, tried speaking in terrible accent to me and would not leave me alone. And all I wanted is to sit down in case that stairs ass would pass by. Not happy hour that’s for sure.

I got frustrated and left. There was one more hill to get to with the museum on top of it. This time I kept my camera in my bad and my hands in fists. Somehow I started liking that city less and less, despite of all the colours and graffiti. Strange indeed but when you go up, you hardly meet any people, but once you are up – there are millions of them, buying souvenirs and entering museum. Me, as always, I just took my pictures and went down.

Since it was about it, all I wanted was a glass of beer in some open-air bar and to go home. Well, just my luck, they don’t have an open-air bars there. Or if they do – they do not serve beer there. Well, what can you do, right? I took my way back to the main square [I call it main, I have no idea if that is really that though], took a turn to the bus station, bought again the ticket and got back to Santiago. Home.

Being home was feeling good. I was ready to watch a movie and end the day nicely. Jjust my luck again, at some point I realized something was up. I looked up, looked through the window – yeah, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got a blackout. Ok, I am used to those, no problem, I will just watch the beginning of the movie and before my battery dies, it will come on again. Or so I thought. I watched the movie till my battery died – no power. I waited – no power. I even took out my camera, took some pictures – no power. I realized – I cannot live without electricity. I could read a book, but no – it’s dark. And so on. I went to sleep without getting any power. It came back at some point in the middle of the night. After I read it in the news, that it wasn’t just my area, it was a serious black-out. And a long one too. First one for me.


Sunday was more or less relax day. I had to pack, because I had to bring my stuff to the new apartment where I will be living from now on, I did some Spanish learning. I did my usual nothing. And then the new week began. Just as always – Spanish in the morning, work in the afternoon. The only difference – this time I got to go to the new home. It was a little strange to get here, but I managed. It is going to be fun, living here.

Off Topic

I miss fighting. I miss my fight club. I just felt a serious need for some kick-boxing. I started to think, maybe it’s not such a bad of an idea to get back? I could go back to my kick-boxing as well.

You’re back and I am not even sure if this is a good thing or bad. Still something does not add up, but maybe I am just adding too much. I should just read the lyrics, shouldn’t I?

Why is it always something?

I may have lost it, but you never fought for it.

Here's to the moments when we didn't think about right or wrong, where we just lived, crossed our fingers, and hoped for the best.

Yo estoy muy cansado. Vamos todos a la playa.

22 Sep 2011

.Closing time.


Sunday Sunday Sunday. My first plan was to go to Valparaiso or stay at home watching basketball games on-line. That was before I was offered to go to a national park some place close to Santiago. I mean, how can I say no to such an adventure, right? I decided to take it. After all, there will still be basketball on the other days and I can go to Valparaiso any other weekend, but actually going to national park – well that is not going to be that easy to do it on my own and here I even get company.

Before I get into the whole national park thing, I feel a need to mention. Time is very much relative in this part of the world. It is kind of fascinating really. If you have a German kind of sense for time – buy some extra patience, because this is going to get on your nerves. At least at the beginning.

So this is more or less how it works. Although, I have to say, I am talking punctual Latin America’s people. We are meeting at 12:00. To me 12:00 means 12:00. My metro is going slowly, but I still manage to come almost on time. I am being late, being at the spot 12:03. To yours, not mine anymore though, surprise, I am the first one to come. The second person comes 12:20. All the rest are coming until 12:30. And this is a more or less punctual Chilean time counting.

So we meet up, the 4 of us. There was supposed to be some more, but others do not show up. No mentioning of that either, just not showing up. After a call we get a `no` for an answer, but then again, this is another thing you learn about Chileans the hard way. They tend to change their plans and forgetting inform you about it, but that’s more of a cultural way, not just a mean way to treat people.

So, after a short trip to the shop and sandwich making fun we hit the road. It was not a long way to get there and after we parked a car we went for a little hike. It was hot, sun was burning our shoulders, sometimes pretty steep and slippery, but my oh my was that great! You climb up, you look for a path, you take a rest break to catch a break and make some pictures and you go on again.

We came up until one big rock and took our last break up there. Just chilling. Chilling in Chile. I always had an idea that way down is supposed to be much easier and faster. Well, not for us. 

I know it is not very easy to find the same path when they are all surrounded by the same cactuses and bushes. But we managed to go all the way to the other side. If that was not enough, we managed to get to the dead end several times and turned back. 

All in all, at the very end we managed to go down. We took our stuff and went for a little camping thing. Special kind of camping, actually, including river, wine and nargile [better known for the English speaking world as water-pipe]. Oh, I almost forgot – guitar and songs.

It was a fantastic day, ended at the house of one of my friends, some dinner and then heading to the metro, coming back home and falling asleep, because I could keep my eyes open anymore because of tiredness, but happy as a peach.

My week was just as usual. Spanish in the morning, work in the afternoon, trying to catch up with all of the stuff in the evening. And then Friday came.

The big special Friday. You might ask why and I can say – because I was going to Red Hot Chili Peppers concert. I was waiting for it since the moment I learn about it, so we talk about 3 months. I was very excited, and also very lost, since I was supposed to experience it on my own. Alone. Well, there was a girl I tried calling to and join to the concert, but I had her number wrong or she had her phone off. Either way, I went alone. I wanted to see them more than company, to be honest.

I came in advance, so I would get a better spot. Turns out, I came a little too early. The gates were closed. It took me some time to wait and then some more time to get it. That is some challenge, but I got in. I actually even managed to get in without being checked. I could have brought anything. Anyways, I got in, there were people but not insanely a lot yet, but when the first band started I moved forward. I was guessing it would be hard to get there later.

It was going all fine, but then I noticed some guy, standing next to me and watching me. Well, not even a guy, some kid, 16 tops. Watching was fine, I don’t care. I mean, I know I am this blond white giant over here, a lot of people stare. But he wanted something more. Funny as it is, but he tried to take my hand. I mean, come on! My hand was even in my pocket and he tried that at least three times. I did not want to tell him to …… [add some mean bad words], because I had nowhere to escape. It was already full of people. I managed to escape him by moving several steps to the other side.

People got totally crazy once RHCP showed up. I mean serious crazy. They started jumping and moving back and forth, pulling me from one side to another with no affection to anything whatsoever. And I wasn’t even that close to the stage.

But the concert itself was so awesome, that I hardly have any words. Those songs, those lights, those songs again.. It was, by any means, the best concert I have ever been to. I have been singing, shouting, dancing and moving with the rest of the wave and I have to say – I loved every second of it.

Getting out of the concert was a bit of a mess. I got a little dizziness and there were no free space around to breath in. it was a total sea of people and it was not disappearing. After finally I managed to get out, I learned that metro was already closed and buses are going to every direction but mine. I felt a little lost, but I had nothing to do – so I called my brother. He just finished his shift and promised to come and pick me up. It took a little time for him to get there, but I was just happy I do not have to wait for metro to open, which would be only in the morning.

He picked me up and we went to another intern’s farewell party. It was a bit of a mess from the plan No 1, but what can you do right? We ended up at some party at somebody’s place. I still have no idea whose. We danced a little, talked a little and then went out. After all, we had a little trip the next day and we were supposed to wake up very inappropriately early. But before we could get to bed, we had to take some people to their places. It was night after all and my brother had a car and he is this kind of nice guy, who are always ready to help others out. So when we got back home it was 5 a.m. and the wake up time was 6 a.m.

Wow, full hour of sleep, how lucky were we. When my alarm clocked start beeping, I couldn’t believe my ears, but I had no choice, I had to get up, pack my stuff, take a shower, pretend to be alive and go into the metro.

Even though buses are not chileanily unpunctual, ours was late a little, but at the very end we got into the bus. I fell asleep almost immediately, but who can blame me, I was dead tired. The moments I did not sleep I was enjoying the view from the window. Somehow it reminded me of SEA places and Norway a little: hills and mountains, rivers, sun.. It is a nice country. It really is.

When we got to the Temuco, we were picked up and taken to our temporary home for a few days. We were staying with aunts of my brother and they were extremely nice. They were very patient with me too – talking slowly and waiting for my even slower answers. We took some time to have a nap or some rest. We shared a room with another intern. We did not get any sleep. But we did get some very nice talk abut everything.

After that was done, we ate, got picked up again by the same friend and he took us to his place. He has this amazing, seriously extremely nice dog – Winnie. I have to be honest with you – I fell in love there and then. 

Such an adorable dog. She was running back and forth just as like she overdosed caffeine. And then she was taking friends with me. Of course that was only because I was feeding her, but still – adorable doggy.

We spend some time there, talking about everything, where mostly I was only listening, since it’s really hard to respond, when they speak so fast and I speak so slow. After some time we went out. Some place. I did not know and I actually did not care. I was taken care off. I like that sometimes. I prefer that sometimes to be honest.

We stopped the car I got out and started staring at the stars. I still haven’t seen the Southern cross and this is one of the must things while I’m in the land down under. And then I saw something that looked like it. I asked, got a confirmation and vuola. I did one of my must to do things. I just became happier. Although I was happy before.

We got to some weird looking place. Locals ordered some things to eat, I forgot the name already, of course and some cocktail probably. I am still not sure, some sort of alcohol drink, not strong, though. It was tasty – both food and drinks. So we were sitting, talking, enjoying. After some time we went dancing. I had a great time, got some compliments on my dancing. Still not sure if those were sincere or just a polite move, but who cares – I dance good. Hahaha.

The next day was a big fiesta day. We got to the same place of a friend’s with adorable doggy and more people. Started easily with snacks, talks, some dancing. 


Then there was a lot of meat and good, but I am talking really good red wine. We sat, ate, talked. It was really great. After a while the table was gone, dancing started. It was a real Chilean party with lots of meat, wine and dancing. Plus the adorable dog.

The next day we went to a national park, did a little walk around, I found swings so of course I went on them surprising people with how childish I can probably sometimes become. 

We had a good bye sort of lunch and got a ride to the bus station. The weekend was officially over, the time to go officially here and the night in the bus was waiting. It was hard to fall asleep in the beginning, but I managed to get some sleep and before I knew it we were back in Santiago where I got some more quality sleep in my bed before I went to work.

And then the life started again as usual: Spanish before work, work, stuff. Although I miss the weekend.


Off topic

I cannot stop thinking about it. Was it me? No, this cannot be me. I made no action. I did not do anything. How did I manage to get there? And if it was not me, why I feel like a piece of crap then? You thought I knew? Man, really could not ever dream of that.

Funny isn’t it? Last time you made me smile with a tragedy. Now you made me cry with a catastrophe. It’s good somehow. It washed at least a little. On the other hand – it made me realize.

Why do you want to get into my same old casino at the edge of the world? You can play poker in your own edge. Why my casino?

There is someone who loves me. You said it yourself. No matter what, no payments, no prepayments, no benefits. Just love.

Just a shot in the dark – can you ever get over the one you love?

/We've got to make it rain somehow/
Ring any bells?

/We've got the wrong girl
But not for long girl
It's in the song girl
Cause I'll be gone girl/
This?


It might be happening. Not saying yes or no for that. Could be fun. Could even work out. But before that – I need a ticket. They still don’t let me into. Apparently, I’m in the black list. We’ll see.

13 Sep 2011

P.S.

Ona VS System. 1:0.

I'm so ..... happy I could sh.it rainbows.

Tell him that, will you?

P.S. The one thing happened I wanted to share with you and You are not even there.

11 Sep 2011

.We are the people that rule the world.

Hola! Como estas?

My life in the land down under became ordinary. I have a new routine. I wake up in the morning. Do some Spanish learning and/or watching some basketball, then I turn on my mp3 player and on my way to work I listen to some Spanish lectures. After work I listen to some more Spanish lectures. Then back home I do some Spanish again, take some rest and then the next day begins. My Spanish is improving, but slowly and painfully. Understanding part is getting better, but when you are around a lot of people and they all talk in different topics in this freakishly fast language – I get totally lost. I am getting a little worried it is not going fast enough but maybe I am expecting too much?

Last week I got a little bored and felt a need for new friends. I was sure it is not going to happen, but it does not hurt to try, right? I sent an e-mail to BEST asking if the is anyone around. Surprisingly – I got a fast respond. There is a person here. A couple actually. I was very excited I will meet some new people. We decided to meet for a drink. Despite that, I also received two more e-mails. One was from a friend, who apparently did not know I was in the land down under. Another one was from a friend I haven’t heard for ages. I tried to look for him, but could not find him anywhere. At the end I lost my will to find him, so I quit. And now he found me. Ahh, amazing.

So anyways, on Saturday night I went for my meeting with that newly found couple. While I was waiting for them, I have to say, I felt a little weird. Almost as if I was waiting for a blind date, but instead one, two people came along. Great people, in fact. We went for a beer and had a chat. It was great. Those guys are very nice and sweet, we had a lot to talk about. I came back home happy as a peach. If that was not enough I got a call from them the same evening later, inviting me for the barbecue the next day. Sunday was great. We were on the top of their building, so you can see a panoramic kind of view from it, sun was shinning, food was great. They all talked in Spanish, of course, but I listened. It was my Sunday Spanish lecture. Listen and pretend you understand. It was great though. We made some pictures, played with some soap bubbles. We ended week real well.

The next week the schedule was the same – Spanish at home, Spanish on my way, work, Spanish on my way back, home. On Wednesday, however, we went out – first for a bowling, then for a beer. I definitely did not expect to see so many people. All young nice and sweet Chileans. We played some bowling, I of course, did not become a star – I kind of suck at it, always did. When we decided to go to a bar. We chose a bar and before getting in, I started talking to one of those guys I haven’t seen before, only at bowling. He asked me about where I am, how long I will be here. He also told me he is from a city to the south from Santiago and if I wanted to visit it, I should and he would show me around. Once again, I was very pleasantly surprised by the generosity of people in here. Cause I know he meant it. Ah, I really like this part of the world. At the end of the night we left others at the table and went for the car. There were policemen there and my first thought was – we parked where we shouldn't have. But turns out – no. One of the cars had a window broken and possibly some stuff stolen. I realized right that minute that maybe it is true what they say about Santiago after all – you may be in the safe area of the city, but if you take a wrong turn, you will end up in a bad neighborhood.

 On the weekend, which is not over yet, we had a barbecue at the back yard of the office. Meat was fantastic, people were awesome. Once again, of course, I did not understand most of the conversations, but I managed to participate in one. Slowly, reaching for the words, but at least I am getting somewhere. I am really getting luckier in here.

 Greetings

 It is, as in some more countries, common to kiss on a cheek when you meet your friends in Chile as well. What is surprising to me, though, is that they actually do that and they do that all the time. Take an example – we are 15 people sitting at the bar. If I decide to leave, I go all around the whole table, kiss every single person on a cheek and only when leave. It’s amazing. I remember in France they have this two-kisses thing, but if you meet a pretty big bunch of people, you don’t kiss every one of them. Apparently here – you do. It’s fun though. Shows closeness.

Avocado or Palta

 No kidding. They eat it with everything. I was surprised myself, but it tastes good with everything too. And that couple that I met told me you get addicted to it as well. Not sure about the addiction part, but I do like it so far. They put it as salsa for potato chips [well, that’s normal, right?], they also put it on hamburgers and hotdogs, on sandwiches, on meat. Well, just as I told you – on everything. And soon it should be season for them, so I expect more and more every day now

 Racism

 I never thought I would be living and repeating `negro` that much. And it’s not that I became a racist, it’s just that in Spanish speaking world it simply means black. It was weird in the very beginning when I did not know this fact and heard `negro, negro, negro` all around, I thought – is it possible those people are talking of black people so much? And then it hit me – if Spanish speaking world has negro – meaning black, then how can it be considered an insult? Something just does not add up.

 Off topic

Once again, I am getting myself involved. Probably it’s a mistake, not a good choice, but then again, you have to take that advice from time to time and take the wrong choice of yours. We’ll see. It did not kill me before. Should not kill me now.

 You know what. It doesn’t matter. I learned my lesson. Again. Not sure if I can call that a lesson, since it’s repeated course again. But what the hell. I survived. Because I have a safety net. It’s not that different after all. I was good and I was remarkable. I can live with that. It is not my loss this time. No way.

 Do you at least know how much you made me smile today? Even though it’s like a Greek tragedy, it’s still a best performance winner.

3 Sep 2011

.OFF. .Holding my hand.

/Well I took a walk around the world to ease my troubled mind/

Now I get it. It just dawned on me, right this minute. It was not my fault. I, if you excuse my rude vocabulary, did not f*** this one up. I worked my a** for it.

/I left my body lying somewhere in the sands of time/

And here comes the reward. Seriously, The World, were the cookies I baked for you last time not delicious? I thought we had a deal. Well, yes, I thought I had a deal here too.

/But I watched the world float to the dark side of the moon/

Why no one, AGAIN, said a word? Same old story, same old scenario again. I think this is what makes my stomach sensitive. Not olives. Same'istinity [I am aware it's not a word].

/I feel there is nothing I can do, yeah/

I already realized. My own methods were used against me. It might be my fault. But I guess the answer is as simple as - someone simply has no life, so goes through mine.

/I watched the world float to the dark side of the moon/

Do not worry. This will not do any good. Well, maybe, but the damage is done already. Time to leave this place. And you know what? This time I am actually at the door. Turning the knob by myself. With will to open. After all, now I get it.

/After all I knew it had to be something to do with you/

I mean, it's not like you care. Go, do your thing. Me? I will be happy. Maybe I already am.

/I really don't mind what happens now and then/

It's ruined. Well, at least the same old casino, at the edge of the world, still there. Seems like no one is capable of ruining it. Well, what do you know - I am stronger than you could have ever imagined after all. Close your eyes, for a second, will you?

/As long as you'll be my friend at the end/

My superhuman power is - I am capable of producing milk. What's yours?

/And if I go crazy then will you still call me Superman?
If I'm alive and well, will you be there holding my hand?
I'll keep you by my side with my superhuman might
Kryptonite/