Thursday, 17 February 2011

An empanada walks into a bar...

I wish to complain about my flight to Chile.  It would appear that after being on one of your aeroplanes my molecular structure and the magnetic field of my laptop has been tampered with.  It now appears that the smaller the space I’m in while using the laptop the greater the need for my children to be near me.
If I sit on the bed – they are magnetically drawn to the same bed.  If I move to the futon they too gravitate to the same place.  As an experiment I hid inside the wardrobe to write a blog.  Within twenty seconds I heard two dull thuds on the door as my children were stuck to the outside.  My wife had to use a spatula to peel them off the door.
Has this happened to any of your other customers and is there a way to reverse the polarity of my molecular structure so that they are repelled when I am using the laptop?

Mr and Mrs Harper

We’ve been house bound over the past four days with various aches and pains, sneezes and wheezes.  Truce’s limp has disappeared and we put it down to her favouring the same leg every time we went up stairs.  Sometimes we forget how tiny her legs are.  Medical problems are possibly our greatest concern while traveling.  There’s only so much self-diagnosing you can do with Dr Google.  Last night we noticed a strange welt on her back about the size of a 5 cent coin.  Was it a bite from the much feared Chilean Recluse Spider?  We asked her many questions and put it felt safe enough to wait and see what the morning brought.  A quick inspection this morning brought relief as the welt had disappeared.

Today was the day of ascensors.  We went down El Perel with an incline of 48O.  We went up Concepcion, 450.  Then down and up Reina Victoria, 520.   The ascensors are surprisingly cheap for what they are.  They range between CH$100 – CH$300 depending on their location, height and if they are privately owned. There is a real beauty to riding in something that is 100 years old, has a flimsy metal latch to keep the door shut and gaps in the floor big enough to serve as a fire escape.  Perhaps it’s the financial situation of the country to not modernise and over safetyfy some of these contraption or maybe it’s just common sense – If you open this door you will fall out and die.

Once again we realised how dependent we were on our car as the kids loaded both whinge barrels today and fired them at us less than five hundred metres into our walk.  We tolerated it as best we could until the end of the day when we found a slide (complete with a huge weld in the middle to hold it together) I was the crash test dummy to inspect it for jagged edges, weak seams and general unseaworthiness.  As I slid down nearing the speed of sound I took the corner, realigned my hips and bounced at the bottom.  With both thumbs up I told Talluah to send the kids down but watch out for the corner.  Surprisingly the kids had the energy to go up and down the steps several times without complaining of sore legs.  This led to “the talk” and finished with there will be no more whinging or else some sort of punishment will be delivered.  Truce’s question: “Will the punishment be something like we have to go back to Australia?”  How do you keep a straight face after that?

We had our second Spanish lesson with Karen’s son.  By the end of todays lesson we had retained and understood the equivalent of I have, I had, I will have.  Small steps people.  To give you and idea of the difference:
I have (now) Yo tengo
I had (yesterday) Yo tuve
I will have (tomorrow) Yo tendre
… and this is just talking about the first person, I.   We know we will master it and other people have survived learning another language.

Every day around 7:00pm there is a lady selling empanadas on the street.  She drags a trolley around shouting, “Empanadas!”  Considering it is the end of the day and we don’t know how old the empanadas are we haven’t raced out with our spare pesos yet to partake in the bargin buying.  We did though go to an empanada shop and make a purchase at a sensible time with the hope that the ingredients are fresh.  Today was our first empanada.  I’ll let you know tomorrow if we survived.

Our first empanada.

A tip on how to make friends.  Because the money is different here you have to learn big numbers.  A litre of milk is around CH$500.  By the time you do some grocery shopping it can come to CH$12,539.  The shop keepers show you the amount as they don’t expect you to understand how much it is when they say it.  Supermarkets are a bit rushed but whenever I go to a corner store and it’s quiet, I ask the store keeper to help me pronounce the amount.  It changes the atmosphere dramatically.  Half the time they then ask me how to say it in English.  It’s a case of when in Rome…

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