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Published: September 24th 2018
I am at the point at the moment, where I feel like I wish someone would just stab me with a vegetable...like, it’s really about time that I just mixed in a salad. Something green, leafy and fresh. This week, for the dieciocho celebrations (independence day) it’s been like BBQ-palooza, and having just returned from another, full of delicious meats, I should maybe head right downstairs and eat a head of lettuce...I feel sorry for whoever brought the vegetable dishes as it was a pot luck today...they looked very lonely. Somehow though, I get the sense that Chileans feel like they invented BBQ...like guys, I hate to break it to you, but there’s sausage on bread in Canada too...
And apart from eating meat, we did manage to score ourselves some cars and even a bank account during the last two days of this week. After two failed and frustrating deals to buy cars, we managed to buy a couple, one a used car through a private deal, and the other a new one through a dealership. I will speak first on the new one, which for reference, did not cost much more than the four year old Honda Civic
View into our yard to Cerro Manquehue
We can see clearly now the rain has gone!
two-door hatchback that I bought (ok, my dad bought) back in 2002. It is VW Gol, which at first you look and go, hey he made a typo but no...it’s “GOL” and not a “GOLF”...I am not forgetting an F (it’s Brazil’s number one selling car 1984 to 2016!). It is much like a Golf, at least in that it is a four door hatchback, however smaller, and since they took the “F” off they decided to take away many of the options that you might find on a Golf. And while the front seats feel much like you are sitting on a piece of cardboard with some cloth on it (i.e. not exactly a lot of support) it is a blast to drive. Fortunately as I went to fill it up at the gas station yesterday, it was full serve, because there was a lock on the gas tank and I could not for the life of me figure out how to get it open...I just handed the guy my key and didn’t say a thing, and he knew what to do...the car is pretty small though, my head is basically looking out the rear passenger window when I’m sitting in it..
Oh and we also bought a used Mazda CX-5, with the engine we wanted (dos punto cinco!), an engine we were told could not be found in a 2016 when a previous deal fell through, as the one that we almost bought had a 2 liter engine, not a 2.5 as advertised and agreed to...I shouldn’t have trusted any used car salesman named Constanza anyway (that was actually her name).
So I head off to work tomorrow, and while you think I could probably tell you a lot about the city after about a month off of work having had so much time to discover the city. Welp...I can’t. I can tell you which used car dealerships to avoid (COSTANZA!) and have all the information on the best playgrounds to take your kids in the city (check out the MallSport trampoline park, and right nearby there’s a great little playground if that’s not open), and where to get smokin’ deals on lamps, furniture and rugs (try Easy, or maybe Homy), or what supermarket has the best...anyway, you get the idea. Moving to a new city and setting yourself up is quite different than just traveling there, and getting set up can take a lot of time and effort...
Although I am kind of exaggerating that I can’t tell you anything..we have had time to enjoy the city, and see a few of the museums, and find some fantastic places to eat (this morning we went to Metissage, which had an amazing brunch and coffee, and the kids loved it), and go to the Chilean Independence Day parties, and meet a whole group of expats who have been extremely friendly and welcoming. And this afternoon we put the Thule stroller behind our bikes and went for a ride down the Mapocho River (I’ve got a side note on this below) and into town for ice cream, and it was absolutely stunning, with the snow capped Andes shimmering in the distance, and the green shoots of Spring showing up everywhere in town. Clear days are absolutely incredible here, and the last week El Smog has really cleared out (Santiago can have a bit of an air quality problem in the winter since it’s in a valley, but maybe I can tell you about that another time). Anyway, I will admit I am anxious as we head towards another transition with me starting work, but as with all the other transitions we have had, these things work themselves out. And we are adjusting and getting to know our new home....and a lot more than just the car dealerships and furniture stores.
A few sidenotes...first on the river path...I was told quite confidently that no path along the river existed to bike into downtown...clearly not true as we discovered today...as mentioned in previous posts, you don’t get a lot of “I don’t knows“ here, people will just tell you something when they clearly don’t know...next, we really have to start a blue Thule 2 person bike chariot smuggling ring from Canada down here! Everybody was stopping and asking us where we got it, like there was even a guy who was asking me all kinds of questions on the bike path and wouldn’t let me go despite the screams of an impatient Maelle....they’re twice as much here so, if you come visit, bring five and we can split the profits!
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