Saturday, January 31, 2009

the saga continues.

This is Pablo, my best friend :)

I don't exactly want to pick up where I left off with my 'beginning' entry on Santiago. I can't decide if this is too boring or worthwhile to rehash in this blog, especially when I'd rather be writing about my travels and mishaps closer to the grand finale of that whole thing they call 'study abroad.'

A lot of people assume that study abroad programs are similar to long vacations, where studying is more often than not on the back burner and parties are the norm. This, unfortunately, was not the standard in Chile. Pontificia Universidad Católica is quite the institution, and really, if you want to pass, you have to put in more than just a little effort. I was rendered unable to go out, much less travel, many weekends during the unendurably long semester. School began August 3rd, and for me, ended November 25th. Many kids were still taking exams up until December 10th.

That being said, I had some of the most incredible nights of my life going out in Santiago. So no, it wasn't all work and no play. I also made two incredible friends, which I will make a point to keep up with and visit again (hopefully sooner rather than later). Pablo is kind of a funny story. We met via facebook last May. I had added Chile as a network, not realizing that my Texas privacy settings weren't applied. Anyone and everyone in Chile had complete access to my profile. Pablo added me because we shared a common interest - nightmares. I was the only other person on facebook with that peculiar interest listed. We began talking on fb chat, then messenger, and discovered that we had a world in common. The conversations were in mangled Spanglish - him making a point to try and speak English for me, and me trying to go in the opposite direction. Pablo and I have a unique breed of friendship, and despite having been raised in very dissimilar environments, have frighteningly too much in common. I'm so thankful to have met him, I can't put it into words.

If you're wondering, no, Pablo and I were never romantically involved... although his boyfriend was rather jealous of the attention I received in the beginning. It's funny to think about that now! Thomas and I eventually became the best of friends. The two of them were like family to me in Chile. I've slept over on Thomas's couch, cooked lunch in his kitchen, smoked countless times on his incredible balcony overlooking Lastarria, and knocked back god knows how many piscolas.

I love the two of them, really. Looking back on it, I don't know what I would have done without them playing such an integral role in my life while in Chile. When I was depressed and sick of school, or just bored, they were always there for me. There were occasions when I felt incredibly homesick and was not certain I had made the right choice. Now I know that it was worth it, and I would do it over again in a heartbeat. The thought that I almost didn't go for fear of being completely on my own, and because of certain other emotional ties, scares me.

I can't wait to do something crazy again. I think I need to be challenged, and being back home seems too easy. I'm looking to go abroad this summer. My entire outlook on careers and my future has radically changed. No corporate workforce for me. Being back in the business school here at UT is a bit unsettling. Everyone is interviewing with the big firms, etc, but I want to distance myself from that. I'm interested in possibly working for an NGO in South America... but I also want to learn to dj house and electronica on the side. What a combination, eh?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Woooo blog theme change at last. I decided I couldn't continue to update a blog that was falsifying my whereabouts. It's been refurbished! I'm not sure if I'm digging the look just yet, but I'm sure my blog and I will become comfortable with each other quite soon. Just have to get over that awkward first date stage.

I still <3 STGO más que Austin. Ve la foto. Obvio.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

the single life.

My home page is set to Yahoo en español, one, because I am enamored of the Spanish language, and two, because I find the site ridiculously comical on an almost daily basis.

This blog popped up today as one of the main features... click here: WHY am I ALWAYS so FUCKING single?

Yeah, this only slightly miffed me. Yes, we should embrace being single.... but what if you're perennially alone?

When you're single you should take advantage of the time "para reencontrarse con ellos mismos, para darse cuenta de lo que quieren y lo que no quieren, para abrirse a conocer gente y a fortalecer las amistades que ya tienen, ¡para una buena elección amorosa!" bahahaha this is hilarious, although it holds some truth. The thing is, one becomes so desperate after an extended period, that hazard is thrown to the wind, mistakes are made, hearts aren't necessarily broken, but you're going nowhere. Seriously.

Kim and I are thinking about having an anti-Valentine's day bash complete with black, shattered hearts and emo kid music. Actually scratch that on the music. I can't tolerate it.

Thinking about changing the blog address & header... but I really do like pretending I'm still in Chile.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

block rocking beats.

Pupils blown.

I've been going through a minimal/house/electronica phase as of late, as some of you may know. It all started with Ricardo Villalobos and Luciano mixing it up side by side one magical, mind blowing night at a little club called Kubix in Santiago.

Anyway. Over the past few months, I've come to know this genre of music a little better, but I've still only scratched the surface.

Check out this mix put together by Sascha Dive. I first came across his work in Body Language 7, mixed by Matthew Dear (this little gem, by the way, is pure heaven). Sometimes there are interesting podcasts on Ibiza Voice's website. Dinky's was fab, and Sascha's is proving to be just as block rocking. Love it.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

atx - new apt.

So I've made the jump back to Austin... trying to get stuff together for the semester & all that jazz. Living considerably closer to campus this year. Really though, I'd rather pretend that I'm still in Chile, so the blog title (at least for now) will stay as it is.

Will continue the Santiago saga soon.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

the beginning.

Where to begin? What the hell did I think I was doing when I first arrived? What the hell?!

I arrived at the Santiago International Airport severely under-dressed for the near freezing temps outside. Was wearing black vans, rolled jeans, gray short-sleeved shirt, and a thin, black puma jacket. Alejandro had prearranged TurBus shuttle pickup, which rung up at 10.000 CLP or about $20. I struggled to communicate to the driver just exactly where my apartment was. Since I really didn't know myself, this presented a bit of a problem. We eventually worked it out by calling Alejandro. My apartment, located at an awkward angle at the intersection of 3 streets, was always a bit difficult to describe location-wise. Oh Diagonal Paraguay 490... with Carmen... close to Alameda... you know, Santa Lucia? Gracias po.

Upon finding my apartment building, I must say I was a bit concerned. It's not the most beautiful place, it's run down, and not exactly in the safest area. Creature comforts were lacking, but I realized with time that I can live happily without all the luxuries of home. There wasn't always reliable hot water, I shared an apartment (and kitchen) with 8 people, shared a bathroom with 4 (including 2 guys), dealt with having no heating all throughout the winter, and lived in a tiny box of a room. But at the end of it all, I loved that room and the memories of my time spent in departamento 33.

Alejandro walked around with me, showing me the sights, and helping me to get acquainted with Santiago Centro. I have zero sense of direction, as many of you know quite well, so the first few days I pretty much wondered around without so much as a clue as to where I was. We ate breakfast at Observatorio in Lastarria. I remember not understanding a word that the waiter spoke (although ironically enough, I would end up befriending this very same waiter in December, my Spanish having significantly improved by then). Alejandro ordered media lunas (mini sweet croissants), mango juice for me, and orange juice for himself.

I remember thinking that the city was far from beautiful, that it was exceedingly industrial, and that it lacked charm. Lastarria was its saving grace - the lone oasis in the center of the capital of grunge, Santiago. But as I came to see more of the city, to make friends, and to get 'into the groove,' it became more and more attractive. I can say today that I love Santiago - first impressions aren't necessarily everything. Lastarria remained my favorite neighborhood, or 'barrio,' and I spent many hours there studying or reading outside at one of the myriad cafes. I frequented Observatorio, Patagonia, Melinka, Tomodachi (but only in the very beginning), and Emporio La Rosa. Observatorio for its quiche and wonderful espresso; Patagonia for the ensalada de mariscos, excellent bread, and exquisite house merlot; Melinka for torta de chocolate with Pablo; Tomodachi for wheat empanadas with corn and mochas; and last, but not least, Emporio for her phenomenal smoked salmon, ricotta, and capers on french baguette and chocolate peperoncino helado.

I did more than just eat in Santiago! Orientation occurred my second week in the city. I expected kids to be overtly social and open, but this turned out not to be the case. Marlana and I spoke briefly with a few girls from Australia and New Zealand, but left shortly after the close of the orientation without really making any solid acquaintainces. I later was to become very good friends with Esther, a law student from New Zealand. The Commission, an org created by Chilean students at PUC to help international students get to know Santiago and the U, took a group of us up to San Cristobal for an asado. Esther and I stuck together throughout the asado, empathized with one another regarding whatever study abroad issues we were having at the time, and decided coffee in the near future would be a good idea. I really enjoyed getting to know her over the months, although our coffee dates were few and far between. Law was especially rigorous at PUC, and Esther was often pressed for time or facing oral examinations. In late November her younger sister joined her in Santiago, followed by her boyfriend. They planned to travel together through January.

Pause here. When I resume, more on the U, my best friends, Pablo & Thomas, and maybe my first trip out of the city.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

what i should have been doing all along.

So I'm realizing now that I should have utilized this blog along the way or at least maintained a personal journal. I regret not having recorded things, just scribbles of thoughts and tiny lessons learned throughout my stay in Chile and my travels that followed.

I'm going to work on putting together a summary of the whole 'experience' - how I loathe to call it that. Somehow it trivializes it.

By putting this desire into words here, maybe I'll actually pull my shit together and make it happen.