Crazy Santiago Nights


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South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago
February 25th 2012
Published: April 16th 2012
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Sushi!Sushi!Sushi!

Stacy, Elena, LeeAnne, Kelsie, and Bri.
Last night was our second night in Santiago and some other ISA girls and I already went out! Let me tell you, it was quite the experience! I ate a lot of sushi before I left the U.S. because I was assuming they wouldn’t have it here but I was wrong. On our tour yesterday, Lizette (ISA Chile site director) told us there was a place really close to the hotel that had delicious and cheap sushi. Some other girls and I looked at each other and decided we were on it! I was so happy because I figured I’d be enduring serious sushi withdrawals during my stay here in Chile.

On the way back to the hotel Bri mentioned that one of her close friends actually lives in Santiago with her boyfriend. Because she’s Chilean, we figured she could tell us the hot spots to go to and actually know how to get there. We were stoked! We did not know anything about the transportation system and only knew how to get to the grocery store, exchange money, and walk back to the hotel. We’re like babies! It’s really funny. We can’t even count pesos! It’s super confusing
Sushi!Sushi!Sushi!

Bri, me, and Stacy.
and it must have been funny watching us try to leave a tip at that sushi restaurant last night. Total fracaso (fail)! They don’t divide the check here. They put everyone’s meal on one big tab for the table and it was up to us to work out the change and do the tip. Out of me, Stacy, Kelsie, Bri, Elena, and LeeAnne, you’d think we’d be able to figure things out quickly but no. It took forever! Haha!

After that, we met Bri’s friend Karin and her boyfriend Nathan. Karin is half Chilean, her mother is from America, and Karin spent some time studying in California. That’s how she met Bri and why her English was perfect. Nathan was from Kentucy or something. I don’t even remember. Haha! Anyway, it was already 10:30 P.M. and we were super ready to go out dancing! That’s when Karin gave us the newsflash. Apparently Chileans don’t even go out to the discotecas until 1:30 in the morning!! She told us that if we went then, it’d be a ghost town. I was so shocked. In Dallas, I’m used to going out at 11 P.M. and LEAVING the club at 1:30 or 2. MAXIMUM 3:00 A.M. But here people don’t even GO out until that time! It was so wild! Ridiculous night life. Karin said 1:30 is the normal time to go, the discotecas close at 5 but no one leaves until 8 A.M!! After Chileans get off work around 7, they have previas (previews) where basically everyone meets in each other’s houses and drink until they go to the club. Chileans literally party all night! We asked Karin when Chileans sleep and she said they don’t. Many of them sleep at work. My friends and I had already been touring all day with ISA so we were pretty tired but we just HAD to go out. To kill the time we all went up to our suite and Elena mixed us some Piscos (a popular Chilean drink) and we hung out and laughed and talked until midnight. Some other chicks came to our room to hang out because we all knew that if we weren’t together, we were going to accidentally pass out before it was time to go!

At midnight, we all caught taxis to Patio Bella Vista. It’s this huge area full of restaurants, bars, and a few places to dance. In the center area they had these weird steps that were all crooked, slanted and lopsided in every way. They looked artistic but it was like they were just asking someone to wipe out! Haha! The second Kelsie, Claire, Bri, Karin, Nathan, LeeAnne, Elena, and I walked into the court yard practically EVERYONE was staring at us. No joke. Because there isn’t any racial diversity here, gringos (anyone foreign) get stared at really hard. I’m learning this. We went into this one bar, trying to keep a low profile (impossible in a group of 8 gringos) by not talking and then Kelsie knocked over a small table!! All of a sudden there was this crash and then anyone who wasn’t already starring at us definitely turned to look at us then! Awkward…! Hahaha! It was hilarious. We teased her so bad! Way to be low key…

After scurrying to make our exit from that place, we walked around looking for a good bar to sit at, enduring a lot of cat calls along the way. Finally we found a place with enough space and sat down. My friends ordered drinks and a few got desserts. I looked around, amazed. That whole area was PACKED with people! At midnight!! And the later it got the more people arrived. I was seeing what Karin said was true. Finally, at one thirty, with quite a few of my friends on tilt, we walked over to a discoteca which was super close. It had felt like 1:30 would never come but it was totally worth the wait. That’s when things got crazy.

We entered and it was great at first! It felt unreal that I was out having such a great time with people I’d barely met the day before! We were fist pumping and just going wild. It felt like I had known them for months. Although I had found that Chilean men are usually short, the club surprisingly had LOTS of tall guys. My friends and I are 5’9 and up and we all had tall guys to dance with. Claire, Elena, and LeeAnne had nice Chilean guys they were dancing with. Kelsie was dancing with a group of 5 guys who seemed pretty fun and respecful. The dude who came up to me while dancing kept trying to get me to leave the club with him and was like “¡Ahora! ¡Ahora! ¡Ahora!” (Right now. Right now! RIGHT NOW!). And then he said ¡Estoy cien por ciento explosión!” (I’m one hundred percent explosion!). Whatever that’s supposed to mean! Leave it to me to get a weirdo. Haha! After that I was like, this creep needs to go, so I told him chao and started inching away. He wasn’t getting the message so I turned and shook my head no. He still wasn’t getting it.

While I was trying to get this creep off my back, I looked over and noticed I didn't see Kelsie anymore! She’s tall and blonde so I should have been able to see her in a room full of mostly shorter Chileans. And she had been with that group of 5 guys and she wasn't completely sober… I started to worry. I snatched up Elena and LeeAnne and we went on a hunt for her. We searched everywhere and could not find her. I was thinking “Oh my gosh! We lost Kelsie!!” There I was, barely my 2nd night in Chile, already out partying and I LOST my friend!! I know I am a full grown adult, but I couldn’t help thinking “MY MOM IS GOING TO KILL ME!!!” While we searched, I heard some guys debating over what nationality I am. They finally decided I was Indian because one guy said “I know! She’s Indian. I’m 100% sure”. Wrong! Haha.

Kelsie is from a small town in Montana. She had mentioned earlier this was her first time in a place that could actually be considered a club. I kept thinking “Surely she wouldn’t leave the club without telling someone. Surely she didn’t leave with those guys”. Maybe she just didn't know because she had never been to a club before. Elena checked outside and there she was! I can’t even describe how relieved I felt! She said she needed some air. I didn’t upbraid her because she already looked contrite and she was quite soused but I told her that in the future, if she steps off somewhere she needs to ALWAYS tell her friends. You don’t ever walk away from your friends at a club. They go with you or you at least tell them where you are. Tribal rules. I seriously thought she had gotten snatched up. At that point it was almost 4 in the morning and after that major scare, I was ready to head back to the hotel to catch some Zzzz. I left with Bri, Karin, and Nathan. Bri was toasted and Karin and Nathan were tanked so they wanted to stop at a place to get some food. Surprisingly, food places were still open! We just walked in and had a seat. Then things got scary.

While catching a taxi back to the hotel we were speaking mostly in English which apparently is the equivalent of saying “Gyp me, I’m not from here!” And it happened. We told the driver calle Santa Magdalena but he didn’t care to take us there. That dude drove in circles trying to run up the meter and then proceeded to drop us off in the middle of nowhere, in downtown Santiago, AT 4 IN THE MORNING!! We were not happy. We had no idea where we were and things were looking a bit sketchy. While searching for the hotel, Karin and Nathan wanted some more food so we stopped at a McDonald's. Apparently other people had the same idea because when we went in, it was bumpin’. We walked some more just hoping we were going in the right direction. Then it dawned on me, the entirety of my situation. I was the only sober one out of the four of us. I had only finished half of a Pisco WAY earlier in the night while we were at my suite. We had a guy with us, Nathan, but he was too drunk to be any kind of protection. If someone had decided to attack us, it was gonna be up to ME to kick butt! Not a good feeling. That made me even more anxious to get to the hotel ASAP.

We saw some ladies with stilettos and short dresses in the distance standing on a street corner as we were walking. I wondered if they were prostitutes. When we got closer we noticed the tons of make-up and that one girl's dress was not kind enough to cover her backside. We watched as a couple of men approached, looking very much like potential customers. Bri said “Yes. Those are definitely prostitutes!” and we all took off at a high speed power walk. It was crazy! I couldn’t believe what we were seeing! Not more than a block later, we saw some guy convulsing on the sidewalk! He was seizing hard. At that point we were almost running! Things had gotten so sketchy!

Finally, thank God, we found the hotel and scurried inside with haste. All I wanted to do was go to my suite and call it a night but my room key randomly wasn’t working and I got locked out… Just my luck. Cassandra was there because she didn’t go out with us but was out cold and didn’t hear me knocking. I was about to have to stay the night in Bri’s suite but luckily LeeAnne got back at around 5 A.M., a few minutes after me, and let me in. Phew! Me and LeeAnne stayed up talking and snacking for another hour and finally got to bed at 6. Elena didn’t get back to the suite until 7 A.M. and decided not go to bed at all since we all had to be up and ready at 9 to join ISA for a tour of a winery this morning.

So that was my first night out on the town in Chile. Quite adventurous.
LeeAnne and ElenaLeeAnne and ElenaLeeAnne and Elena

Trying to catch some Zzz because they were dragging from the night before. Haha!
We were all dragging today but we’re going out again tonight with some other students. The way I figure it is, I have the rest of my life to sleep, but when is the next time I’ll be in South America with a group of cool people. I never do stuff like this. Only in Chile…


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